An Upcoming Bollywood Movie and the Demographic Anxiety of Hindus

Recently an upcoming Bollywood movie has become the talk of the town.

The movie is titled Hum Do Hamare Barah, a literal English rendering of which would be “We are Two, Ours [implying children] are Twelve.”

At face value this may come across as being relatively innocent, but there is a sinister motive behind the title. As usual (and even casual) in PM Modi-fied Hindu Nationalist-ruled India, it is yet another dig at Muslims.

More specifically, it is an insinuation towards Muslims being demographically more prolific than others, particularly in comparison with Hindus. This is also something which is made quite apparent by the actual movie poster itself.

Many immediately understood the message that was being peddled.

Hindustan Times reported:

On Sunday, journalist Rana Ayyub had tweeted the poster of Hum Do Humare Baarah and questioned the Central Board of Film Certification for clearing the film. Her tweet read, “How does the censor board (Central Board of Film Certification) allow a film like this that depicts Muslims as the reason for population explosion and extends the relentless attack on the community. The brazen hate and Islamophobia when they use the image of a Muslim family and call it ‘Hum do Hamare Barah’.” A Twitter user responded to her tweet and wrote, “Bollywood’s part of a devious ploy…”

Basically, Muslims are being accused of generating the “population growth” within India.

Of course, no one seems to be asking why it is that today in 2022 Hindus account for 1 billion of the estimated 1.4 billion population.

I mean, surely they must also be quite prolific in order to achieve such numbers⁠—and even more so if you take into account the so-called “Islamic genocide of Hindus” alleged by the Hindutva. One can only wonder how many Hindus there would be without this supposed “genocide.” 20 billion perhaps?

But let’s focus on dissecting the demographic anxiety.

RELATED: Bollywood’s Persistent Islamophobia Problem

A Historic Fear

Such rhetoric isn’t even new. As early on as 1909⁠—more than a century ago⁠—Lt. Col. U.N. Mukherjee penned a pamphlet (originally a series of articles), Hindus: A Dying Race. Within this pamphlet he examined various censuses and concluded that the Hindus were losing the numbers game to other communities. He claimed that they were losing this battle mainly against the Muslims who are fertile because of their “virility.”

Dr Prabhu Bapu, in his Hindu Mahasabha in Colonial North India, 1915-1930, summarizes the pamphlet as follows, on p. 16:

It portrayed a grim picture of the future of the Hindu community through a selective use of the census data and projections on a biological ‘Hindu extinction’ within the next 420 years due to a relative increase in the Muslim and Christian population. Mukherji predicted the decline of Hindus as a community through conversions and the rapid growth rates of ‘virile, energetic and united’ Muslims.

RELATED: Is the Muslim World’s “Backwardness” Its Strength? Non-Muslim Biohistorian on Islam

Despite being criticized on academic grounds as early on as 1911 by Kishori Lal Sarkar, this idea of a dying Hindu demographic and a “productive” Muslim one would go on to become one of the primary components of Hindu nationalism.

For instance Rakesh Sinha, a parliamentarian and Hindu nationalist ideologue who is (far too) often seen on TV, re-edited Mukherjee’s pamphlet in 2016.

The Numbers

The most representative national survey, the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) which covers the years 2019-2021 found out that India’s total fertility rate now stands at 2.0.

The total fertility rate nationally, which is also inclusive of Muslims, is thus below the replacement level of 2.1. So imagine what it would be at for just Hindus alone.

In other words, Hinduism, which relies heavily on numbers as it won’t (or more accurately, can’t) convert people into it, is now officially a “dying religion” as Hindu numbers were only fueled by Hindu demographics, which is now in decay.

RELATED: Is Islam’s Growth Only Due to Fertility? The Case of Rwanda and the Philippines

Keep in mind that within this total fertility rate there’s also the average Hindu, including those in poor and rural areas which are always more prolific. In fact, if you dig further and examine the urban and upper-caste Hindu (a socioeconomic minority) for instance, it seems that they actually dropped below the replacement level around 20 years ago.

This is also the reason behind the urban upper-caste Hindu embracing Hindu nationalism so readily and becoming the brain or the financer. This is because for them, it all becomes an issue of identity politics and survival, where the “prolific and virile” Muslim is seemingly eating up his space.

It also explains the deep frustrations surrounding “Love Jihad” and conversions. When you’re demographically in retreat, “losing” even a single individual is considered as some kind of civilizational loss. After all, if the average total fertility rate is 2.0 we could safely assume that for the urban upper-caste Hindu the fertility rate is probably around 1. So when their only son embraces Islam, or when their only daughter converts and marries a Muslim, for them it’s basically the end of that “Hindu lineage.”

RELATED: Major Hindu Nationalist Politician Calls for the “Re-Conversion” of Muslims

Below is the total fertility rate differential between Hindus and Muslims for different Indian states. These are older numbers (2001 and 2011) but they do demonstrate a trend⁠—see for example Haryana, an Indian state where the Muslim percentage is otherwise half of the national percentage:

Despite the diminishing gap, the Muslims are still in the positive. This means that while the Hindu population does not grow and in fact diminishes, the Muslim population does grow, albeit not as rapidly as alleged by Hindu nationalists for fearmongering. But for them, even the slightest growth among Muslims is far too much.

Besides conversions and sometimes immigration (that of Bengali-Muslims), this is the reason why India as a whole and many Indian states in particular⁠—such as West Bengal, Assam, and Kerala⁠—witness a stable and continuous growth among Muslims.

RELATED: Remembering Secular India’s 1983 Nellie Pogrom Against Muslims

We can now see how this Hindu fear is somewhat justified. And while they make movies about it, we hope that our brothers and sisters in India will continue having more and more children in sha’ Allah.

RELATED: Why Aren’t More Muslims Boycotting Bollywood?

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Maaz Ahmad Khan

Alhamdulillah for Islam. I am Indian Muslim. In Sha Allah I will raise my own village one day 😀

Afrin Khan

You should also talk about “Lipstick under my burkha”. I would say that deserves a video.

Mohammad Talha Ansari

I agree.

Ahmad

Hindus are not humans. They’re the world’s ugliest animals under the skin of humans.

Mohammad Talha Ansari

It is not our way to become racist and hateful. Some of them are open to dawah. If they hadn’t been open to dawah, tgere would be no need to demonise the likes of Dr Zakir Naik.

Ahmad

It’s got nothing to do with race, but rather with the outstanding stupidity of the Hindu religion and culture, and the evil of their thinking and way of life. They’re the sickest and the ugliest people of the entire human race, not in the physical sense, but the spiritual sense. They’re a firawnic people.

Ahmad

Stupid, illogical, evil, plotting, conniving, and envious to the core. There isn’t a single good adjective to describe an adherent of Hinduism or idolatry in general. THAT IS A FACT.

Those who are open to da’wah and eventually embrace Islam, upgrade their human worth and become our brothers and sisters in deen once they become Muslim.

Abdullah

They’re cowards too. They only act tough when in mobs. Recently some Hindutva hooligans from Leceister UK’s Hindu community have been sparodically harassing Muslims by getting in groups of around 30 and looking for Muslims walking around alone. Once the Muslims gathered and confronted them, they all suddenly became quiet and forgot their “Jai Sri Ram” slogans.

akh

You can witness the exact same sentiment in the West. And in China, to a degree. Interesting how each region reacts differently in trying to reduce the Muslim birth rate. The West is primarily pushing feminism, prolonged education and careerism among women…which has largely been successful (Israel used the same strategy with the Palestinians). China and Myanmar are basically killing and deporting. India can’t kill and deport because the Muslims are too numerous in number.

Abdullah

They are having talks about planning an actual genocide. Mostly behind closed doors and at times openly. Once a BJP female spokesperson had openly called for raping Muslim women and hanging their dead bodies by the shops.
Gujrat 2002 set a precedent.

akh

At least not in a way which would fundamentally change the demographics. The Hindu nationalist response seems borne out of frustration and not knowing how to deal with the situation. There is no coherent thought process behind in like in the case of China. If they want to change the situation the solution is very simple. Go the Israeli route: raise your own birth rate and reduce that of your – perceived – adversary.

akh

How you do that is very simple:

promote formal education
promote – financial – independence
keep women in the education system as long as possible (up to 25 is ideal)
give them well paying jobs with nice sounding titles
artificially raise women’s socioeconomic status above that of men
make childrearing very costly

This is what they have done in the West, and their birth rate is in the toilet.

akh

The US implemented this strategy in Afghanistan and reduced the Afghan birth rate with 50%. At the start of the war Afghan women produced 8 children on average. No the number stands at 4. Meaning: besides the tens of thousands killed in the war directly many Afghans have been preemptively eliminated. The Taliban seems to peep game and has – temporarily? – halted secundary education for women…which coincides with their prime marriage age in that country. Primary and tertiary ed are open.

Abdullah

Muslims in India and especially the Muslim diaspora living in Western countries should:

1. Have as many children as possible.

2. Convert to Islam as many as possible.