BJP parliamentarian Sakshi Maharaj on Wednesday defended his remarks that Hindu women should have at least four children to “protect” their religion, showing no remorse for the backlash on social media and political opponents’ demand for an explanation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Why has the PM maintained silence? Is this the new population policy of India? The country wants to know, the nation wants an answer,” said Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
Maharaj who last month called Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a patriot, a comment for which he had to apologise in Parliament, told a religious gathering on Tuesday that Hindus should see it as their duty to have large families because a particular community has been maintaining its age-old practice of “four wives and 40 children”.
“We have accepted the slogan ‘Hum do, hamare ek’. But others are still maintaining their old perception of large families. The situation has reached an alarming stage and so I want to request women to give birth to at least four children,” said the saffron-clad MP from Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking at Kanpur railway station on Wednesday, he said the statement was made in the interest of the country. “If a Hindu has four children, one can work for the country, one can protect the borders, one can join the RSS and one can serve the parents.”
The Janata Dal (United) took a jibe at the Sangh Parivar and asked its leaders to lead by example. “There should not be any difference in what they say and what they do … all members of the Sangh. It should be mandatory for them to get married and produce four children,” party leader KC Tyagi said.
RSS pracharaks are required to take a vow of celibacy.
Maharaj’s remarks indicate Modi’s restraint order against rabble-rouser MPs had little effect on him.
Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpayee said fresh directions would be issued to the MP not to make controversial statements.
Maharaj has also warned that capital punishment would be awarded to those involved in cow slaughter and defended the spate of conversions to Hinduism.