Census Figures Fudged – Jammu population is equal to that of Kashmir if not more

Post questions the representation in J & K assembly and 2011 census data

Post questions the representation in J & K assembly and 2011 census data
With 5lakh Pandits uprooted from Kashmir to Jammu, should the assembly seats not be adjusted?

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he concerned and aggrieved people of Jammu region have consistently questioned the 2011 census figures concerning the State and asserted that their population was equal to that of Kashmir, if not more. That their claim seems to be well founded could be seen from what the experts like Sanjeev Nayyar have said on the basis of their research. They have asserted that “figures are cold statistics, but they do have a subtext”.

It is pertinent to mention here that in 2002, the number of voters in Jammu region were more than Kashmir by 1.41 lakhs. In 2014, Kashmir exceeded Jammu by 4.21 lakhs i.e. a whopping swing of 5.67 lakhs.

What has Nayyar said about the 2011 census figures concerning J&K? He has said, “Between 2001 and 2011 the State’s population went up by 23.6% whilst the number of voters between 2002 and 2014 went up by 14%” and added that “in absolute terms population in Kashmir between 2001 and 2011 went up by 14.11 lakhs (25.8%) whilst increase in number of voters between 2002 and 2014 was 7.12 lakhs (24.7%). Corresponding figures for Jammu are 21% and 5%”.

It is pertinent to mention here that in 2002, the number of voters in Jammu region were more than Kashmir by 1.41 lakhs. In 2014, Kashmir exceeded Jammu by 4.21 lakhs i.e. a whopping swing of 5.67 lakhs.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]t also needs to be noted that there is no census data available for 1951 and 1991, as the State was excluded from the census operations conducted in 1951 and 1991 by the Registrar General of India across the nation.

Muslim population in J&K has increased in every decade. It was 64% of the total population in 1981, 67% in 2001 and 68% in 2011. Correspondingly population of Indian born Religions has fallen i.e. 36% (before start of insurgency), 33% and 31%.

Sanjeev Nayyar, who has put in hard labour to study the demographic changed in Kashmir and Jammu, has made the following observations:

  1. From census ending 1971-2001, average population growth in J&K was approximately 30%, dropping to 24% in 2011. Corresponding figures for Kashmir are 29% dropping to 26% in 2011 and for Jammu, 31% dropping to 21% in 2011.

  2. The % growth in Jammu population post 1991 would actually be lower than 21% since some part of the migrated Kashmiri population, post 1990 genocide, must be residing in Jammu. Due to migration within and outside the State, the % growth in Kashmir’s population should have been lower but it grew by 26%.

  3. Census figures show that the difference between population of Jammu and Kashmir has in a way disproportionately increased in the two decades between 1981 and 2001 (251 % over 2 census periods i.e. over 100% per decade) and 2001 and 2011(44%). It was 2,54,000 in 1951; 3,27,000 in 1961; 3,60,000 in 1971; 4,17,000 in 1981; 10,47,000 in 2001; and 15,09,000 in 2011. Note that difference between two regions increased by 44% between 2001 and 2011 i.e. post outbreak of insurgency in 1989 as compared to 16% between 1971 and 1981.

  4. If we were to compare population in absolute numbers between 1981 and 2011, population in Jammu increased by 26.61 lakhs whilst that of Kashmir by 37.53 lakhs. Jammu’s numbers include approximately, those 3 lakh people who migrated from Kashmir, so the differential increase in Kashmir’s population was actually 13.9 lakhs. Looking at the national population growth rate, the data puts a question mark on the Census Organization?

  5. Population of Kashmir as a percentage of the State’s population increased by 3% between 1981 and 2011. It was 52% in 1981; 54% in 2001; and 55% in 2011.

  6. Comparing 2001 and 2011, population of Kashmir went up by 14,11,000 or by 26% and of Jammu by 9,49,000 or by 21%.

  7. Muslim population in J&K has increased in every decade. It was 64% of the total population in 1981, 67% in 2001 and 68% in 2011. Correspondingly population of Indian born Religions has fallen i.e. 36% (before start of insurgency), 33% and 31%.

  8. Between 1981 and 2011 population of Muslims as a % of total population increased by 4.12% whilst that of Indian born Religions fell by 4.27%.

  9. For 2001-11, the same figure was an increase of 1.34% for Muslims, and a decrease of 1.43% for Indian born Religions.

  10. Considering Kashmir is 61% of Jammu’s area, abnormal increase in number of voters raises questions!

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]H[/dropcap]ow did Kashmir’s population increase by 14,11,000 in 10 years from 2001 to 2011 is a million dollar question. Was there a correlation between the 75% increase in Kashmir’s population between 1981 to 2001 and spurt in militancy during this period?, ask experts like Sanjeev Nayyar.

…100 seats were assumed for whole of J&K (including 25 for Pakistan Occupied J&K). This assumed a population of 40 lakhs in 1941 i.e. 40,000 per seat.

Whether the increase was due to higher fertility rates, because of those who crossed the border under Resettlement Plan or inflated numbers is unknown, they also ask. They also discuss the background on allocation of Assembly seats between Jammu province and Kashmir region.

“No census data was available in 1951 to decide the basis for single member Assembly segments (electoral districts) in the constituent Assembly of J&K. As per available information it has been claimed that by method of proportions, 100 seats were assumed for whole of J&K (including 25 for Pakistan Occupied J&K). This assumed a population of 40 lakhs in 1941 i.e. 40,000 per seat.

However, after the disturbances in October 1947 and using 1941 census data, only 30 seats were given to Jammu implying that one seat was kept for every 60,000 people of Jammu by the ‘Delimitation Committee’. Corresponding figure for Kashmir was 43 seats making it one seat per 40,000 people of Kashmir. Whereas on simple population basis (1941 proportions) there could have been around 36 to 37 seats distributed over Jammu and only around 35 to 36 seats in Kashmir.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]U[/dropcap]nlike other Indian States and as per J&K Representation of the Peoples Act of 1957, population is just one of the parameters for deciding the number of seats in the J&K Legislative Assembly, others being geographical compactness, nature of terrain, facilities for communication and like factors. Going by these parameters Jammu should have got more seats, hence the basis on which 43 seats were given to Kashmir and 30 to Jammu in 1951 is questionable. Maybe it was to ensure that Kashmir exercises administrative control over the State.

Evaluation of population and voter numbers gives a feeling that something is amiss!

Even after the J&K Representation of the People Act 1957 had come in force, the J&K Delimitation Commission in 1994 appears to have unfairly distributed the Single member Assembly segments only on the basis of population figures i.e. in the proportion of 27.18 and 31.34 (37 Seats to Jammu and 46 Seats to Kashmir).

Evaluation of population and voter numbers gives a feeling that something is amiss! Who will demystify these numbers to ascertain the actual number of people and voters?
The issues raised by experts like Nayyar are valid and these need to be addressed so that the people come to know what is the actual population of Jammu province and Kashmir region and the people of Jammu province get representation in the Assembly as per its population/voters strength, land area, nature of terrain and accessibility. The people of Jammu province feel, and rightly so, that their representation in the Assembly is inadequate and that if they are to obtain their due share in the polity and economy of the State, they have to get representation in the Assembly they rightfully deserve.

Hari Om is former Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Jammu.
Hari Om

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