‘Muslim population used to be 1.5% now it is 14%’ - Uttarakhand is witnessing a rapid demographic shift

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‘Muslim population used to be 1.5% now it is 14%’ - Uttarakhand is witnessing a rapid demographic shift
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‘Muslim population used to be 1.5% now it is 14%’: Swami Darshan Bharati explains how Uttarakhand is witnessing a rapid demographic shift

On May 22, 2022, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that the state has been carrying out an extensive identification drive to expel illegal Rohingyas migrants from the state. Along with illegal Mazars mushrooming up in various parts, he had also raised concerns over the demographic imbalance in Uttarakhand due to the unprecedented increase in the Muslim migrant population in the state.

The CM had assured that several Rohingya Muslims without proper documentation had been identified by the state authorities and will be driven out of the state after the identification drive.

Swami Darshan Bharti, a veteran saint working against illegal Mazars and drug addicts, spoke to OpIndia about this radical problem plaguing the state of Uttarakhand, also known as “the land of the gods” (Devbhoomi) because of its number of Hindu pilgrimage sites.

The Muslim population used to be 1.5% to 2%, now it is about 14% in Uttarakhand: Swami Darshan Bharati

Swami Darshan Bharti explained, “Previously, the cumulative number of Muslims in Uttarakhand was roughly 1.5 to 2%. The local Muslims spoke Garhwali and were sensitive to the indigenous culture. When Uttarakhand annexed the district of Haridwar, the entire Muslim population rose to 5 to 6%. Furthermore, when Yogi Adityanath took over the charge in Uttar Pradesh, many Muslims abandoned the state and settled in Uttarakhand. Among the settlers are a number of well-known Muslim leaders and entrepreneurs. Muslims now constitute around 14% of the population of Uttarakhand. Infiltrators from Bangladesh and Rohingyas living in the riverside slums are adding to this population. These illegal infiltrators and Rohingyas have also arranged all the necessary government documents over these years, said the Hindu saint.

Bengali colonies have mushroomed in various parts of Uttarakhand, Congress helped them with documentation, says Swami Darshan Bharati

“There were roughly 6000 Muslim votes in the first assembly in Vikasnagar, Dehradun,” Swami Bharti continued. In the same assembly today, there are approximately 32 thousand Muslim voters. Muslims who have come and settled here from other states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Bengal have also contributed to these demographical changes. Bengali colonies have mushroomed in certain pockets in Uttarakhand. At least 50,000 Bengali Muslims have made their homes here,” rued Swami Darshan.

He added that the demographic imbalance in the mountainous regions in Uttarakhand has also become a cause of concern for the government and the administration of the state. “In Uttarkashi today, there are around 5,000 Muslim voters, but there were never even 150 in the past. If we hadn’t evacuated Badrinath, Muslims would have moved there as well. The Muslim community had previously requested space from the Badrinath temple committee. They’ve now, however, begun to re-establish themselves there because it is almost impossible for us to conduct daily monitoring.

Swami Darshan Bharati told OpIndia that the biggest boost to Muslim population in Uttarakhand was in the Congress government. He stated that it was not the BJP government, but the previous Congress regime that helped illegal Roginyas settle here by preparing their official documents.

Notably, the Muslim population of Uttarakhand was only 1.5 per cent when the state was constituted in November 2000. It jumped to 13.95 per cent in the 2011 census. After this, no official data is available regarding the increase in the population of Muslims, however, experts are of the opinion that are no signs of the influx slowing down.

Hindus losing business in Uttarakhand due to the influx of Muslim migrants: Swami Darshan Bharati

Swami Darshan Bharati expressed his concern over Hindus in Uttarakhand losing their businesses and livelihoods as a result of the rapid influx of Muslims from neighbouring states. He said that Uttarakhand was known for its jhatka meat business, however, after Muslim migrants pervaded the state, the halal meat business began flourishing there. “Every day, halal meat worth Rs 25 crore is sold in Dehradun,” stated the saint.

He went on to say that Muslims have not only taken over the state’s meat industry but that they have also taken over other small businesses. Be it the vegetable market or punctures repairing business or tourist guide jobs or salons, all these businesses are now being predominantly run by Muslims in Uttarakhand.

At Chidiyapur, near Haridwar, there are dozens of food and beverage shops lined up. All these shops are named after Hindu deities, such as Badri, Kedar and Gangotri, however, the ownership of only three of these shops, are with local Hindus. All the other shops have been snatched by the Muslims. 
Likewise, in Dehradun, Muslims have taken over and renamed many shops that originally belonged to local Hindus.
Besides, Muslims are dominating the furniture, welding, water, mining, and construction materials businesses as well. You won’t be able to build a house in Devbhoomi without the help of Muslims. As a result, locals find themselves being pushed out of jobs and livelihoods they had been holding for generations.

Notably, Swami Darshan Bharati had on March 27 also shared a picture of a fruit shop on his social media page named Badri Kedar Traders. He had stated how this shop in Rudraprayag, which was named after a Hindu place of worship was being run by Faizaz Ahmed.

‘Muslim population used to be 1.5% now it is 14%’ - Uttarakhand is witnessing a rapid demographic shift

Bemoaning the fact that it is now nearly impossible to find even the smallest sliver of land in Uttarakhand that is free of Muslim migrants, the saint added how Muslim migrants’ intervention in the leasing of horses, one of the most profitable businesses in the hill stations in Uttarakhand, has also increased drastically in the state.

“The local Hindus have lost nearly 90% of their horse-leasing industry to Muslims. As a result, these helpless residents, who once had successful businesses, are now forced to work menial tasks to feed their families. The majority of the businesses taken over by Muslims were GST-free, which means that they were extremely profitable ventures that are now bearing fruit for the Muslim migrants,” Swami Darshan told OpIndia.

Like Swami Darshan Bharati, Aman Pandey, an office-bearer of Hindu Yuva Vahini in Rishikesh, also told OpIndia how many Muslim businessmen function under various Hindu names in Rishikesh too.

VHP had objected to Muslim migrants running shops in Haridwar under Hindu names

It may be recalled that on April 1, 2022, the members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad held a meeting in Haridwar in which it raised objections to Muslim migrants running businesses in various places ranging from Haridwar to Muzaffarnagar under the guise of Hindu names. The VHP members had revealed how one Dilshad had been running a Dhaba under a Hindu name- Mahalakshmi Hotel. He had reportedly placed a saffron board over his eatery to give an impression that the place belonged to a Hindu. Besides, the VHP leaders revealed names of many other such businesses which Muslims were running under Hindu names.

Congress vows to build Muslim University in Uttarakhand

It may be recalled that in February this year, ahead of the Uttarakhand state assembly elections, Congress leader Harish Rawat has promised to open a Muslim University in the state if he gets elected as the Chief Minister. The statement met with widespread criticism compelling the Congress party to dismiss the statement made by its senior leader. However. Even after the protests, in April 2022, Aqeel Ahmed, the General Secretary of the Congress Committee of Uttarakhand, had announced to build the Muslim University in Uttarakhand at all costs.

It is pertinent to note that the Congress that was backing the idea of opening a Muslim University in Uttarakhand had revolted against the proposal to build a Sanskrit University in Karnataka. On January 16, after the Karnataka government allotted 100 acres of land for the permanent campus of Karnataka Sanskrit University, Congress Spokesperson A N Nataraja Gowda opposed the construction and called it ‘useless’.

Swami Darshan Bharati held Congress responsible for the demographic changes in Uttarakhand
OpIndia in another article had detailed how Swami Darshan Bharati held the Congress responsible for the demographic shift in Uttarakhand. He told OpIndia how Uttarakhand which didn’t have any mosque till 1985 has more than 2000 illegal Mazars now. Asserting that the biggest boost to Muslim population in Uttarakhand was in the Congress government led by ND Tiwari, Swami Darshan Bharati said, “There has been a great sin in the ND Tiwari government. Under his government, the largest mosque in Uttarakhand was built on top of the temple of Naina Devi in Nainital. The mosque has been built on the road by completely encroaching upon it. The temple has also started to look small as compared to the mosque.”

He further said, “It was ill-fate of Uttarakhand, the origin of the Hindus, the first full-term government that came after the formation of the state, was that of Narayan Dutt Tiwari. We thought that this region would give the message of Hinduism to the world, but now there is a crisis of existence here. Most of the mosques built in Uttarakhand date back to the time of Narayan Dutt Tiwari. Mosques were also built in Srinagar, Pauri, Dugadda, and Kotdwar. A mosque has also been built at Dharchula, which falls on the border. In the Congress government, Muslim leaders were made Minister of State.”

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