Thursday, September 10, 2015

Mumbai has the highest number of Buddhists, Jains and Muslims in Indian cities: Most cosmopolitan city in India

The meat ban in Mumbai has brought focus on the fact that Jains form such a large part of Mumbai's population.

The decision to ban sale of meat for a few days was taken to respect the sentiments of Jains, who are more numerous in Western Indian.

In fact, no other city in India has such a large number of Jains. There are more than 5 lakh (more than half-a-million) Jains in Mumbai.

But the fact is that Mumbai is the city that has the highest proportion of other religious minorities too.

For example, no city in India has more Buddhists than Bombay. It has over 6 lakh Buddhists.

It is also a city with a very high Christian population. Mumbai has more than 4 lakh Christians.

And Mumbai has more Muslims than any other Indian city. The Muslim population of Mumbai is 25.68 lakh

Besides, this is the capital of Parsis in India. Around 40-45,000 Zoroastrians live in Mumbai, though not counted separately in census now. In a way, the religious minorities are not minorities here, they all together comprise over 33.8% of the city's population [1.24 crore or 12.4 million]. Such diversity!

Of course, Mumbai is overwhelmingly a Hindu city, where Hindus are a whopping 82 lakh, but it is still, the most cosmopolitan city of India. The remaining populace includes those who didn't state their religion including atheists, numbering around 32,000.

That's the beauty of Mumbai. No City in India matches it. It is a city that has a huge Marathi population, followed by Gujaratis, and now the North Indians, as well. So Mumbai is different than any other major Indian city.



Hindu                         82 lakh
Muslim                       25.68 lakh
Buddhist                    6.03 lakh
Jain                            5.09 lakh
Christian                    4.07 lakh*
Sikh                            61,000
Parsi                           45,000
Not stated                   31,800

[Source 2011 census] Total population of Mumbai is nearly 1.24 crore or 124 lakh [12.4 million]

In the 90s, Hindu-Muslim violence divided the City. In recent years, controversies like denial of houses to 'non-vegetarian' eaters in housing socieites and meat ban, are incidents that don't go well with the spirit of Mumbai-kars

Mumbai is the jewel among Indian cities, most diverse. One hopes that Mumbai-kars of all faiths would realise that Mumbai is the City, India prides upon, for its cosmopolitan nature. They too need to celebrate this cosmopolitanism, and reject bigotry and ghetto culture.

[*Though Mumbai has over 4 lakh Christians, it is not the city with highest Christian population in India]