Kashmiri Muslim apprehend census manipulation in IHK

Figures fuddled by Indian government

Kashmiri Muslim apprehend census manipulation in IHK

World Bulletin / News Desk

According to the census figures released by the Indian government over the last 50 years in the Indian-held Kashmir, the population ratio of the Hindus and Muslims have almost remained the same.

According to the census, the population of Muslims in 1961 was 2.432 million, constituting 68.31% of the state’s population of 3.560 million. The Hindus, numbering 1.013 million, made up 28.45% of the total population.

Half a century later, the census of 2011 found the Muslim population at 8.567 million — again 68.31% of the total population of 12.541 million — and the Hindu population at 3.566 million (28.43% of the total).

Indian-occupied Kashmir (IHK), called Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian government, is the only Muslim majority state within the Indian Union and the demographic changes of the region are a concern for the majority Muslim population.

The pro-independence resistance leadership has often accused Indian state of attempting to make demographic changes on the ground and turning Kashmir into a Palestine-like or Tibet-like situation.

In fact, the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party, a right-wing Hindu nationalist extremist group, has a stated agenda to abrogate Article 370, a law that prevents non-Kashmiris from buying property in Kashmir and thereby maintains the Muslim majority of the region.

"The census figures have never been true and not because of any mistake but because the Indian state willfully manipulated the numbers to keep the number of Muslims down and show them in lesser numbers than they actually are. I have worked closely with the figures and what the figures don't reflect is the constant attempt by Indian governments to change the Muslim majority character of Kashmir because many people, including the present regime ruling India, believes that the only solution to Kashmir's demand for self determination is to change its demography," Dr Sheikh Showkat, Professor of Law at the Central University in Kashmir, told Anadolu Agency.

Showkat has worked extensively on demographic change in Kashmir and has also written a slim book called "Kashmir: a Palestine in making".

IHK originally had 14 districts — 6 each in the Kashmir and Jammu divisions, and 2 in Ladakh. Ten of these districts were Muslim-majority — 6 in Kashmir, 3 in Jammu and 1 in Ladakh, while three districts had a Hindu majority and one had Buddhist majority.

In 2006, 8 new districts were created, raising the total number of districts to 22. Of these, 17 have a Muslim majority — 10 in Kashmir, 1 in Ladakh, and 6 in Jammu.

Hindus are the majority community in 4 districts of the Jammu division; Buddhists are the majority in Leh district.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.

The two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir. 

Since 1989, Kashmiri resistance groups in IHK have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or for unification with neighboring Pakistan. 

More than 70,000 Kashmiris have been killed so far in the violence, most of them by Indian forces. India maintains over half a million soldiers in the IHK.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Aralık 2016, 19:20