Saturday, 14 May 2016

Are Indian Tribals Hindus? - Part 5 The Northeast



VI. The North-East

Finally, we come to the last region of India, the North East, consisting of Assam and the six small states of Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh. This is the most vulnerable part of India, connected to the rest of India only by a small strip of land in northern West Bengal to the north of Bangladesh, open to endless infiltration from Bangladesh, most vulnerable to the Chinese menace (China is already in occupation of a major chunk of Arunachal Pradesh), and the happiest hunting grounds in India for Christian conversion activity since the days of the British Raj – in fact more so since the British left, as the following statistics from the post-Independence Indian census for the percentage of the Christian population in at least five of the north eastern states shows:

STATE
1951
1961
1971
1981
2001
Manipur
11.84
19.49
26.03
29.68
34.04
Nagaland
46.05
52.98
66.76
80.21
89.96
Mizoram
83.81
86.97
Meghalaya
35.21
46.98
52.62
70.25
Arunachal Pr
0.79
4.32
18.72
  
[Earlier figures are not available for some of the states since the states came into existence after those dates]

The rise has been most phenomenal in Arunachal Pradesh, where the Christian percentage has grown from 0.79% in 1971 to 18.72% in 2001: this does not include the figures for crypto-Christians who are many in number in this state due to strong opposition from local tribals opposed to this massive proselytization. And in the only state, of these five, which consistently had a Hindu majority (of around 60%) from 1951 to 1981, Manipur, the Hindu percentage in 2001 was suddenly down to 46.01%. The census figures for 2011 are still not available, and there is no doubt that the percentage of Christians in all these states must have increased even more sharply in 2011, with Manipur rapidly hurtling towards becoming a Hindu-micro-minority state like the other four.

But coming to the tribal population in these states, the following is the percentage of tribals in the total population of each of these states (2001):

STATE
Total Population
Tribal Population
%age of Tribals in Total Population
Assam
266,55,968
33,08,570
12.4
Tripura
31,99,203
9,93,426
31.1
Meghalaya
23,18,822
19,92,862
85.9
Manipur
21,66,788
7,41,141
34.2
Nagaland
19,90,036
17,74,026
89.1
Arunachal Pr
10,97,968
7,05,158
64.2
Mizoram
8,88,573
8,39,310
94.5

Within the tribal population of each state, the following is the distribution of population by religion:

STATE
%age of Hindus
%age of Buddhists
%age of Christians
%age of Others
Total of H+B+C+O
Assam
90.7
0.2
8.8
0.1
99.8
Tripura
80.1
9.6
10.0
99.7
Meghalaya
5.9
0.1
79.8
13.2
99.0
Manipur
1.0

96.8
1.6
99.4
Nagaland
98.5
98.5
Arunachal
13.1
11.7
26.5
47.2
98.5
Mizoram
8.3
90.5
98.8

It can be seen that there is a complete sweep of conversion to Christianity among the tribal populations of Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram: 96.8%, 98.5% and 90.5% respectively (the Chakma tribe of Mizoram alone representing a Buddhist survival of 8.3% in that state).

In Meghalaya, in spite of an otherwise similar sweep (79.8% of the tribals), there is a residual survival of the original tribal religions among minor sections of the two main tribes in the state:

TRIBE
%age of Hindus
%age of Buddhists
%age of Christians
%age of Others
Total of H+B+C+O
Khasi
1.11
0.12
80.74
17.91
99.88
Garo
0.73
0.06
91.49
7.67
99.95

In Arunachal Pradesh, there is an even bigger survival of the original tribal religion: Here we have the traditional Donyi Polo religion followed by almost 47.2% of the tribal population of the state, or 30.3% of the total population of the state.

In Manipur, as we saw, there is a clean sweep of conversion to Christianity as in the case of Nagaland and Mizoram, with 96.8% of the tribals converted to Christianity. But, unlike Nagaland and Mizoram, where almost the entire populations are classified as tribal (89.1 and 94.5 respectively, the rest of the state population including emigrants from other neighbouring states and the rest of India), in Manipur only 34.2% of the population is classified as tribal: the major ethnic group in the state, the Meitei, constituting 51.04% of the population, is not counted as tribal. But it is among a section of the Meitei that we see a surviving tribal religion:

TRIBE?
%age of Hindus
%age of Buddhists
%age of Christians
%age of Others
Total of H+B+C+O
Meitei
79.74
0.25
20.01
100.0
 
There are other miniscule populations among the tribes of these five states of the North East still practicing their ancestral religious or belief systems, but they have been reduced to a micro-minority by the time of the 2001 census itself, and may by now be almost completely decimated.

In the two most populated states of the North East, Assam and Tripura, a majority of the tribals still count themselves as Hindu Category One: 90.7% and 80.1% respectively. Note that the percentage of Hindus in the total population of the two states is 64.89% and 85.63% respectively. In Assam at least, we see the phenomenon of a tribal population which is more emphatically Hindu than the general non-tribal population of the state. 

In Assam (and Tripura), we find Christian converts mainly among the spill over of tribals from neighbouring states, like the Garo (Meghalaya), Khasi (Meghalaya), Hmar (Manipur), and various Naga (Nagaland), Mizo (Mizoram), and Kuki (Manipur) tribes. But, Hindu Category Three tribals are largely absent in Assam and Tripura.  

As to the rest of the tribes of Assam and Tripura, the following is the distribution of population by religion:

TRIBE
States
Total Population
%age of Hindus
%age of Buddhists
%age of Christians
Total of H+B+C
Bodo
A
14,76,370
90.12
0.07
9.71
99.90
Tippera
T
6,21,109
94.65
0.19
4.91
99.75
Karbi/Arleng
A
6,00,111
87.14
11.61
98.75
Miri
A
5,89,219
99.08
0.43
99.51
KachariSonwal
A
3,93,397
98.81
0.06
0.76
99.63
Lalung/Tiwa
A
3,09,000
98.55
0.15
1.16
99.86
Rabha
A
3,03,644
93.28
6.69
99.97
Reang
T
1,36,894
82.68
0.08
17.21
99.97
Chakma
A, T
1,20,176
16.06
76.41
6.92
99.39
Dimasa
A
90,006
98.18
0.24
0.89
99.31
Jamatia
T
82,370
92.49
0.29
7.18
99.96
Deori
A
54,230
99.62
0.24
99.86
Halam
T
50,984
65.01
0.05
34.82
99.88
Barman
A
25,569
93.51
6.30
99.81
Tripura Munda
T
15.469
93.54
6.20
99.74
Mech
A
11,788
98.97
0.16
0.81
99.94
Tripura Orang
T
8.622
96.06
0.12
3.75
99.93
Hojai
A
6.624
94.37
1.15
3.91
99.43

Even more interesting is the fact that certain important and well-known tribes of mainland India are native to Assam as well in large numbers, but they are not counted among the scheduled tribes in Assam. The following are their population figures by distribution of religion:

TRIBE
States
Total Population
%age of Hindus
%age of Christians
%age of Others
Total of H+B+C
Munda
A
13,80,226
93.99
5.96
0.04
99.99
Santal
A
10,06,397
90.88
6.72
2.40
100.00
Oraon
A
6,47,904
94.05
5.84
0.11
100.00
Gond
A
5,90,953
94.75
5.03
0.13
99.91
Bhumij
A
2,03,901
98.02
1.88
0.02
99.92
Kharia
A
1,87,908
98.70
1.25
0.05
100.00
Kui Khond
A
58,025
95.58
4.38
0.04
100.00
Korwa
A
43,087
99.17
0.83
0.00
100.00
Korku
A
38,492
97.78
2.18
0.00
99.96
Ho
A
37,034
95.46
4.48
0.06
100.00


The overwhelming majority of them are clearly Hindu, with only a small percentage (2.40%) of the Santals (24,122 out of 10,06,397 Santals) declaring themselves as “Others” or Hindu Category Three.

Therefore, even Assam is not an exception to the all India phenomenon: the overwhelming majority of the tribals are self-declared Hindu Category One, even more completely and emphatically than the non-tribal population.

To sum up, the tribal population of India is even more (if we may use such a term) “purely” Hindu than the non-tribal population. The tribals are Hindu Category One everywhere, except in a few cases. And all of these few cases of Hindu Category Three, except the biggest one of them all, are found in the forest and hill areas of the north-east. The only one further west, the biggest of the Hindu Category Three religions, Sarna, is centred in the forests of Jharkhand.

STATE
Hindu Category Three Religion
No. of Followers of the Religion
Jharkhand ++
Sarna
60,00,000++
Arunachal Pr
Donyi Polo
3,32,835
Meghalaya
Khasi
2,29,212
Manipur
Meitei
2,21,275
Meghalaya
Garo
59,050

The facts are crystal clear: except for followers of these five religions, all the tribal population of India (except converts to Christianity) consists overwhelmingly of Hindu Category One tribals. As the religious population figures of the 2011 Indian Census are still undisclosed, we do not know what the situation is today (2013) and what it will be at some point of time in the future. We do not know how far the efforts to break off the tribals from Hindu society, by converting them to Christianity or trying to convince them even otherwise that they are not Hindus, will be successful. But the fact is that as of the data now available, they are full-fledged Hindus, self-declared, and any change in the situation can only be a change brought about by Goebbelsian and diabolical machinations, and can not represent the original situation.

Yet the billion-dollar funded political and academic campaign to cut off the tribal population of India from the non-tribal population by branding the tribals as non-Hindu, often branding them with innocuous names like “animists”, is in full flow. One example will suffice:

The Wikipedia entry on the Karbi (Arleng) tribals of Assam shows a graph titled “Religion among Karbi”, which tells us that 84.64% of the Karbi follow “Traditional Beliefs”, and 15.00% follow “Christianity”. We are further told: “Most of the Karbis still practice their traditional belief system, which is animistic, called ‘Hemphu Mukrong’, However, there are also Karbi Christians (some 15% , according to the Census of India, 2011). The practitioners of traditional worship believe in reincarnation and honour the ancestors”. However, the census figures (for 2001 – how the person posting this entry claims to have got the religious population figures for 2011, not yet available anywhere, for this particular tribe, is a mystery) tell us that 87.14% (5,22,954 people) of the Karbi/Arleng of Assam (total population 6,00,111) are Hindu, 11.61% (69,645) are Christian, and 1.23% (7,390) follow “other” (i.e. non-Hindu-Buddhist-Sikh-Jain and non-Christian-Muslim-Parsi-Jew) religions. And these figures are faithfully reported in the data provided by the Joshua Project, whose aim is to give the genuine religious population figures for all the ethnic peoples of the world, so as to enable missionaries to formulate their strategies accordingly. The Wikipedia article, like articles in the Indian media or in books meant for consumption in India, obviously have different aims: the primary one being the old policy of “Divide and Conquer”.

Hitherto, we have only examined the basic statistics to show that the Indian tribal population is Hindu, wholly Hindu, and nothing but Hindu – in fact more Hindu than the non-tribal population of India. The tribals themselves say so.

We already pointed out that the three aims of this insidious propaganda is:

a) to tell the tribals that they are not Hindus and have no connections with the larger Hindu society around them,
 
b) to tell the world that the converted tribals are not Hindus in the first place, and so it is no business of the Hindus to interfere if the tribals are converted to Christianity, and

c) to tell posterity that Hinduism is as foreign a religion to India as Christianity, in the name of the Aryan invasion theory, as the tribals follow “pre-Aryan” religions while Hinduism is an “Aryan” religion brought by “Aryan invaders” from outside.

Now, we have the existing Hindu Category Three religions (Sarna, Donyi Polo, Khasi, Meitei, Garo, and possibly others practiced by more microscopic sections of other isolated tribes). We also have attempts by the missionary machinery to create new Hindu Category Three religions (in the name of “animism”, etc., as appellations for people who call themselves Hindu, as we saw in the above example of the Karbi tribe of Assam) on the principle that it is easier to target and swallow smaller entities

Now, we will examine the facts in full detail, to see whether the real or sought-to-be-created tribal religions are really non-Hindu in any sense of the term, or in any way closer to Christianity than to Hinduism.

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