Hindu mothers are not baby-making factories: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat slams Sakshi Maharaj
In a surprsing move, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwati has snubbed BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj who caused an uproar when he propagated that every Hindu woman must produce four children.
In a surprising move, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has snubbed BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj who caused an uproar when he suggested that every Hindu woman should bear four children.
According to a report in the Indian Express, Bhagwat while speaking to 300 delegates of the Sangh in Kanpur on Monday, said "Hamaari maatayen factory nahin hain, bachcha paida karna vyaktigat nirnay hai”. ( Our mothers are not baby factories).
Though Bhagwati did not name Sakshi Maharaj, he did say "How can I stop somebody from speaking? But one should think carefully before saying such things.”
While Bhagwat did advise delegates to give adequate representation to women and deprived sections in their organisation, he did mention a fall in Hindu population poses a challenge for national security.
The RSS belief is that Hindus must reproduce more to counter what they believe is a higher rate of growth on the part of Muslims, which is why Bhagwat disowning Sakshi Maharaj's statement is rather surprising unless off course it was a diktat from the BJP high command.
"The concept of four wives and 40 children will not work in India and the time has come when a Hindu woman must produce at least four children in order to protect Hindu religion," Maharaj had said at the Sant Samaagam Mahotsav in Meerut in January.
In the past, other Hindutva leaders have also claimed that Hindu women should keep on bear more children.
Previously VHP leader Ashok Singhal was quoted as saying in February 2014 that Hindu women should have at least five kids.
He had said, "Hindus should not restrict themselves to two children per family. Only when they produce five children will the population of Hindus remain stable." He had also claimed that the Hindu population was rising slower than the Muslim or Christian population in India.
But as far as the dwindling Hindu population is concerned, the maths isn't really favouring the RSS and VHP's claims.
Based on the 2011 census, even despite their slow growth rate Hindus constitute 80.5 percent of the population, while Muslims are at 13.4 percent. Christians are even lower at 2.3 percent. And while the Hindu population has dipped in percentage from 85 percent in the 1991 census to 80 percent, the Muslim population has seen only a 2 percentage point increase from 11 to 13.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government will ensure complete freedom of faith and will not allow any religious group to incite hatred against others "overtly or covertly".
"Mine will be a government that gives equal respect to all religions" he said.
As Firstpost noted earlier, Modi's words need to be followed up by bold action.
" That is where the real challenge for the prime minister lies. He owes his spectacular political-electoral success to the combined effort of the Sangh Parivar, many of the affiliates of which are Hindutva extremists. The RSS, the mother organisation of the BJP, itself has been quite vocal about India being a Hindu country in recent times. While it has not been openly aggressive, its emphasis on religion has encouraged fringe groups to run amok across the country. Can the prime minister force them to go silent? Unlikely," argued Firstpost political editor Akshaya Mishra.
Modi has been facing flak for not speaking out strongly against saffron fringe elements of his Bharatiya Janata Party-led government who have kicked up a controversy by peddling the Hindutva agenda and by their comments on "ghar wapsi", or return to the Hindu faith. But this time around he has finally spoken out in public rather than choosing to crack his whip behind the scenes.
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