Census is taking place in 2021.
What will be the religion of Scheduled Castes and Backward Castes ? It is turning into a heated debate.
As far as the Scheduled Castes are concerned, they started leaving Hindu Religion after Babasaheb Ambedkar converted to Buddhism on 14th October, 1956.
Recently, Jaats also announced – that they will leave Hinduism and register themselves as Sikhs.
The country is in the midst of a massive Farmer’s Movement, which is very much led by Jaats. So, how come this issue of Religion has emerged now ?
Well, it started after the Brahmin Priests of Hindu Temples started locking them up on protesting farmers, while Sikh Gurudwaras are serving langar.
The issue of conversion was simmering among Jaats for sometime and one youth Jaat leader had converted to Sikhism. But this Temple incident had further instigated it.
One strong Jaat leader from Uttar Pradesh said in a mass rally; that those temple, where we had donated milk-money all this time have not served us even a cup of tea. While Gurudwaras have opened their doors.
Jaats in Punjab are Sikhs, so coming forward of Gurudwaras is explicable. But Jaats in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and other states are Hindus; then why instead of offering help, temples were closed ?
Jaats are in a major shock over this.
If we check the 2011 census data, India’s total population is 120 crores.
Out of this; 96 crores are Hindus(80%), 17 crores are Muslims(14%), 3 crores Christians(2.5%), 2 crores Sikhs(1.66%), 85 lakhs Buddhists(less than 1%) and 45 lakhs Jains(less than half percent).
But if we look closely, out of this 80%; 25% are SC-STs alone.
According to Brahmin scriptures, they are Untouchables and Indigenous or Tribals, thus are not considered Hindus. SC-STs don’t consider themselves Hindus as well.
Scheduled Castes – as mentioned earlier are leaving Hinduism gradually. But recently, the Hemant Soren Government of Jharkhand have recognized the “Sarna Religion” of the Scheduled Tribes as a separate religion.
So, if we take out this 25% SC-ST population, the Hindu population comes down from 80% to 55%.
Jaats are said to be around 5-6 crores.
If they become Sikhs, it can bring down the Hindu population to half of total Indian population, i.e., to 50%.
But the question of leaving Hinduism is not only confined to SC-STs or Jaats alone. There are several other OBC castes, which are also preparing for this migration.
For example, the Shakyas and Kushwahas of Uttar Pradesh – Bihar. Majority of Shakyas have already converted to Buddhism and looks like, Kushwahas are following soon.
The dominant OBC caste of Northern India, the Yadavs are also caught in the same dilemma as Jaats.
When Akhilesh Singh Yadav left Chief Minister’s house of Uttar Pradesh and Savarna Thakur caste, Yogi Adityanath took over; the whole CM compound was purified because Akhilesh Singh Yadav belonged to a Shudra – OBC caste.
Akhilesh Singh Yadav was forced to say in a public gathering, that all these years I was thinking that I am “Forward” but these RSS-BJP folks finally made me realized, that no – I am “Backward” !
All the OBC castes; such as – Marathas, Jaats, Yadavs, Patels, Kurmis, Gujjars are considered fourth grade Varna – Shudras according to Brahmin scriptures.
Among the Yadavs, the late Periyar Lalai Singh Yadav has emerged as a major icon. He converted to Buddhism soon after Babasaheb Ambedkar.
There is a video on Social Media from a Yadav dominated village of Bihar, which shows them leaving Hinduism and accepting Buddhism.
So, if these Shakyas-Kushwahas-Yadavs leave Hinduism in near future, it can bring its population even below 50%.
To be a majority religion, one doesn’t only need to be the largest group but their population should be more than 50%.
Now, these figures are of national level but if we look separately at the states, the picture looks even more perplexed.
Let us take the example of Haryana, which is at the center of this whole controversy.
Here, Hindu population is 87%, Muslims 7% and Sikhs are around 5%.
But out of this 87% Hindu population – 25% are Jaats alone. So, if they switch over to Sikhism, Hindus will be reduced to 62%, while Sikhs can rise from 5% to 27%.
Still, Hindus seems to be in a majority with more than 50% and Sikhs much lower at 27%.
But there is 20% SC population in Haryana.
If we also take them out, Hindus can come down from 62% to mere 42%.
So, only these two groups in 2021 census can turn the Hindus in Haryana from majority to minority.
It was thought, that the intensity of this religion issue will cool down during the Farmer’s Movement, but it has added fuel to the fire.