sikhs are becoming minority in punjab
The latest census data on religion has presented a grim picture of migration both into and out of Punjab. The population of Sikhs in Punjab has fallen from 62.95 per cent to 59.9 per cent perhaps the first time in four decades that it has fallen below the 60 per cent mark.
Reversing the trend of the late 80s and early 90s when there was Hindu migration from Punjab to other states, now there is large-scale migration of labor into the state. In fact, a major reason for the fall in the percentage of Sikh population in Punjab is migration, both the influx of migrant labor as well as migration of Sikhs abroad.
Sikhs now account for two per cent of the population in Canada, with the 2001 Census citing a figure of 2.38 lakhs an estimated 89 per cent increase in Sikh population in Canada in the last decade. Another estimated five lakh Sikhs live in England, a lakh each in the USA as well as in Malaysia and Thailand combined, implying that close to 10 lakh Sikhs are now settled abroad. And these figures are just of the legal migrants.
Census data reveals that between 1991 and 2001, the population of Sikhs in Punjab rose by 18 lakhs an increase of 14 per cent. On the other hand, Hindus increased by 20 lakhs a rise of 28 per cent. In percentage terms, the increase in Hindu population is double that of Sikh population. The number of Sikhs rose from 1.28 crore to 1.46 crore, while Hindus increased from 69.9 lakhs to 89.9 lakhs. The increase in Hindu and Muslim population in Punjab cannot be explained by fertility ratios, but is a direct consequence of migration.
Still more serious is the dubious distinction now enjoyed by Sikhs on its adverse sex ratio. Blame it on the Jat Sikh preference for the male child, a patriarchal agricultural society or technology replacing foeticide with infanticide, but the notoriety cannot be wished away. That a majority of Sikhs reside in Punjab implies that the poor sex ratio in Punjab 897 gets reflected in a poor report card for Sikhs as well.
Contrary to popular perception, a girl child is becoming a greater liability today than she was earlier, says Dr Rajesh Gill of the Department of Sociology, Panjab University.
Compared to Punjab, Chandigarh and Delhi have better sex ratios for the Sikh community. Delhi has the highest of 925 and Chandigarh has 910. But even in Delhi, the ratio of girl child below the age of six years is less than 800. Jammu and Kashmir, where Sikhs account for two per cent of the population, has a very poor sex ratio of 809. Uttaranchal, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan where Sikhs account for some numbers too, have a sex ratio ranging between 892-898.
STATE OF PUNJAB
Four Punjab districts are dominated by Hindus: Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr
55 per cent of Hindus in Punjab live in urban areas, compared to 20 per cent of the Sikhs
Muslims in Punjab have increased from 2.4 lakhs in 1991 to 3.8 lakhs
Christians have increased from 2.39 lakhs to 2.92 lakhs.
There are only six Sikhs in Lakshadweep, and 108 in Pondicherry
Mizoram has a sex ratio of 2200 for Sikhs for girls between 0-6 years