Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma had urged to the Muslims in the state to adopt birth control measures to check the population growth. To his request, he was slammed by Muslim fundamentalist leaders. AIUDF leaders in the state had argued that the CM should not talk about the population when he himself had six siblings. Nevertheless, an analysis of Muslim dominated assembly constituencies shows that the fear of the CM is correct, the demography of the state will change drastically if the population growth of Muslims, both through immigration and births, is not taken any measures.
An analysis shows that the number of voters in 40 Muslim dominated assembly constituencies has been an explosion in the number of voters in those constituencies in the last 10 years.
The extremely high growth in the number of voters in minority-dominated districts are like Barpeta, Dhubri, Goalpara, Hojai etc shows that the demography in those areas is changing rapidly. Jania and Baghbar, two constituencies in the Barpeta district, saw the number of voters increase by more than 50% from 2011 to 2021, signifying the high population in the areas dominated by people of East Bengal/Bangladesh origin.
Those 40 constituencies with the highest growth in the number of voters are as many as 33 were won by the Congress-led alliance in the recently concluded assembly elections. Among these 40 seats, 20 seats were won by the Congress party, 11 seats were won by Badruddin Ajmal led AIUDF, while one each was won by CPI(M) and BPF, part of the grand alliance led by the Congress party. Thus, the Congress-led alliance won 33 seats among the 40 seats with the highest growth in voters, while BJP won the remaining 7 seats.
During the 2011 to 2021 period, the growth in the number of voters are 10% to 20% in most of such constituencies. The growth rate in some such constituencies was as follows- Haflong 13%, Bokajan 14%, Patasarkuchi 15%, Guwahati East 6%, Dharmapur 11%, Sibsagar 12%, Amguri 13% etc. All these constituencies are located in places that are dominated by indigenous communities like caste Hindu Assamese and local tribal populations, and the share of Muslims in these places is lower.
Hence, the concern of Himanta Biswa Sarma is valid, and in order to equilbrate the population and the demographic profile of the state, Muslims in Assam have to come forward to adopt birth control measures. Recently, had urged Muslim residents of the state to adopt a decent family planning policy to deal with poverty and chronic social problems, adding that the state will be undertaking few more steps to encourage population control.
Himanta Biswa Sarma had told media reporters in Assam, “We want to work more for the minority Muslim community to reduce population burden. We want to work together with them so that the population in the state is controlled. The population is the main root of social menace like poverty, land encroachment and we can reduce this social menace if the population is reduced.”
The BJP govt in Assam had already taken a step and adopted a population policy, stating people with more than 2 children are ineligible for government jobs and benefits.