Days after BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj called for Hindu women to have at least four children to protect their religion, a leader of the VHP said there should be a ‘hum do-humaare chaar’ law to realise “the dream of a Hindu nation”.
“(If Hindu women) have four children, one can become an engineer, one can become a doctor, one can protect the borders and one can be devoted to the cause of social service,” Sadhvi Prachi told a gathering of around 6,000 people at the VHP’s ‘Virat Hindu’ conclave in Bhilwara.
“Their population is increasing and ours is decreasing,” the VHP leader said, ostensibly alluding to the minorities.
Convener of the Bajrang Dal, a youth wing of the VHP, Rajesh Pandey said it was his organisation’s top priority to “stop love jehad”. The issue of forced conversions, especially of women to Islam for the purpose of marriage, has been dubbed ‘love jehad’ by Hindu groups and has been used for justifying the controversial ‘re-conversion’ programmes of late.
Pandey said the objective of ‘love jehad’ was to “reduce the numbers of Hindus and increase the numbers of Muslims” in the country.
The meet, attended by several Hindutva demagogues and religious leaders, also discussed the issues of Ram Temple construction, demanding a law against conversions, banning cow slaughter and to ensure that the “world converts to Hinduism”.
“A uniform civil code... (is) part of the VHP expectations,” Prachi said. The code covers marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption and maintenance, and seeks to replace personal laws based on religious customs with a common set of laws for all citizens.
The VHP leader’s remarks came after Maharaj’s ‘four children’ comment sparked a backlash last week with political opponents demanding an explanation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi also came under fire last month for rejecting calls to sack another BJP lawmaker who told a campaign rally crowd to decide whether they wanted a government run by “the children of (Hindu god) Ram or the children of bastards”.
Religious groups and political opponents have accused radical organisations linked to the BJP of forcing or enticing religious minorities to convert to Hinduism.