Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bangladesh, Population Explosion

Population Explosion in West Bengal: A survey
(Source: A study by South Asia Research Society, Calcutta)
On account of the Partition of the Indian Subcontinent in 1947, refugees moved from Pakiswtan, without much interruption, to various parts of India
specially to West Bengal till 1971, when political boundaries in South Asia were redrawn.nEven after the emergence of Bangladesh as an Independent Country in 1971, however, the march of refugees to WestBengal appeared to be ceaseless. Neverhless, there is one great difference in the patterns of migration before and after 1971. In the days of Pakistan, nearly all refugees coming to West Bengal were members of the minority communities in East Bengal, viz, Budhists,Christians and Hindus. In the Bangladesh era , however, in addition to the forced migration of members of the minority community (overwhelming majority being Hindus) to West Bengal, there had been largescale voluntary infiltration of Bangladeshi Musalmans to West Bengal and other parts of India.Certainly , the Govt. of India and the Govt. of West Bengal were not unaware of this grim phenomenon.
Table 1.1
Year***Population***Incr.of pop.***% growth
in decades
Source: Statistical abstract, WB,1978-89
In accordance with estimates prepared by the Govt. of WB , 44.5 lakhs of refugees came from East Bengal to WB during 1946-1970. The 1981 cinsus contained an important clue to the persistence of migration /infiltration to WB. the population growth rate declined from 26.9% in 1961-1971 to 23.2 % in 1971-1981. Yet the 1981 census recorded a population of 4,67,000 in excess of the population derived from differences in birth and death rates.If one excluded these 4,67,000 persons - who obviously moved to WB from other regions.
It has been suggested that, during 1971-81 and 1981-91, WB has accomodated 2 million outsiders. Actually, this number should much larger, because, from Bangladesh alone , 2.95 million Bengali speaking Hindus have entered into India during 1974-1991.
As Mohiuddin Ahmed, a renowned journalist of Bangladesh, writes: Thus, we encounter a scenario of *missing Hindu population * in the successive sensus periods. The extent of this missing population was about 1,22 million during the period of 1974-1981, and about 1.73 million during the last intercensual period 1981-1991.As many s 475 Hindus are missing every day from the soil of Bangladesh on an average since 1974.
Table 1.2
Census year ****Muslims (%)****Hindus (%)
Source: Bangladesh Population Census in 1981 and 1991.