Family planning among Muslims has increased over the years: SY Quraishi

Published on Jul 12, 2022 12:42 AM IST

Delivering a lecture at Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (GIPE) on the occasion of World Population Day on Monday, Quraishi said, Muslim families which do not practise family planning have reduced from 55 per cent to 45 per cent

SY Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India. (India Today Group/Getty Images)
SY Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India. (India Today Group/Getty Images)

SY Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India, said that family planning among Muslim have increased over the years.

Delivering a lecture at Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (GIPE) on the occasion of World Population Day on Monday, Quraishi said, “Muslim families which do not practise family planning have reduced from 55 per cent to 45 per cent. Even 45 per cent Hindu families do not practise family planning. On various parameters, data suggests that Muslim population is not overtaking Hindu population.”

“It is a myth that ‘Islam is against family planning’. Nowhere in the religious scriptures family planning is prohibited. There are interpretations of religious scriptures both for and against family planning. Sterilisation is forbidden by interpretations, but birth spacing is not only allowed, but also encouraged,” said Quraishi.

There was also a panel discussion on “Significance of Caste Census” during the programme.

PM Kulkarni, demographer and former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) professor, said that to understand the larger issues, caste census is important.

“Caste-based census are important. Sample surveys can be done to identify backward classes. However, many sample surveys cannot cover small communities. Mandal Commission has recommended review of surveys to cover smaller communities. There are rural to urban migration that can be seen as a certain caste having affiliation to move from rural to urban areas for various reasons. Earlier, it was white collar migration. Now, there may be interstate migration which may be caste selective, but we don’t know. Therefore, there is a need for including caste census as sample surveys cannot be completely helpful,” said Kulkarni.

Another panellist, Rajashree Deshpande, professor, Department of Political Science at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), said that caste census will not help completely, but only to a certain extent to challenge the fossilised understanding of caste.

“Collecting caste data will make caste reality more transparent,” said Deshpande.

RB Bhagat, head, Department of Migration and Urban Studies, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), said that caste has become an identity.

“We need to understand the caste dynamics and hence caste census is important. it will help understand the socially and economically weaker sections and draft more accurate policies to solve the issues,” said Bhagat.

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