Bloodshed ahead?

Jul 23, 2021 by

A demographic dust-up in India has set the subcontinental political class alight. What Westerners call “diversity” is the wedge issue.

The controversy exploded, appropriately enough, on World Population Day, July 11. That was when Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP), released a draft Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization and Welfare) Bill.

The draft legislation “proposes denying government jobs, promotions, subsidies and the right to contest local elections to anyone who has more than two children.” It also includes inducements such as cash incentives for sterilization and other perks for those on the two-child track.

This does not sit well with many.

To better understand matters, some background may help. India, shortly to be the world’s most populous country, is extremely diverse, with myriad ethnicities, 21 official languages, relentless religious tension and a multi-tiered caste system that locks in one’s lot in life. It is thus a breeding ground for social conflict.

Few in India believe that “diversity is our strength.” Look no further than the 1947 partition (still an open wound) when it was decided that Hindus and Muslims would be better off in separate countries. Resulting religious violence and the uprooting of millions claimed an estimated two million lives. India was partitioned into Muslim Pakistan and East Pakistan (later Bangladesh), and predominantly Hindu India, which is today 15 percent Muslim and 80 percent Hindu. Hindus and Muslims in India don’t get along very well. Nor do certain castes. It doesn’t take much for these simmering tensions to erupt into violence.

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