Demographic Terrorism: A view on provisional data of census 2011 of Manipur


– Prof. R.K. NarendraData speaks more than thousand words. The provisional figures of census 2011 of Manipur depict many insightful indices of demographic scenario of the state with dreadful consequences. On the eyes of demographer it may be illustrated broadly into two distinct aspects – good news and bad news – on over all state figures. The thing becomes bad to worse while data lamenting wide inter-district and hill-valley variations of demographic indices. Abnormal rather impossible phenomenon is witnessed in some of the sub-divisions of hill districts which indirectly implies that a demographic terrorism has been going on in the state. As demographic terrorism is more serious than any other forms of terrorism, once spurious data enter it distort entire data set and finally affects whole system of planning. This hidden virus compel the author to write the present write-up as a wake up call based on provisional census 2011 of Manipur.Population growth: The population of the state in 2011 census is 2,721,756 including estimated figure of three sub-divisions of Senapati district – Mao-maram, Paomata and Purul. The state has registered a dramatic decline of population growth with decadal growth rate of 18.65% (2011) as against 24.86% (2001). It is truly good news. Perhaps 6.21 percentage points of declining growth rate from the last census year may be upshot of many socio-demographic developments – improvement of literacy especially in women, partially successful of RCH, National Rural Health Mission, etc. – but the rate is running above the national figure 17.64% (2011) which is still treated high. The state added 4,27,860 more individuals during the last decade. The figure of 4 lakh may be meager in a big state but it is extremely too heavy in the tiny state like Manipur. It needs to bring down the trend further around 15% during the next decade otherwise it might have negative impact on the over all developments of the state – poverty, economy, education, employment, health, industry and commerce, etc.Literacy rate: Over all increasing literacy rate (persons) from 69.9% (2001) to 79.8% (2011) with 9.9 percentage increasing points is also a good betoken for the society since literacy is the key for socio-economic progress. High female literacy rate indicates women are participating in all walks of life on par with men with dignity. Again its increasing growth rate (13.1% points) was substantially faster than in male (7.0% points) indicating that the society is liberalizing in the sense that the gender gap appears to be narrowing down. However, there is still a gap of 13.3% points (2011) between male and female literacy rate. It means gender disparity is still hovering that has a negative aftermath on gender preference, Family Planning and population stabilization. Nevertheless, the gap is narrowing down from 19.4% (2001) to 13.3% (2011) with (-) 6.1 % points, it is a good news. Indeed these figures highlighting the overall improvement in state education sector is made during the last decade.Sex ratio: The sex ratio of the state gradually crept up from 974 females in 2001 to 987 females in 2011 per 1,000 males. However, the most shocking news is on child sex ratio (0 – 6 years) that the number of girls to every 1,000 boys is just 934, even lower than 957 of the 2001 census. The figures imply that the state constitutes more number of males than that of female counterparts which is again more pertinent to 0 – 6 population. How else can one explain the story of disappearing girls? How and why does it happen even as female literacy rate has gone up with faster rate than man and the gap of literacy between them has narrow down? It is really a big question mark.Since the natural phenomenon that female represents half of the mankind, the imbalance sex ratio is certainly caused by man made social milieu. Further when look at minutely, the different sex ratios between child (934) and over all (987) in the year 2011, speaks that over all sex ratio would be more worsening (declining) in the census years to come as the child population (0 – 6 years) of 2011 would be the population of 10 – 16 years in the next census and naturally over all sex ratio of the year would be decline further if other extraneous factors keep constant. This is not a healthy sign.During 0 – 6 years of life, the number of female is less in the sense that there must be high rate of female foeticide and female infanticide. The latter is caused due to less care to female child in terms of nutrition and health care that results high female child mortality. A general desire for a small family coupled with preference for male child is leading to this adverse less female child. At the same time, the figure speaks itself there is an ineffective implementation of Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of misuse) Amendment Act 2003 in the state. And now a couple easily can detect the sex of its forthcoming child through one of the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques which consists of untrasonography or any test or analysis of amniotic fluid, chorionic villi, blood or any tissue or fluid of a pregnant women or conceptus conducted to detect genetic or metabolic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities or congenital anomalies or haemoglobinopathies or sex-link diseases. The technology means for to diagnose genetic abnormalities during the prenatal period is being misused and it may be done in/or outside the state. After detection of sex, if unwanted (female), the foetus can be aborted. Despite legal objections (not implemented effectively) to its being used, it has very widespread ramification. It means that the law of the land even today is not strong enough to curb the menace. There is no case being booked and zero conviction rate. This is because of the collusion among the people, the medical fraternity and the administrator that makes a ubiquitous trend. Another strong point is that the Manipur society is a pritriarchal one where status of female is low (in deeper sense) and depressed. There is definite preference of sons over daughters that which turns female foeticide and infanticide. It is not uncommon for girl child receive less care (little bit better in Manipur than to other states of the country) which entails high female infant mortality rate. This clear gap between the services extended to the two genders is serious cause of concern.Another interesting scenario is that after 6 years of life, the number of male deaths seems significantly more than the number of female deaths and the female expectation of life (longevity of life) is significantly higher than that of male counterpart since over all sex ratio is higher than child sex ratio. Even if the mortality pattern between the sexes is maintain same after 6 years of life, over all sex ratio never more than child sex ratio. It is difficult to mention the nature of biological/physiological process that whether one sex has more longevity of life than the other. However it is highly commendable that up to 1971 the variation of National figures of expectation of life between male and female was negligible (in some census years one has little bit higher than the other and vice-versa). But after 1971 till date, female expectation of life is longer than that of male. This is true in both National and Manipur figures and the latter has more prominent. How and why is it happen? Whether is it due to biological phenomenon or unnatural death – crime death (including accidental death, encounter and custodian death, etc.), disease death (due to alcohol, drug, HIV/AIDS), or any other hidden cause which is hard to recognize. One thing is very clear that the number of youth and adult male deaths (either natural or unnatural) is certainly higher than the corresponding number of female deaths. It is really a matter of grave concern to the government especially health planners.Growth rate: As same as it was happen in 2001 census, this time also unacceptable decadal growth rate is noticed in three sub-divisions of Senapati district viz., Mao-maram, Paomata and Purul and therefore the estimated figures are shown in the provisional figure of 2011 census. Finally, the district ranks to third highest decadal growth rate (25.16%), the highest pertains to Ukhrul (30.07%) followed by Tamenglong (25.69%), Chandel (21.72%) and CCpur (19.03%), the lowest among hill districts. The average decadal growth rate of hill districts is 23.96% as against the average decadal growth rate of valley districts i.e., 15.33%. The difference is highly significant statistically (P<0.001). More over the decadal growth rates among the four valley districts are more or less uniform with below moderate rate (coil around 15%). For instance, Imphal west has 15.82% while Thoubal, Bishnupur and Imphal east have respectively growth rates of 15.48%, 15.36% and 14.63%. The significant difference of growth rate between the hill and the valley left behind many indications. In fact the growth of population or simply population of a society or community is the outcome of a lot of demographic components. For instance, fast population growth society should have high birth rate, high infant mortality rate, low literacy rate, early marriage, high sex preference, young population, high immigration, etc. Thus this is a big question mark that whether there is a wide variation of these demographic indices between the two. If so, why and how is it happen? Why not the government especially the concern authorities has not so far been taken up effective remedial measures to control district-wise imbalance population since it has now becomes a social issue and may manifest in any unwanted problem/crime as well as a threat to the integrity and harmony within the diversified communities in this miniature state.By contrast, on the eyes of a demographer, no such specific demographic indices found responsible to spurt such high population growth witnessed in some of the hill districts. Of course there are certain factors attributed with hill districts towards high growth but it does not seem to contribute such a high magnitude.Citing an example in the last census (2001), the decadal growth rate for Senapati district initially was 81.96% due to unusual population spurt in its three sub-divisions viz., Mao-maram, Paomata and Purul. The figure was not acceptable technically because human growth also follows a certain phenomenon and subsequently the figure was cancelled and made estimated figure. Same thing is happen again this time with a very high decadal growth rate in the district and perhaps it might be the cause that the estimated figure appears in the provisional census 2011.Unlikely the human population growth is quite unique different from the population behaviours of other creatures like animals and insects. It depends on physiological factors – number of child bearing women and their reproductive period with fecundity in the society – and social factors. So, human population can’t jump from one point of time to another within a short span of time. In war like situation, the population of one district might have its peak due to heavy influx from another district then naturally the population of latter distinct should be come down but this is not the case in the present situation. On records, the demographic profiles like birth, death, migration, literacy, etc., between hill and valley are not much difference. Thus the figures struck spacious on everybody mind. It is a very unfortunate.Another possibility is the proxy reporting while in census for the vested interest of some individuals or a group of individuals in the hope of getting mere benefits – social, economic and even political without realizing the dreadful demographic catastrophe. If it so, the authority should check the census procedure how it was happen and verify the truth. The truth is there, it will be remained there but to develop effective mechanism to deal with such a peculiar situation is the job of the authority. Once such spurious figures enter, the whole system of data distort not only in district but also in state, country and the whole world since each individual makes the whole world, addition and omission hampers whole system of planning and execution from top to bottom. In fact intentionally exaggerate the census figure is the act of demographic terrorism, it has many demographic aftermath worsen than any other forms of terrorism. Every one should condemn it and it should be stop for further hitching the menace.Sex ratio: The child sex ratio for hill and valley is almost the same as the average child sex ratio for valley is 938 as against 926 for hill. While none of the sex ratio of valley district of Manipur is below 1000 with an average rate of 1014 while none of the hill district has above 1000 with an average of 949. This difference is found to be very highly significant. It means that valley constitutes more female than male and it is quite reverse in the case of hill.These figures point out that the number of youth and adult males are dead significantly more in the valley (at the moment, provisional figure does not provide which age-group is more prone to death). Of course high over all sex ratio indicates good sign but less child sex ratio with high sex ratio (over all), pertaining to valley, is not a good sign, indicating population likely consists of more number of unmarried girls and widows. It might have a long repercussion in the society. The government should look into the matter seriously otherwise it might be too late to wake up.Literacy rate: The Imphal west has highest literacy rate (86.7%) whilst Tamenglong, the lowest (70.4%). Average rate for valley is 81.48% with 89.04% (male) and 74.03% (female), and corresponding figures for hill are 77.32%, 82.64% and 71.72%. The valley has 8.16 percentage points higher than that of hill counterpart. The variation is prominent in male (6.40% points) than in female (2.31% points). The district-wise difference and hill-valley difference are significant indicating heterogeneity literacy rates exist within the state.Summary: The over all improvement in education signaling the state is moving towards prosperous and progress. The faster growth of women education attributes more social liberalization. However the marked improvements in literacy rates (associated with better economy) do not seem to have had any positive impact on child sex-ratio. Besides, educated, wealthy and urban dweller have more worsen attitude and practice since social and financial pressures for smaller families intensify female foeticide. Such practice cuts across caste, class, religion and geographical barriers. In this regard, the government may setup District Level Task Force in each district to ensure strict implementation of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act since strict implementation of the law might help reduce female foeticide and infanticide that which enhances sex ratio up. The consistent decline sex ratio (overall) in hill districts mandates a serious view which needs to be improved. At the same time in valley the number of male deaths seems to be very high and therefore an in depth study is badly needed to identify the causal factors.A below moderate population growth achieved in valley is truly worth mentioning whilst high growth in hill becomes troublesome that needs to check. Some of their sub-divisions have had unusually high growth which is not acceptable technically and administratively. Such type of situation would not make recurrence time and again that may have a serious aftermath in this miniature state.Think and act!The author is Professor and Head of Biostatistics, RIMS, Imphal.


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