The Shiv Sena on Wednesday claimed the growing population of Muslims and Christians would have ramifications for India and urged Muslim leaders to promote family planning within the minority community.
The Sena’s stance, outlined in an editorial in its mouthpiece “Saamna”, came just three days after party leader Sanjay Raut sparked a controversy by saying the voting rights of Muslims should be revoked for some years to ensure the community is not used for vote bank politics.
“India is facing the problem of population explosion. The population of Muslims in India is going to be more than Pakistan or Indonesia. This will hurt the culture and social fabric of a Hindu nation,” the editorial contended.
The Sena also came out in support of Hindu Mahasabha leader Sadhvi Deva Thakur, who recently said Muslims and Christians should be forcibly sterilised because their growing numbers posed a danger to Hindus.
“The furore raised following her statement was unnecessary. She used the word sterlisation instead of family planning. But the truth is that the growing population is a problem and family planning is needed," the editorial said.
The editorial contended that family planning and population control were one and the same thing.
"When we raise the demand for performing 'nasbandi' -- sorry, family planning -- it is in the best interests of the country and the Muslim community... With family planning, they will be able to feed and educate the children and live better lives..." the Sena said.
The Sena further called on Muslim leaders such as All India Majlis-e-Ittihadul-Muslimeen chief Assauddin Owaisi to promote family planning and initiate a ban on the burqa.
The editorial claimed that if the Muslim population continued to grow, it might lead to the formation of a “new Pakistan” that will not be able to provide a healthy, disease-free lifestyle for Muslims.
After the Sena was widely criticised for Raut’s remarks in an article in Saamna calling for the revocation of voting rights of Muslims, the party sought to downplay the issue by saying it was only opposed to "appeasement politics".
Video: Sanjay Raut says Muslims' voting rights should be revoked to end vote bank politics