The Shiv Sena on Wednesday came down heavily on BJP parliamentarians for urging Hindus to increase their numbers to strengthen the religion, saying such views cannot be supported because India’s severe over-population was behind the country's misery.
Some right-wing seers and BJP MPs advocate four marriages for Hindus and maximum possible children to counterbalance what they called the rising population of Muslims in India.
“Instead of us making comments on such statements, either senior BJP leaders or the government should make their stand clear on the issue. Strength cannot be enhanced merely by increasing population,” the Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece, Saamana.
It said the RSS, the BJP’s ideological mentor, should advise the government to make family planning laws stricter.
It hit out at Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia over his purported remarks recently at the Kumbh Mela in Nashik that Hindus should produce “4-5 children”, contradicting the country’s official slogans such as “small family, happy family”.
“We will start a helpline for those Hindu families who do not have children. We will treat such families and encourage them to have four children,” the Sena quoted Togadia as saying.
The editorial in Saamana criticised such statements. “We are currently dealing with a population explosion in India. Excess population is one of the causes of our misery. Increasing population also gives rise to unemployment and poverty.”
It also stated that not having children was no curse but, at the same time, “happiness of being a parent cannot be described”.
The Sena said people do not need four children to experience this happiness. “One child would be sufficient.”
BJP parliamentarian from Uttar Pradesh, Sakshi Maharaj, had courted controversy earlier this year when he had asked Hindu women to have at least four children.
(with Agency inputs)