Reviews
Religious Demography Of India


Lies, Half Truths and Statistics
The Fine Art of Demonisation as
Political Demography
by John Dayal


They are all honest, and honourable, men for they keep no one in any doubt as to what they have set about to do. The book, written in the alien and colonial English language is dated Vasanth Panchami, Kali (yug) 5104, corresponding to Anno Domini 6 February 2003. Artlessly, they dedicate their tome to Shri Ram Swarupji, doyen of Christian-baiters and path finder of re-interpreting other people’s holy books, a course of study which later would find such scholars as Arun Shourie (Worshipping False Gods, among others), and the more recent Balbir Punj. Advani, former journalist and savant leader of the Corps of Vigilantes against Aliens, appropriately writes the Foreword, quoting (see accompanying box) Nineteenth century Frenchman Augustus Comte, but his foreboding against alien takeover rooted firmly in the rich tradition of Twentieth century philosopher-king Adolph of Bavaria-Deutschland (Germany, in English).

There is a strong move in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and North Ireland that Charles Windsor, currently prince of Wales, give up the Christian title of Defender of the Faith as and when – and if — he succeeds Queen Elizabeth II as Rex, because the British isles of today is such a cosmopolitan and healthy mixture of races and religions, languages, accents, customs and hair styles as to make that title not only redundant but positively out of touch with reality. Charles, aesthete, rule breaker and outspoken, has apparently agreed enthusiastically, and is quite toying with the idea of taking this to its logical conclusion. Even the most royalist of the gutter press see it as inevitable after one of the biggest Hindu temples came up in the Island some decades ago, and chicken-tikka curry became the national solid food.

England shares much with our very own Gujarat. Both have strong sailing traditions – they can be said to have mutually ‘discovered’ each other. Ocean crossing Gujaratis who went to Africa to get rich quick thought it proper to come not to Gujarat but to the UK when the Idi Amins of the world made Africa unpleasant for them and their businesses. The Desais are present today in the House of Lords, and take up a serious proportion of the telephone book. Gujarat and England also share other history – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, for instance, and the manufacture of fine cotton cloth on powered looms in large mills.
Just for the record the top ten countries with the highest proportion of Hindus in its population are:

Country Percent Number

Nepal

89

19,000,000

India

79

780,000,000

Mauritius

52

600,000

Guyana

40

300,000

Fiji

38

300,000

Suriname

30

116,000

Bhutan

25

400,000

Trinidad & Tobago

24

300,000

Sri Lanka

15

2,800,000

Bangladesh

11

12,000,000


The top 10 Largest National Hindu Populations:

Country Percent Number

India

79

751,000,000

Nepal

89

17,380,000

Bangladesh

11

12,630,000

Indonesia

2.5

4,000,000

Sri Lanka

15 2,800,000

Pakistan

1.5 2,120,000

Malaysia

6 1,400,000

USA

0.2 910,000

Mauritius

52 570,000

South Africa

1.5 420,000

UK

1 410,000

That is where the resemblance ends. In Gujarat, or for some of its leaders and policy makers, aliens are those who are not our identical twins, not just to be ignored and shunned, but to be demonized as the ultimate ‘them’, hated and targeted as fit for the knife, the mallet, the bullet and the torch. The first casualty in the great sacrifice of truth is the exactitude and veracity of mathematics, as applied to human geography, demography and, in political terms, the fine art of electoral arithmetic.

Narendra Modi, then still fresh out of his Swayamsevak Sanchalak mode, ensured his continuance and canonization as Chief Minister by repeating a gutter phrase Hum Paanch Hamare Pachees (we are five – husband and four wives, and we have twenty-five children, five per wife), perpetuating a M myth that defies both logic and time. If this data were fed into a modern laptop, and extrapolated, it would be natural to expect that India’s Muslim population is made up of 20 per cent males and Eighty per cent female – how else would they produce the four girls required to be brides of the neighbour’s son. Even in his worst nightmare, or dream, neither Modi nor Praveen Togadia, his accompanist, would say that such a male utopia or bahisht, exists in India or even in Pakistan, the homeland, according to them, of all Indian Muslims.

The slogan however caught on. Civil society watched in horror as god fearing, and sensible Hindus, made a beeline to the polling booths to vote for Modi. It was a landslide, riding on the greased substrata of hate, and fear, paranoia and Freudian complexes rooted deep in psyches that had been made receptive by hearsay and mythology, fact, half truths and fiction all the way from pre history to the Partition.

No one can possible hold against such forces unleashed with the precision of a WMD, weapon of mass destruction. Not, certainly, people such as Prof KS Singh, who in his mammoth and epochal Peoples of India Project for the Anthropological Survey of India had conclusively exploded many such myths. Who consumes the most alcohol? Where does bigamy, or polygamy exist, and who all are non vegetarians. Stereotypes vanished under the force of data. It was not Christians who consumed the most alcohol. And no, it was not just Muslims who married the most women.

My friend Prof Ram Puniyani wrote a fine piece exploring the political psychology behind the Hum Panch Hamare Pachees slogan and its success. Said Ram, "One of the major factors in perpetuation of communal violence is the doctoring of the mass consciousness. The social common sense is manufactured in such a way that the targeted community is made to appear as the culprit. The classic case of’ Victim as Culprit’. And that’s how so many myths percolate about the minorities. Apart from the Historical myths the one’s related to demographics are playing a dangerous role in the demonisation of Muslims in particular.

"In a way what Modi said is nothing new as far as social common sense is concerned. Modi’s statement during his Gaurav Yatra about Muslims, "We are five and we will have 25 offspring’s.... For this, we have to teach a lesson to those who are increasing the population at an alarming rate.", has been resented even by the BJP top brass who at deeper level believe that what Modi said is true, it is this propagation, which has been done by communal outfits actively most of the time. And also these are the types of propagations, which are actively spread by the members of the progeny of RSS, the Sangh Parivar.

"The census surveys by religion totally negate this firmly held popular belief. Religion is one of the markers used in these surveys. As per 1971 survey Hindus constituted 82.7% and Muslims 11.2% of the population. The corresponding figures for 1991 census are Hindus 82.6% and Muslims 11.4%. (Malayalam Manorama, 1992). The marginal difference in the growth pattern has more to do with socio-economic factors rather than the religious ones. Over all, this statistics shows a reasonably ‘stable’ (religion wise) population. That apart, even if the current differentials persist, it is not only unlikely, but also impossible for Muslim population to overtake the Hindu population for the next century or so. On the contrary if the prevailing growth rates are analyzed, it will be clear that between 1961-71 and 1971-81, Hindu population increase went up from 23.71 to 24.42, while between the same periods Muslim population increase went down from 30.85 to 30.20. If these rate of growths are frozen at same level hundred years from 1981, Hindus and Muslims will record a decadal growth rate of 30.71 and 30.55 respectively i.e. growth rates of Hindus will be higher.

"Similarly what about four wives to the Muslim male. Is it possible at all? On first count it is immaterial whether a man is having one or more wives as the total number of children depends on the number of women, which does not get influenced by polygamy. If at all, this number of women has more to do with the prevalence of social practice of female infanticide and ‘bride burnings’ in the areas where the practice of extortion by parents of ‘grooms’ called dowry is prevalent. Secondly, the male/female ratio cannot permit the ‘luxury’ of four wives to the Muslim males unless three-fourths (75%) of them go without marriage. As per 1981 census the male/female ratio for Muslims was 1.068 and for Hindus 1.072 i.e. for every 1000 Muslim females there are 1068 Muslim males. One has to conceive of gigantic mental acrobatics, in the light of these statistics, to believe that all Muslim males can have four wives.

As such a slightly earlier but relevant statistics of polygamy (1961census report) totally smashes the myth of Muslim polygamy; unless the social trends have worsened drastically, which obviously have not. As per this the incidence of polygamy is highest among the Adivasis (15.25) followed by Buddhists (7.9), Jains (6.72) Hindus (5.80) and lo behold, followed by Muslims (5.70). Research carried out by Mallika B. Mistry of Gokhle Institute of Pune, concludes "there is no evidence that the percentage of polygamous marriage (among Muslims) is larger than for Hindus". A comparison of nuptiality patterns for Hindus and Muslims shows great similarity, the incidence of polygamy has been declining among both Hindus and Muslims.

"It will be interesting to draw the religion based fertility patterns. These patterns differ within Muslim community itself, they vary from region to region as per the socio-economic and educational levels of the community concerned. Those in the better socio-economic and educational ladder have lesser population increase, while those on the lower rungs of socio-economic educational ladder have higher rate of population growth. This conforms to regional, urban and rural distribution as well. Birth rate in Malabar region of Kerala, whose Muslim population is 40%, is significantly lower than those in Uttar Pradesh with a Muslim population of 15%. The contrasting case is that of Kashmir, a Muslim majority state. Here the Fertility rate of Hindus is almost twice that of Muslims. Here again the birth rate was lower 31.4(per thousand) than in U.P (36.5), MP 36.4, Bihar 34.8 and Rajasthan 33.4.

"We have to realize that the overall rate of population increase in educationally and socially advanced states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, is overall lower, both for Muslims and Hindus, compared to the rest of the country. Also let us have a look at Urban rural divide. More than on third of the Muslim community is concentrated in the peripheral and decaying areas of urban economic life. Incidence of urban poverty is higher among them by 17% (Vis a Vis Hindus). The number of Muslims living below poverty line is close to 65%. They are generally living in older areas of modern cities, which are well known for poor sanitation, lack of health facilities and basic amenities. On the top of this the repeated outburst of communal violence against them is ‘ghettoising’ them with the result that improvement in their lot is becoming more and more difficult."

Before coming to the book so highly praised by Advani, I would like to quote from Kaleem Kawaja writings on Gujarat. "A look at the demographic map of Gujarat shows that in Gujarat, where Muslims comprise 9 % of the overall population, they are less than 10% of the population in the 12 districts where they faced major violence and harassment. In all other such districts Muslims did not suffer much violence. The history of 55 years of grievous anti-Muslim violence in India shows that in townships and villages, where Muslims are 20% or more of the population, not much harm happens to them in communal riots. Muslims were always able to defend their lives and properties. In the horrible 1992/93 anti-Muslim riots in Mumbai, Muslims were safe in Muslim pocket localities like Mahim, Bandra, Mohammad Ali Road, Bhindi Bazaar, but over a thousand Muslims were killed in localities where their population was sparse.

"For 55 years an overwhelming majority of enlightened Muslims in countless cities in India have tried their best to integrate with the Hindus. To do that, all those Muslims who could afford the price tags of houses in new suburbs, moved out of Muslim majority localities and settled down in localities where their numbers were very small. But as we saw recently in the gory violence in the Gulmohar society in Ahmedabad, where former Member of Parliament Ahsan Jafri and his family were burnt alive, Muslims’ taking such high level personal risks for the sake of integration, has brought doom to them."

And what happens when the State believers in the myths, too. Purnima S. Tripathi writing in the Asian Age highlighted a proposal by the then Uttar Pradesh government, which had brought about the controversial legislation banning construction of religious places without prior permission, of the state authorities, a new population policy targeting specific groups and communities which have a higher rate of growth of population. Purnima quoted Chief Minister RP Gupta saying "There are groups and communities which feel that if they go on increasing their number they will capture power one day. Such a way of thinking has to be disincentivised." The "disincentive," to begin with, means debarring those having more than two children from contesting panchayat elections, he said.

Union home minister Lal Krishna Advani, whose pet project is to launch a national identity card to cleanse New Delhi of illegal aliens (Bengali speaking Muslims, perhaps many of them refugees from Bangladesh) understandably, is elated in the work of AP Joshi, MD Srinivas and JK Baja, financed by his colleague Murli Manohar Joshi. In his foreword, Advani said "Though several other factors do indeed matter, yet growth and decline of populations and changes in the relative balance between various groups within the rise and fall of nations and even civilisations. That is why active and alert societies, especially of the modern times, keep a keen eye on the changing demographic trends within themselves as well as everywhere else in the world. Such keen observation of demographic trends is particularly important for India today because of several reasons. First, knowing, predicting and controlling the social and economic pressures created by our changing demographic patterns is essential for the successful completion of the noble task of nation-building that we have been engaged in since Independence. Second, we are surrounded by some of the most multitudinous and fast growing societies and nations of the world; knowing the changing demographic patterns there is essential for us to make informed judgments about the strategic pressures India is likely to face within its neighbourhood in the near future.

"Finally, for more than a millennium now, India has been host to some of the greatest, most vigorous and expansive religions of the world. This circumstance has endowed India with a rich diversity; but it has also given rise to some of the most acute strategic, political and administrative problems that the Indian nation has had to face in the past and continues to face till today. Rigorous and continuous observation and analysis of the changing demography of different religious groups in various regions of the country is therefore of paramount importance in maintaining the integrity of our borders, and peace, harmony and public order within the country."

Advani just stopped short of saying that he saw Islam and Christianity, and Muslims and Christians as dangers to India both as peoples and as religionists.

The authors have no such qualms.

They have gone out of the way to name the two communities. And they have coined new terms and phrases alien to the sciences of cultural anthropology, philosophy and religion to define and target these two.

One such term is "Indian religionists" versus Christian and Muslim populations. This term has non set definition – which changes to suit he argument. At one stage, it includes Hindus, Tribals, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists. At another, Indian Religions include Zoroastrianism and Judaism too! Parsees and Jews as Indian religionists to suit the India-Israel Axis so loved by Advani, and not to alienate the top industrialists now sitting cozily in the BJP lap!

The book would have been consigned to the dustbin, where it belongs, were it not for the fact of Advani’s foreword, and that the Organiser-Panchjanya mouthpiece of the Rastriya Swayamsewak Sangh chose to use it as Gospel in creaming cover stories that must have scared many a good Hindu that he or she was about to be overwhelmed, kidnapped, raped and eliminated.

The half truths begin with the first words. In their introduction, the threesome say "India is one of the only two regions of the world where a great human civilization took birth several millennia ago and has survived more or less uninterrupted to this day. The other is China…. Europe, America and other areas of the world peopled by the Europeans, as also the Arab and other West Asian lands, are indeed centers of great and vibrant human civilizations that they represent are relatively new developments in human history." Egypt, which is Islamic but not Arab. Iran, which is Muslim Shia, but not Arab and barring religion, continues as a civilization.

And China? Buddha was not born in China. Confucius was. So was Mao. But today, China certainly ha a Buddhist flavour, decidedly so in Tibet and other parts! And it mixes well with the past five thousand years.

They go on to say "India and China together have accounted for more than half the population of the world at least from the beginning of the Christian era to 1850. In the earlier centuries of the world; and Indians outnumbered the Chinese up to at least 1500!"

The learned scholars add "The other timeless fact about India, besides the extraordinary fertility of her lands and numerousness of her people, is the homogeneity of her civilization and culture. This cultural homogeneity has come under stress during the last two hundred years or so, basically under the influence of modern ideologies that tend to look upon the homogeneity of India as a source of oppression and backwardness. This ideological prejudice manifests in the public life of India in the name of protection of distinctive ways of live of religious minorities, especially those belonging to Islam and Christianity. Such influences have led to Partition of India into three separate political entities; religious heterogeneity of certain parts of India formed the sole basis for this."

DD Kosambi and others pointed to the fact that even at the time of the Buddha, more had a hundred nationalities lived in India. And Jainism and Buddhism were born as a revolt against the Brahminical tyranny and minority rule – over men and minds. The superficial cohesiveness contained in itself, but could not hide, the subjugation of the untouchables, now politically called Dalits to retrieve their human dignity.

The authors correctly say that the Indian census operations that began in 1871 classified the people of India according to their religious affiliation. After Independence, cross-tabulation of data on religion was discontinued, but basic date on religious affiliation has continued to be collected. They forget to say that successive governments have reused to divulge such data in detail, barring a superficial collective figure. The census data forms the basis of their compilation and analysis.

The first chapter of the book looks at the growth of total population for India as a whole, and for Indian Union, Pakistan and Bangladesh, separately, and puts this growth in the context of the changing share of different people in the population of the world. In the second chapter, they compile and present their interpretation of the changing religious profile of the populations of Indian Union, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and of India encompassing all three of these units. "Since this book is concerned mainly with the heterogeneity introduced by Islam and Christianity, populations for the purpose of this study are divided into three large groups: Muslims, Christians, and the rest, who may be collectively termed as Indian Religionists."

Liken their patrons in the Sangh, the authors are living in a dream land of Vrihata Bharat, a Greater India. "Throughout our analysis, we employ the term "India" for the geographical and historical India that encompasses the three countries into which India was partitioned in this course of the twentieth century."

There is something quaint in the political interpretations that the authors seek from global census data. "From about the middle of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century was a period of great strain for most non-European people of the world. During this period, the share of people of European origin in the population of the world rose by about 10 percentage points, while the share of other people correspondingly declined. In the 1930’s, the share of European people in the population of the world reached a peak of nearly 40 percent. By the middle of the twentieth century, most non-European people of the world began to come out of the long period of direct European rule. And with the coming of freedom, they began to experience a great blossoming of their populations. In the latter half of the twentieth century, the share of African and Asian populations in the world rose sharply to largely neutralize the gains made by European people during the previous hundred years or so. India also participated in this great revival of non-European people. The share of people of Indian origin thus rose to above 20 percent of the population of the world from about 16 percent in 1950." The population explosion as liberation from colonialism!

"The people of Indian origin thus have improved their share in the population of the world considerably in the course of twentieth century," gloat the authors, if only to wail on the plight of the "Indian Religionists amongst the Indians".

"The proportion of Indian Religionists in the population of India has declined by 11 percentage points during the period of 110 years for which census information is available. Indian Religionists formed 79.32 percent of the population in 1881 and 68.03 percent in 1991. This is an extraordinarily high decline to take place in just about a century; at the peak of Mughal rule at the time of Akbar, after nearly four hundred years of Islamic domination, the proportion of Muslims in India was said to be no more than one-sixth of the population. If the trend of decline seen during 1881-1991 continues, then the proportion of Indian Religionists in India is likely to fall below 50 percent early in the latter half of the twenty-first century."

Within Indian Union, they calculate the decline from 86.64 percent in 1901 to 85.09 percent in 1991. This is largely because there was an increase of almost 3 percentage points in the proportion of Indian Religionists in Indian Union between 1941 and 1951, as a result of the forced and violent transfer of populations associated with Partition. Since 1951, the share of Indian Religionists within Indian Union has declined by more than 2 percentage points.

They are at a loss to explain the rise in the population of non Muslims in the Punjab, for instance. They say "In the areas that form Pakistan now, the proportion of Indian Religionists rose considerably during the pre-Partition period, from 15.93 percent in 1901 to 19.69 percent in 1951. This is the only region of India, where Indian Religionists registered any gains in the course of the twentieth century. Partition immediately negated these gains; the proportion of Indian Religionists declined to 1.60 percent in 1951, and has remained around that figure since then."

There is only so much that you can stretch the imagination. Faced with cold data, the authors have to admit that the "decline in the proportion of Indian Religionists within Indian Union has not been too remarkable, though they have lost about 2 percentage points off their share since Independence and Partition."

The game plan unfolds now. Not able to make political capital out of the national data, they go into micro analysis. "The detailed district-wise data analysed in the book shows that the decline – of Indian religionists — has been fairly steep in certain geographically well-defined pockets of the country, while in most parts Indian Religionists continue to hold sway.’

This is the classic language of the Sangh. The North East is becoming Christian and will revolt from India. Muslims will take over other regions in Bihar and Assam. "A very large part of Indian Union, comprising almost all of the northwestern, western, central and southern states, has seen little decline in the proportion of Indian Religionists."

Without data to support, they authors however make bold statements for, of all place s, Uttar Pradesh from where the bulk of the migration had taken place to Pakistan in 1947. "In the heartland and eastern regions of Indian Union, comprising Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam, however, Indian Religionists are under great pressure. This region encompasses the most fertile lands of India and accommodates about 37 percent of the population in 1991 on about 19 percent of the geographic area of Indian Union. Here, Indian Religionists have a share of only about 80 percent in the population; and, they have suffered a decline of about 4 percentage points in their share in the four decades between 1951 and 1991. The rest of the population is formed mainly of Muslims, who have a share of nearly 19 percent in the population."

The alarm is sounded in ‘research’ which finds that "Muslims presence is especially high in a northern border belt that starts from Bahraich district of eastern Uttar Pradesh and moved through Gonda, Basti, Gorakhpur and Deoria districts of the state; to Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Saharsa, Purnia and Santhal Pargana districts of Bihar; West Dinajpur, Maldah, Birbhum and Murshidabad districts of West Bengal; and Goalpara, Kamrup, Darrang and Nagaon districts of Assam. Muslims form about 28 percent of the population of this border belt; their growth here has been high enough to add almost 7 percentage points to their share of the population in the four decades since Partition."

"Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam, and especially the border areas of these states, thus constitute a region of high Muslim presence and growth. The share of Indian Religionists in this region is under great stress and is likely to remain so in the future; Indian Religionists have already turned into a minority in several districts of the region."

They take a magnifying glass to the outskirts, so to say, of India to discover asymmetry. "The third region of Indian Union comprising the extreme border areas – including Jammu and Kashmir in the north, Goa and Kerala in the West, Lakshadweep and Nicobar Islands off the Indian coast, and the states of the northeast – where Indian Religionists do not have a dominating presence ..

It is in Goa they find relief. "In Goa, Indian Religionists constitute about two-thirds of the population; of the rest about 30 percent are Christians and 5 percent Muslims. This is one of the rare states, where Indian Religionists have considerably improved their share; the state seems likely to acquire a religious profile similar to the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Maharashtra in the near future."

Kerala is a different story. "Indian Religionists have been losing ground throughout the twentieth century. They have a share of 57 percent in the population in 1991; this is about 12 percentage points less than their share in 1901. They have lost about 6 percentage points to Christians and about the same to Muslims; the gains of Christians occurred largely during the pre-Partition period of 1901-1941 and those of Muslims during the post-Partition period of 1951-1991. This loss of about 12 percentage points in the course of the twentieth century has occurred on top of the substantial losses that Indian Religionists in Kerala suffered due to large-scale conversions to Islam during the later part of eighteenth century and to Christianity during the nineteenth. Thus in the course of the last three centuries, Indian Religionists have comprehensively lost their dominance in this coastal state. Lakshadweep Islands off the Kerala coast have been predominantly Muslim throughout the twentieth century. Nicobar Islands that form the southernmost outpost of India have turned almost 70 percent Christian in the recent past."

Like Advani and Kupahalli Sudershan of the RSS, the authors reserve the punch for Nagaland the north east. They have no stories to tell of when the Vaishnava invasions took place, or of the non-Hindu tribal religions that flourished. But this they say "The most dramatic story of the twentieth century is that of the northeastern states. In 1901, Indian Religionists formed more than 90 percent of the population of these states, while Christians formed less than 2 percent. In 1991 the proportion of Indian Religionists Indian Religionists is reduced to less than 60 percent, while that of Christians has risen to nearly 40 per cent. Most of this change has occurred during the period of following Independence; in 1941, Indian Religionists still formed nearly 90 percent of the population, and even in 1931, the year for which census figures for converts to Christianity are said to be more reliable, proportion of Indian Religionists in the population was more than 80 percent; of the rest only about 10 percent were Christians. Share of Indian Religionists in the population of the region today seems to somewhat respectable because of the persistence of Indian Religionists in Tripura and central districts of Manipur; these areas were ruled by avowedly Vaishnava states for several centuries. In other parts of the region, especially in Nagaland, Mizoram, outer districts of Manipur and much of Meghalaya, Indian Religionists have been reduced to an insignificant minority."

No real figures. Just dramatic percentages. As the Sangh statisticians gave in the Dangs in Gujarat, before the Churches were demolished through Christmas season in 1998. For that the precedent was Arunachal where the state had, decades earlier, helped wipe out 400 churches or more!

The authors and their financiers claim this is "leading to the formation of border pockets, where Indian Religionists are in a minority or nearly so. Existence of such distinct pockets formed the demographic basis of the country in 1947. A similar pocket of high Muslim influence seems to be now developing in the northern border belt covering the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam. And, a border pocket of even more intense Christian influence had developed in the northeastern states. Nicobar Islands district on the extreme southern tip of the country has been Christianised. And, Indian Religionists have lost sway in the western coastal state of Kerala. "

I do not know if Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee during his recent China visit asked the mandarins of Beijing their secret of reducing the Muslim influence Perhaps he did, if he was carrying a copy of this book. As APJ, MDS and JKB say "India, on the whole, has resisted Christianisation; proportion of Christians in India remains around 2 percent. And, India has not succumbed to the expansion of Islam like some countries of Africa. But Indian experience of the twentieth century has not been nearly as robust as that of the other great non-Islamic and non-Christian civilization of the world, China. During the course of the twentieth century, not only the proportion but also the absolute number of Muslims in China has declined, and Christianity has failed to find any foothold there. India has not responded like China. Consequently, India has suffered Partition, and several border areas of the post-Partition Indian Union have become vulnerable to non-Indian Religionists influences."

Perhaps Mr. Vajpayee is returning with the great Chinese secret.

Or perhaps that will have to wait till Advani goes to China.