Sunday, 24 July 2016

Religion Data of Census 2011: XXVII Maharashtra and Goa

Rising Muslim presence in Maharashtra and Goa


Muslim presence in Maharashtra is fairly high with their share in the population reaching 11.5 percent in Census 2011. They have gained 4 percentage points in their share since 1961 and the accretion has been the highest during the last two decades. The rise has been much more steep and consistent in several regions and districts. In Greater Mumbai, their share has increased from somewhat less than 13 percent in 1961 to nearly 21 percent now. In Thane, there has been an even more spectacular rise from 4.3 percent in 1951 to 12.3 percent in 2011. During the same period, their share has risen from 10.5 to 16.6 percent in Akola (including Washim) and from 9.6 to 14.6 percent in Amravati. In Nashik, the rise is from 6.3 to 11.4 percent; and, in Aurangabad-Jalna-Prabhani-Hingoli part of Marathwada, their share has gone up from 12.7 to 17.2 percent. Current Mumbai, Aurangabad and Akola district now have the highest presence of Muslims at 25.1, 21.3 and 19.7 percent, respectively.

Muslims in Maharashtra are greatly concentrated in urban areas; 73 percent of all Muslims in the State are urban. Their share in the population in the cities and towns is generally higher than in the underlying district; they form a majority in 20 of the 348 towns in the State and have a share of between 40 and 50 percent in another 21. We have analysed the growth of their share in these 41 towns. In nearly all of these, there has been very high accretion to the share of Muslims in the last 3 or 4 decades. For example, in the well-known Muslim-majority town of Malegaon, their share has gone up from 67.4 percent in 1981 to 79.0 percent in 2011; and in Bhiwandi, it has risen from 50.7 to 56.0 percent in the course of the last decade alone. Another noteworthy place in this context is the newly developing Muslim university town of Akkalkuwa in Nandurbar district, where Muslims form 74.7 percent of the population.

In seven of the 41 towns with Muslim presence of above 40 percent, not only the share but also the absolute number of Indian Religionists has declined during the last decade. Karanja of Washim is one such town; the share of Muslims here has increased from 40.4 to 49.8 percent during 2001-11 alone.

Christian presence is Maharashtra is not very high. They form less than one percent of the population, and their share has been slowly declining since 1961. They are also mostly concentrated in Greater Mumbai-Thane region and in Pune. But the data also indicates improvement in their share in several less well-endowed regions and districts.

In Goa, which geographically and culturally seems to form an extension of the Konkan region, the share of Christians has been declining continuously since 1910. Up to 1961, the gains accrued mostly to the share of Indian Religionists. After 1961, the share of Muslims in Goa began to rise rapidly; their share in the population has gone up from 1.9 to 8.3 percent in these five decades.



Religious Demography of Maharashtra

Religious Demography of Maharashtra, 2001-11

Numbers
Percent Share
%GR
2001
2011
2001
2011
2001-11
Total
9,68,78,627
11,23,74,333
100.00
100.00
15.99
Hindu
7,78,59,385
8,97,03,057
80.37
79.83
15.21
Muslim
1,02,70,485
1,29,71,152
10.60
11.54
26.30
Christian
10,58,313
10,80,073
1.09
0.96
2.06
Sikh
2,15,337
2,23,247
0.22
0.20
3.67
Buddhist
58,38,710
65,31,200
6.03
5.81
11.86
Jain
13,01,843
14,00,349
1.34
1.25
7.57
ORP
2,36,841
1,78,965
0.24
0.16
-24.44
RNS
97,713
2,86,290
0.10
0.25
192.99


Muslim presence in Maharashtra is quite high
As seen in the Table above, Muslims form 11.5 percent of the population of Maharashtra. This is the third highest share of Muslims, after Kerala and Karnataka, among States lying to the south and west of the Ganga plains. Another notable aspect of the Table above is the unusually high share of Buddhists in the population. This is because in the first decade following Independence, large numbers converted to Buddhism, responding to the call of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, raising the number of Buddhists in Maharashtra from less than 25 lakh to around 2.8 crore and their share in the population from 0.01 to 7.05 percent between 1951 and 1961. Share of Buddhists has been slowly declining since then. We have analysed the growth and decline of neo-Buddhism in different States of India, including Maharashtra, in an earlier note.


The share of Muslims has risen rapidly after 1961
IR
M
C
1951
91.03
7.61
1.35
1961
90.91
7.67
1.42
1971
90.18
8.40
1.42
1981
89.49
9.25
1.27
1991
89.21
9.67
1.12
2001
88.31
10.60
1.09
2011
87.50
11.54
0.96
The share of Muslims in Maharashtra has been rising consistently since 1961. Between 1961 and 2011, their share has risen from 7.67 to 11.54 percent. This rise of nearly 4 percentage points in five decades is unusually high. In each of the last two decades, there has been an accretion of nearly one percentage point to the share of Muslims. In many parts of the State, as we see below, the rise in the proportion of Muslims has been much more abrupt than this average. The share of Christians, on the other hand, has been declining slowly but consistently since 1971. The phenomenon is similar to what we have seen in Karnataka.


Decadal growth of Muslims has remained consistently higher
Decadal growth of different communities, 1951-2011
1951
1961
1971
1981
1991
2001
-1961
-1971
-1981
-1991
-2001
-2011
T
23.60
27.45
24.54
25.73
22.73
15.99
IR
23.43
26.43
23.58
25.35
21.48
14.93
M
24.54
39.50
37.15
31.41
34.61
26.30
C
29.38
27.93
10.92
11.27
19.57
2.06
T: Toal, IR: Indian Religionist, M: Muslim, C: Christian
Decadal growth of Muslims in the State has been consistently above the other communities. There has been a sharp decline in the growth of Indian Religionists and Christians during 2001-2011; the growth of Muslims has also declined, but the gap between their growth and that of Indian Religionists and Christians has become only wider in relative terms. In 2001-11, the gap between the growth of Muslims and Indian Religionists is of 75 percent; earlier the greatest gap has been of only around 60 percent during 1991-2001 and 1971-981. It needs to be noticed that decadal growth of both Muslims and Christians in 1991-2001 was higher than the previous decade, while the Indian Religionists had registered a considerable decline.


Distribution of Muslims across the State



Before proceeding with an analysis of the growth in the share of Muslims, let us first look at their current distribution across the State. As seen in the Map below, Muslim presence is low in Gadchiroli, Gondiya, Bhandara, Chandrapur and Wardha falling in Nagpur division of Vidarbha region, in Satara of Western Maharashtra and in Sindhudurg of Konkan. The share of Muslims is below 5 percent in only these 7 districts.

The share of Muslims is relatively high, at above 10 percent, in all districts of Amravati division of Vidarbha except Yavatmal; in all districts of Marathwada; in Jalgaon and Nashik of Northern Maharashtra; in Mumbai, Suburaban Mumbai, Thane and Ratnagiri of Konkan; and in Solapur of Western Maharashtra.

Thus Muslims have a relatively low presence in Nagpur division of Vidarbha, in almost all of Western Maharashtra and in Nandurbar, Dhule and Ahmadnagar of Khandesh and Northern Maharashtra. Their presence is considerable everywhere else in Maharashtra. Their highest presence, however, is in Mumbai, Suburban Mumbai, Aurangabad, Akola and Prabhani districts.

During the last few decades, the share of Muslims has risen considerably in all districts, even in those where their presence is not very high. But the rise has been very sharp in some of the districts and regions that we discuss below.


Rise in the Muslim presence in parts of Maharashtra

Greater Mumbai-Thane Region
Share of Muslims in percent
Mumbai*
Thane
1951
14.52
4.28
1961
12.97
5.10
1971
14.13
6.31
1981
14.80
8.38
1991
16.83
8.99
2001
18.56
10.83
2011
20.65
12.26
* Mumbai+Suburban Mumbai
The sharpest rise in the share of Muslims has occurred in the Mumbai-Thane region. As seen in the Table here, their share in the population of Greater Mumbai had declined from 14.5 to 13.0 percent in the first decade after Independence. In the five decades since then, it has increased by nearly eight percentage points to reach 20.6 percent now. The share of Muslims in Thane is relatively lower, but it has also increased by 8 percentage points since Independence, from 4.3 percent in 1951 to 12.3 percent in 2011. This is indeed a very high level of increase. Mumbai-Thane region, thus, seems to have become a stronghold of Muslims only in the period following Independence.


The process of accretion to the Muslim share in this region is becoming only stronger. During the last decade alone, there has been an accretion of more than 2 percentage points to their share in Greater Mumbai. Greater Mumbai is now divided into Mumbai and Suburban Mumbai. Their rise has been even sharper in Mumbai, where their share has increased from 22.0 to 25.1 percent in the course of the last decade alone.


Akola-Amravati-Buldana Region
Share of Muslims in percent
Akola*
Amravati
Buldana
1951
10.49
9.55
9.29
1961
11.55
9.72
9.44
1971
12.44
10.56
10.67
1981
13.12
10.91
11.00
1991
14.35
12.32
11.68
2001
15.40
13.32
12.78
2011
16.60
14.59
13.70
*Includes current Akola and Washim
After Mumbai-Thane, the greatest rise in the Muslim share has taken place in Akola-Amravati-Buldana region. The share of Muslims in undivided Akola, which included Washim, has increased by 6 percentage points, from 10.5 percent in 1951 to 16.6 percent now. Akola is now divided into Akola and Washim. The rise seems to be sharper in Akola component; during the last decade share of Muslims in this component has risen from 18.5 to 19.7 percent, in Washim the increase in this decade has been from 11.0 to 11.9 percent. The current Akola district has the third highest share of Muslims in Maharashtra after Mumbai and Aurangabad.


The rise in Muslim share in the neighbouring Amravati has been somewhat lower, from 9.6 percent in 1951 to 14.6 percent in 2011. But, the share of Muslims here began to rise only after 1961. In each of the last 3 decades, there has been an accretion of more than 1 percentage point to their share in this district.

In Buldana, the share of Muslims has increased by more than 4 percentage points since 1951. This rise is somewhat lower than Akola and Amravati, but during the last two decades, there has been an accretion of nearly 2 percentage points in this district.



Nashik
Share of Muslims
in Nashik
1951
6.26
1961
7.52
1971
8.82
1981
9.67
1991
10.18
2001
10.53
2011
11.35
Nashik is another district where the share of Muslim has undergone an accretion of more than 5 percentage points since 1951. They formed 6.3 percent of the population in 1951; their share now is 11.3 percent. In this district, the rise in the share of Muslims was relatively more rapid during the first two decades of 1951-61 and 1961-71; in each of these decades there was an accretion of about 1.3 percentage points. The rise became somewhat subdued during 1981-91 and 1991-2001; but during the last decade again, Muslims in the district have seen an accretion of 0.9 percentage points.




Aurangabad-Jalna-Prabhani-Hingoli Region
Share of Muslims in
Aurangabad-Jalna-
Prabhani-Hingoli region
1951
12.72
1961
12.34
1971
13.28
1981
14.20
1991
14.82
2001
16.06
2011
17.23
In this region, the share of Muslims has increased by 4.5 percentage points since 1951. Earlier this region comprised only Aurangabad and Prabhani districts. The two have been split to create Jalna and Hingoli. The share of Muslims is considerably higher in the current Aurangabad and Prabhani components, compared to Jalna and Hingoli. The rise in the share of Muslims seems to have been much sharper in Aurangabad; their share in the current Aurangabad district has risen from 18.4 percent in 1991 to 19.7 percent in 2001 and 21.3 percent now, thus marking an accretion of considerably above 1 percentage point in each decade.



We have listed only the regions and districts that have registered higher accretion in the share of Muslims than the average of nearly 4 percentage points that the State has experienced as a whole since 1961. The share of Muslims has increased by more than 2 percentage points in all districts excepting only Satara and Sangli of Western Maharashtra and Bhandara, Gondiya, Gadchiroli, Chandrapur and Wardha of Vidarbha. In the remaining districts of Vidarbha and in most districts of Marathwada, Konkan and Khandesh and Northern Maharashtra, the rise in the share of Muslims has been between 3 and 4 percentage points.


Muslims in the Cities and Towns

Muslims in Maharashtra are predominantly urban. Of 1.30 crore Muslims counted in 2011, nearly 95 lakh are in the cities and towns of the State. Thus, more than 73 percent of the Muslims are urban, compared to 45 percent of the total population and less than 40 percent of the Hindus. The share of Muslims in the urban population is therefore higher at 18.64 percent compared to only 5.68 percent in the rural and 11.54 percent in the total population.

The share of Muslims in the population of the towns is generally higher than in the total population of the underlying district. Among 348 towns of the State, there are 20 where Muslims have a majority in the population; there are another 21 where the share of Muslims is between 40 and 50 percent and 49 where their share is between 30 and 40. As we have seen, there is only one district in the State with Muslim presence of 25 percent and another three where they form around 20 percent; in all other districts their share in the total population is much lower.

In the Table below, we have listed all towns with Muslim presence of 40 percent or more.

List of Towns with Muslim presence of above 40 percent
District
Town
Total
Muslim
%M
Nandurbar
Makranifali (CT)
4,812
3,930
81.67
Nandurbar
Akkalkuwa (CT)
17,840
13,327
74.70
Jalgaon
Yawal (M Cl)
36,706
16,015
43.63
Jalgaon
Raver (M Cl)
27,039
11,565
42.77
Jalgaon
Faizpur (M Cl)
26,602
11,059
41.57
Buldana
Malkapur (M Cl)
67,740
30,915
45.64
Akola
Balapur (M Cl)
44,594
32,662
73.24
Akola
Patur (M Cl)
21,095
11,909
56.45
Washim
Karanja (M Cl)*
67,907
33,816
49.80
Washim
Mangrulpir (M Cl)*
30,983
15,422
49.78
Amravati
Chandurbazar (M Cl)*
18,759
8,046
42.89
Nagpur
Kamptee (M Cl)*
86,793
37,473
43.18
Yavatmal
Yavatmal (R) (CT)
14,766
11,040
74.77
Yavatmal
Darwha (M Cl)*
25,791
11,956
46.36
Nanded
Wajegaon (CT)
9,772
6,569
67.22
Hingoli
Kalamnuri (M Cl)
24,784
11,276
45.50
Parbhani
Pathri (M Cl)
36,853
19,105
51.84
Parbhani
Jintur (M Cl)
44,291
22,679
51.20
Parbhani
Parbhani (M Cl)
3,07,170
1,26,702
41.25
Jalna
Bhokardan (M Cl)
24,416
10,530
43.13
Aurangabad
Khuldabad (M Cl)
15,749
9,147
58.08
Aurangabad
Sillod (M Cl)
58,230
27,501
47.23
Aurangabad
Kannad (M Cl)
40,759
16,499
40.48
Nashik
Maldhe (CT)
11,881
10,647
89.61
Nashik
Malegaon (M Corp. + OG)
4,81,228
3,79,927
78.95
Nashik
Dyane (CT)
49,192
38,391
78.04
Thane
Borivali Tarf Rahur (CT)
5,780
4,785
82.79
Thane
Mahapoli (CT)
5,666
4,154
73.31
Thane
Khoni (CT)
26,016
18,313
70.39
Thane
Bhiwandi Nizampur (M Corp.)
7,09,665
3,97,497
56.01
Thane
Tarapur (CT)*
6,962
2,906
41.74
Raigarh
Talode Panchnad (CT)
14,318
9,699
67.74
Raigarh
Mhasla (CT)*
9,679
5,834
60.27
Bid
Bid (M Cl)
1,46,709
59,607
40.63
Latur
Ausa (M Cl)
36,118
16,335
45.23
Osmanabad
Paranda (M Cl)
18,758
8,218
43.81
Osmanabad
Naldurg (M Cl)
18,341
7,769
42.36
Ratnagiri
Karle (CT)
4,382
4,160
94.93
Ratnagiri
Zadgaon (CT)
7,803
4,505
57.73
Ratnagiri
Dapoli Camp (NP)
15,713
6,414
40.82
Kolhapur
Ajra (CT)
17,257
7,300
42.30

In nearly all towns in this list, the share of Muslims has increased considerably during the last few decades; in many of these towns, the increase has been particularly high during the last decade. In 7 towns of this list, marked with an asterix, even the absolute number of Indian Religionists has declined during the last decade. Many of the towns in this list have an interesting history. Below we look at the changes that have taken place in their religious demography over the last few decades.

Nandurbar District
Akkalkuwa in the eponymous taluk of Nandurbar district has 74.7 percent Muslims in its population of 17.8 thousand; Muslims have an even higher share of 81.7 percent in Makranifali, the other town in this taluk. Urban Muslim population of the taluk is thus 18 thousand and there are about 4 thousand rural Muslims. There were only 4.9 thousand Muslims in the taluk in 1981, 6.9 thousand in 1991 and 13.1 thousand in 2001. The number of Muslims in the taluk has multiplied by 4.5 times since 1981 and by more than 3 times in the last two decades. Total population of the taluk in these two decades has multiplied by only 1.8 times.

This great rise in the number of Muslims has coincided with the establishment here of a major Islamic university, Jamia Islamia Ishaatul Uloom, in 1979. The university caters to a very large student population spread all over the country; on its website, the university claims to have current student strength of nearly 1.6 lakh and faculty of 3,625. The university also runs numerous on-campus professional courses at different levels. The town of Akkalkuwa, which was treated as a rural habitation until the Census of 2001, seems to have developed as an important urban location around this university.

Jalgaon District
Yawal, Raver and Faizpur, the three towns of Jalgaon in this list, have all seen very rapid growth of the share of Muslims during the last few decades. In Yawal, the proportion of Muslims in 1971 was 32.6 percent; it rose to 40 percent in 2001 and has reached 43 percent now. The share of Muslims in Faizpur was only 26.2 percent in 1971; it rose to 38.1 percent in 2001 and has further risen to 42.8 percent now. Their share in Faizpur was 24.3 percent in 1971; it rose to 36 percent in 2001 and has risen by 5.6 percentage points in the last decade alone to reach 41.6 percent in 2011. Faizpur was the venue of the first rural session of the Indian National Congress held in 1937. Faizpur was a rural habitation then; the Faizpur Session was the fiftieth session of the INC.

Buldana District
In Malkapur of Buldana, the share of Muslims has reached the current level of 45.6 percent from 41.7 percent in 2001 and only 33.4 percent in 1981. Malkapur is a historical town that is often referred to as the gateway to Vidarbha.

Akola District
In Balapur of Akola, the share of Muslims in 1971 was 61.6 percent; it rose to 69.4 percent in 2001 and has increased to 73.2 percent now. During the last decade, the absolute number of Indian Religionists in this town has slightly declined while the number of Muslims has increased by more than 5 thousand. Balapur is known for its Mughal fort and the temple of Bala Devi from which it derives its name. In Patur, another historical town of Akola in the neighbourhood of Balapur, the share of Muslims has reached the current level of 56.5 percent from 47.6 percent in 1971.
  
Washim
Karanja is the second largest town of Washim district. The town is known for the ancient temple of Sri Narasimha Saraswati Maharaj, a revered saint of the fourteenth century, who is considered an incarnation of Sri Dattatreya. The proportion of Muslims in this town has suddenly increased from 40.4 percent in 2001 to 49.8 percent in 2011. The absolute number of Indian Religionists during the decade has declined by about 1,800 while Muslims have grown by 9.5 thousand. In the neighbouring town of Mangrulpir also the absolute number of Indian Religionists has slightly declined, while the share of Muslims has risen to 49.8 percent, the same level as in Karanja, from 43.6 percent in 2001 and 40.8 percent in 1981.

Amravati District
Indian Religionists have suffered a slight decline in their absolute numbers during the last decade in Chandurbazar of Amravati also. The share of Muslims in the population of the town has increased to 42.9 percent in 2011 from 38.6 percent in 2001 and 29.6 percent in 1971. Chandurbazar is known as a major cattle market of this region.

Nagpur District
Kamptee is a suburb of Nagpur. The absolute number of Indian Religionists has declined in this town also, with the share of Muslims rising to 43.2 percent from 39.6 percent in 2001 and 30.4 percent in 1981.

Yavatmal District
Yavatmal (R) in Yavatmal district is a new town with the share of Muslims at 74.8 percent. Darwha is an older market town. The absolute number of Indian Religionists here has declined since 1991, while the share of Muslims has risen rapidly from 32.9 in 1991 to 40.7 in 2001 and to 46.4 percent now in 2011.

Nanded District
Share of Muslims in the small Census town of Wajegaon in Nanded has increased from 58.9 percent in 2001 to 67.2 percent in 2011. The number of Indian Religionists in this town has remained nearly unchanged in this decade, while that of Muslims has risen by 50 percent.

Hingoli District
In Kalamunri of Hingoli, the share of Muslims has been varying between 43.8 and 45.5 percent between 1981 and 2011. Their share in 2001 was 43.9 percent.

Prabhani District
Pathri and Jintur of Prabhani have turned Muslim-majority in the last decade; the share of Muslims there in 2001 was 48.9 and 47.8 percent, respectively. In the district town of Prabhani, the share of Muslims has risen to 41.2 percent from 38.2 in 2001 and 36.0 percent in 1991. During 2001-2011, Muslims in the town have grown by 28.1 percent while the Indian Religionists have recorded decadal growth of 12.5 percent.

Jalna District
In Bhokardan of Jalna, the share of Muslims has declined from 45.0 to 43.1 percent. There has been similar decline in the share of Muslims in Ambad of this district also, but their share has increased by more than 2 percentage points in the district town of Jalna and in Partur. Bhokardan is said to be the site of the ancient city of Bhogavardhana.

Aurangabad District
In Khuldabad of Aurangabad, the share of Muslims has increased to the level of 58.1 percent from 53.9 percent in 2001 and 49.9 percent in 1981. In Sillod, their share has increased to 47.2 percent in 2011 from 44.2 percent in 2001 and 42.4 percent in 1991. In Kannad, the share of Muslims has been varying in the earlier decades; it was 38.6 percent in 2001 compared to 40.5 percent now. Khuldabad and Kannad are in the near vicinity of Ellora Caves. Sillod is in the vicinity of Ajanta Caves.

Nashik District
Maldhe in Nashik is a new census town with Muslim presence of 89.6 percent. In Dyane, the share of Muslims has increased precipitously from 59.7 percent in 2001 to 78.0 percent now. The number of Muslims here has risen from 14.8 to 38.4 thousand in this decade. Dyane is an industrial town on the outskirts of Malegaon; Maldhe also seems to be an outgrowth of Malegaon.

Malegaon is, of course, one of the major Muslim towns of India. Muslims from different parts have been migrating to this town since the mid-eighteenth century. The population of the city has increased substantially in the recent past from 2.45 lakh in 1981 to 4.81 lakh in 2011; the share of Muslims in this period has risen from 67.4 to 79.0 percent. During the last decade, the city has seen an accretion of 71.3 thousand Muslims to its population while the number of Indian Religionists has increased by only 1,552.

Thane District
Borivali tarf Rahur, Mahapoli and Khoni of Thane, with Muslim presence of 82.8, 73.3 and 70.4 percent, respectively, were not counted as census towns in 2001. Tarapur, where one of the earliest nuclear power plants of India is located, had Muslim presence of 38.7 percent in 2001; it has increased to 41.7 percent now.  Total population of this town, as also of the Indian Religionists, has slightly declined during 2001-2011, but that of Muslims has increased.

The most important town of Thane in this list, and the largest of the Muslim-majority towns in the State, is Bhiwandi. The population of Bhiwandi has expanded very quickly during the last few decades; the total population in 1971 was less than 80 thousand; it has risen to 7.1 lakh in 2011. The share of Muslims in this town was slowly declining since 1971; in 2001, there were 50.7 percent Muslims here compared to 55.0 percent in 1971. But there has been a rise of 5.3 percentage points in their share during the last decade. They form 56.0 percent of the population now. During 2001-11, Muslims in this town have grown by 31 percent, while the number of Indian Religionists has risen by only 6.2 percent.

Raigarh District
Talode Panchnad of Raigarh is part of Navi Mumbai; share of Muslims in this town has increased from 60.4 percent in 2001 to 67.7 percent in 2011. In Mhasla, a census town in the south of the district, their share has risen from 55.2 to 60.3 percent in the last decade. This is another town where the absolute number of Indian Religionists has declined, while that of Muslims has increased by more than 20 percent.

Bid District
In the district town of Bid, the share of Muslims had remained unchanged at somewhat above 33 percent from 1971 to 1991. It increased to 37 percent in 2001 and has increased again to 40.6 percent in 2011.
Latur District
In Ausa of Latur also, the share of Muslims had remained stable around 39 percent up to 1991; it increased to 42.5 percent in 2001 and has further increased to 45.2 percent now. Before Latur district was created, Latur town was part of Ausa taluk.

Osmanabad District
The share of Muslims in Paranda of Osmanabad had remained fairly constant at around 42 percent since 1971; during the last decade, it has increased somewhat unusually from 42.3 to 43.8 percent. In Naldurg of this district, the share of Muslim has been varying; during the last decade, it has increased from 38.4 to 42.4 percent. The town had seen a similarly high accretion to the Muslim share during 1981-91. Paranda and Naldurg are both historical towns with large and impressive forts; Naldurg is said to be named after the great king Nala.

Ratnagiri District
Karle and Zadgaon of Ratnagiri have been counted as census towns for the first time. The share of Muslims in Karle at 94.9 percent is the highest in the State. Their share is high at 57.7 percent in Zadgaon also. Karle and Zadgaon are on the outskirts of Ratnagiri town; the share of Muslims in the main town is 31.2 percent, up from 27.6 percent in 2001 and 19.2 percent in 1971. In Dapoli Camp, the share of Muslims rose slowly from around 20 percent in 1971 and 1981 to 25.1 percent in 2001; it has now risen abruptly to 40.8 percent. The number of Muslims in the town has multiplied by nearly two and half times in this decade, while the total population has increased by about fifty percent. Dapoli was established as a camp for the British soldiers because of its salubrious weather.

Kohlapur District
Ajra of Kohlapur began to be counted as a census town from 2001; the share of Muslims in the town has increased from 40.5 to 42.3 percent during 2001-11. It is a picturesque town on the edge of the Konkan region.



Christians in Maharashtra

Christian presence in Maharashtra is small and declining
As we have seen, Christians form less than one percent of the population of Maharashtra. Their presence has declined to this level from around 1.4 percent in 1971. During the last decade, they have registered decadal growth of only 2 percent compared to about 20 percent during 1991-2001. This sharp decline is probably partly because their growth in the previous decade had gotten overstated through transient conversions as in Nandurbar.


Two-thirds of the Christians are in Mumbai-Thane region
Share of Christians in percent

Greater


Mumbai*
Thane
Pune
1961
6.94
3.94
1.83
1971
6.29
3.88
1.90
1981
4.79
3.28
1.82
1991
4.45
3.10
1.68
2001
3.73
2.98
1.61
2011
3.27
2.54
1.42
*Mumbai+Suburban Mumbai
Of 10.8 lakh Christians counted in Maharashtra in 2011, 6.9 lakh are in Mumbai-Thane region. They have a share of 2.74 percent in the population of Mumbai, 3.45 percent in Mumbai (Suburban) and 2.54 percent in Thane. As seen in the Table here, their share in the population of this region has been declining consistently since 1961. The greatest decline has occurred in Greater Mumbai, where they formed 6.94 percent of the population in 1961. After Mumbai-Thane, their greatest share is in Pune, where 1.34 lakh Christians have been counted in 2011. The district thus accommodates one-eighth of all Christians in the State. Their share in this district had increased slightly between 1961 and 1971; since then, it has been consistently declining.


Christian share has increased marginally in a few districts during 2001-11
Notwithstanding the decline in the share of Christians in the State as a whole and in the districts of their larger concentration, their share during the last decade has improved marginally in several districts where their total numbers are not very high. Such districts include six districts of Vidarbha, Buldana, Akola and Washim in Amravati Division and Bhandara, Gondiya and Gadchiroli in Nagpur Division. The share of Christians has increased marginally also in Hingoli, Prabhani, Bid, Latur and Osmanabad of Marathwada. In addition, the list includes Jalgaon of Khandesh, Satara of Western Maharashtra and Raigarh of Konkan.

The most significant change in this decade has taken place in Raigarh, where the share of Christians has increased from 0.46 percent in 2001 to 0.66 percent in 2011. There was a similar increase in their share from 0.30 to 0.46 percent in the previous decade also. The number of Christians in this district has risen from 5.5 thousand in 1991 to 10.2 thousand in 2001 and 17.5 thousand in 2011.

There was a significant increase in the presence of Christians in Dhule during 1991-2001, when their number in the undivided district rose from 12.8 to 22.9 thousand, and their share in the population from 0.50 to 0.76 percent. Much of this rise was in Nandurbar component. During 2001-11, this rise of the previous decade seems to have been reversed. The number of Christians in undivided Dhule has dropped to 12.1 thousand, and their share to 0.33 percent. In Nandurbar component, their number in 2001 was about 18 thousand; it has now dropped to 8.5 thousand. The share of Christians in Nandurbar now is 0.51 percent compared to 1.4 percent of 2001. Interestingly, of about 18 thousand Christians counted in Nandurbar, 16 thousand were from the Scheduled Tribes. Nandurbar is dominated by the Scheduled Tribes; in 2001, in the total population of 13.1 lakh, 8.6 lakh was of the Scheduled Tribes. The religious breakup of the Scheduled Tribes for 2011 at the district level has not yet been published.

The data indicates that though the share of Christians is indeed declining in the State and in their major concentrations, yet the efforts at proselytization and conversion in other—especially in the tribal dominated—districts of the State continue to be seriously pursued. The reversal of the Christian numbers in Nandurbar is probably related to the extraordinary rise of the Muslims there.



GOA

Geographically, and also culturally and linguistically, Goa is a continuation of the Konkan region of Maharashtra. As can be seen in the map of the distribution of Muslims at the beginning of this note, the two districts of Goa seem to merge with Sindhudurg of Maharashtra on the north. On the south, Goa joins Uttar Kannada of Karnataka. Population of Goa in 2011 is 14.6 lakhs, which is similar to that of Uttar Kannada, and is only 60 percent of undivided Ratnagiri district that included Sindhudurg.


Number and percent share of different communities in Goa, 2011
Goa
North Goa
South Goa
Goa
N Goa
S Goa
Total
14,58,545
8,18,008
6,40,537
100.00
100.00
100.00
Hindu
9,63,877
6,22,213
3,41,664
66.08
76.06
53.34
Muslim
1,21,564
57,941
63,623
8.33
7.08
9.93
Christian
3,66,130
1,34,169
2,31,961
25.10
16.40
36.21
Others
6,974
3,685
3,289
0.48
0.45
0.51


Hindus form two-thirds of the population
Of 14.58 lakh persons counted in Goa in 2011, 66 percent are Hindus, 25 percent Christians and somewhat more than 8 percent Muslims. Religious demography of North and South Goa districts is quite different. Hindus form 76 percent of the population in North Goa; of the rest 16.4 percent are Christians and 7 percent Muslims. The proportion of Hindus in South Goa is much lower at 53.3 percent; Christians have a much higher presence of 36.2 percent and Muslims form nearly 10 percent of the population.

The share of Indian Religionists has been rising
Goa is perhaps the only State in India, though it is indeed a very small State, where the share of Indian Religionists, who are nearly all Hindus, has been rising. As seen in the Table below, the share of IRs in the State was only 44 percent in 1900 and 1910; it began to rise after that and has reached 66.6 percent of which 66.1 percent are Hindus. The rise was much more rapid up to 1961; between 1910 and 1961, there was an accretion of 16 percentage points to the share of IR, while between 1961 and 2011, they have gained by less than 4 percentage points.

Changes in the share of different communities, 1901-2011
Year
Population
Indian R
Muslim
Christian
1900
4,75,513
44.22
0.94
54.84
1910
4,86,572
44.21
1.02
54.77
1921
4,69,494
46.53
1.17
52.30
1931
5,05,281
49.60
1.38
49.02
1941
5,40,925
53.03
1.52
45.45
1951
5,47,448
56.16
1.61
42.23
1961
5,89,997
60.04
1.89
38.07
1971
7,95,120
62.70
3.33
33.97
1981
10,07,749
64.55
4.10
31.35
1991
11,69,793
64.89
5.25
29.85
2001
13,47,668
66.48
6.84
26.68
2011
14,58,545
66.56
8.33
25.10

The share of Muslims has begun to rise after 1961
The presence of Muslims was also rising, but very slowly, in the period prior to 1961. Between 1900 and 1961, their share in the population rose from 0.94 to 1.89 percent. After 1961, the rise has been much more rapid. They have gained 6.5 percentage points in their share in the five decades between 1961 and 2011.

The share of Christians has been declining continuously
Christians formed nearly 55 percent of the population of Goa in 1900; their share has declined to 25 percent now. The decline has been nearly consistent and continuous from decade to decade throughout this period.

Changes in the Religious Demography are not because of in-migration
While looking at the changing religious demography of Goa, it should be kept in mind that these changes are not because of any large-scale in-migration of people. In the pre-Independence period, the total population of Goa had risen very slowly from 4.8 lakh in 1900 to 5.9 lakh in 1961. After 1961, the population of Goa has multiplied by about 2.47 times to reach 14.6 lakh in 2011. Population of India in this period has multiplied by a larger factor of 2.76.


Distribution of Christians and Muslims in the Sub-Districts of Goa

In the Map below, we show the share of Muslims and Christians in the Sub-Districts (Taluks) of Goa. Muslims have a presence of 7 percent or above in all Taluks, except Prenem of North Goa and Canacona of South Goa; these two Taluks are at the two extreme ends of the State. Muslims have their highest presence in Mormugao and Salcete of South Goa. Their presence is relatively high in Tiswadi of North Goa also.


Christians form a majority in Salcete; their presence is relatively high in Quepem of South Goa and Tiswadi and Bardez of North Goa. Their lowest presence is in Bicholim, Satari and Ponda of North Goa; their presence is just above 10 percent in Pernem.

Indian Religionists have their highest presence of above 90 percent in Bicholim and Satari; they form 89 percent of the population in Pernem also. Their share in the population in South Goa is generally low. But they have a presence of near 80 percent in Sanguem and Canacona. The lowest presence of Indian Religionists is in Salcete, where they form only 34.6 percent of the population. This is the only Sub-District of Goa, where Indian Religionists are in a minority.


Summing Up

1. Muslim presence in Maharashtra is fairly high with their share in the population reaching 11.5 percent in Census 2011. This is the third largest—after Kerala and Karnataka—of all States to the south and west of the Ganga plains.
2. The share of Muslims in Maharashtra has increased by nearly 4 percentage points in the five decades since 1961.
3. The rise in the share of Muslims has been the most steep in Greater Mumbai-Thane region. In Greater Mumbai, their share has increased from somewhat less than 13 percent in 1961 to nearly 21 percent now. In Thane, it has risen from a much lower base of 4.3 percent in 1951 to 12.3 percent in 2011.
4. After Mumbai-Thane, Buldana-Akola-Washim-Amravti region has seen the second highest growth in Muslim share in the period following Independence. Between 1951 and 2011, their share has increased from 10.5 to 16.6 percent in undivided Akola district that includes Washim and from 9.6 to 14.6 percent in Amravati. In Buldana, the rise is comparatively modest, from 9.3 to 13.7 percent.
5. Nashik of northern Maharashtra, adjoining Mumbai-Thane region on the south, has also seen an accretion of 5 percentage points in the share of Muslims, from 6.3 percent in 1951 to 11.4 percent in 2011.
6. The share of Muslims in Aurangabad-Jalna-Prabhani-Hingoli region as a whole has increased by 4.5 percentage points, from 12.7 percent in 1951 to 17.2 percent in 2011. But the rise has been much sharper in Aurangabad. The current Aurangabad district has the second highest presence of Muslims at 21.3 percent after the current Mumbai district, where they form 25.1 percent of the population. Current Akola district has the third highest share of Muslims at 19.7 percent.
7. Muslims are highly concentrated in urban areas. Of 1.30 crore Muslims in the State, nearly 95 lakh are urban. Their share in the towns and cities is therefore much higher than in the underlying districts. The growth in their share in the urban areas of the districts also seems to have been more than the average of the district.
8. Of 348 towns counted in the State in 2011, Muslims form a majority in 20 and have a share of 40 to 50 percent in another 21 towns.
9. In nearly all of these 41 towns, the accretion in the share of Muslims during the last three or four decades has been much higher than what we have seen at the level of the districts.
10. In the well-known Muslim-majority town of Malegaon, for example, their share has gone up from 67.4 percent in 1981 to 79.0 percent in 2011. And a couple of Muslim-dominated towns have developed as outgrowths of Malegaon.
11. In the other well-known Muslim-majority town of Bhiwandi, the share of Muslims has risen from 50.7 to 56.0 percent in the course of the last decade; it was showing a slight decline in the earlier decades.
12. Dapoli Camp, situated in the Ratnagiri of Konkan where Muslim presence is relatively low, the share of Muslims has suddenly risen from 25.1 to 40.8 percent during the last decade.
13. The newly developing Muslim university town of Akkalkuwa in Nandurbar district is another example of the rising Muslim presence in newer urban areas. Muslims form 74.7 percent of the population here. It has been counted as a town for the first time. But the Muslim population of the taluk in which it is situated has multiplied 4.5 times since 1981.
14. In seven of the 41 towns with Muslim presence of above 40 percent, not only the share but also the absolute number of Indian Religionists has declined during the last decade.
15. Karanja of Washim is one such town; the share of Muslims here has increased from 40.4 to 49.8 percent during 2001-11. During this decade, the number of Muslims here has increased by 9.5 thousand while that of Indian Religionists has declined by about 1,800.
16. There are not many Christians in Maharashtra. They form less than one percent of the population, and their share has been slowly declining since 1961.
17. Of 10.8 lakh Christians in Maharshtra counted in 2011, 6.8 lakhs are in Greater Mumbai-Thane region and another 1.34 lakh in Pune. Their presence elsewhere is low.
18. But the share of Christians in many less well-endowed parts of Maharashtra is indeed rising. During 2001-11, their share has increased in Buldana, Akola and Washim in Amravati Division and Bhandara, Gondiya and Gadchiroli in Nagpur Division of Vidarbha; in Hingoli, Prabhani, Bid, Latur and Osmanabad of Marathwada; in Jalgaon of Khandesh, Satara of Western Maharashtra; and in Raigarh of Konkan.
19. The share of Christians had increased considerably in Nandurbar part of Dhule during 1991-2001; their number there has shrunk during 2001-11. Almost all the Christian converts counted in Nandurbar in 2001 were from the Scheduled Tribes. This seems to indicate that notwithstanding the decline in the share of Christians in the State as a whole, proselytization efforts amongst the relatively deprived communities have continued.
20. In Goa, which geographically and culturally seems to form an extension of the Konkan region, the share of Christians has been declining continuously since 1910. Up to 1961, the gains accrued mostly to the share of Indian Religionists. Since 1961, the share of Muslims in Goa began to rise rapidly; their share in the population has gone up from 1.9 to 8.3 percent in these five decades.

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