Shankaracharya Vasudevanand Saraswati of Badrikashram has a new message for all the Hindus. He asserts that Hindus must produce 10 kids to make Narendra Modi as Prime Minister again. Vasudevanand Saraswati said the above statement in order to maintain Hindu majority status. However, he should also provide solution about these extra children, who will take care of them. India is one of the poorest countries in the world. The poverty in India isn’t psychological poverty but Indians are really poor and this is an open fact, we all know that. Many of us might not know how extreme poverty was there in India as compared to today’s status of living. Even today, there are many people who have to survive in 27 or 32 rupees. People are dying from absolute poverty and hunger in India despite numerous efforts to help fight poverty.
The Multidimensional Poverty Index developed by Oxford University (which will appear in the upcoming UNDP human development report) shows that India is far poorer than Africa not just in number but also in intensity. Racism and inequality continue to destroy India just like in most other developing countries. The rich get richer while the poor get poorer in almost all poor countries. And that’s what exactly is going on right now, in India. A few wealthy in the society control almost everything. We are already suffering with over population and stringent laws are implemented for birth control, but population is rising. BJP and VHP leaders are encouraging to increase population in the name of religion out of hatred. Today, they are asking Hindus to produce maximum children to increase Hindu population, tomorrow they might allow Hindu man for multiple marriages like Muslims’ Sharia Laws permit.
Sakshi Maharaj, Member of Parliament of BJP had also asked Hindu women to produce four children which created a furore. A party leader from West Bengal on Monday also raised the same controversy by raising the number to five — so that Hindus don’t get “extinct”. Shyamal Goswami, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s vice president in Birbhum district urged every Hindu mother and sister to produce at least five children. I am not saying that Hindu families never had more than two children but that era was different. A day after BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj was served a show cause notice by his party for saying Hindu women should produce at least four children, another BJP leader added another child to the controversial demand, raising heckles of the opposition parties. The BJP distanced itself from his remarks and had urged its workers and public representatives to refrain from making such comments.
The need of the hour for the country is population control, and not statements against it. The Congress led government in the year 1992 introduced a bill on “Small family norm” in the Parliament, stipulating an aspirant contesting elections to the Parliament to observe two child norms. Once passed, this is automatically applicable to all levels. The NDA government should also reconsider the bill, which will be a law and put an end to all such statements. This norm will have to be observed without considerations of caste, region or religion.
In a biography of Sardar Patel, it is mentioned that one of the reasons the Sardar gave for a ban on the RSS was that if they have their way, “Hindustan aur Pakistan mein koi farak nahi reh jayega.” Comments like the Shankaracharya’s keep reminding Indians how prescient Sardar Patel was. BJP and other Hindu organisations are stressing more on religious lines and dividing people by creating anger in them, whereas PM Modi talks about development, empowerment, jobs and modern India.
India has been transformed itself from an impoverished agrarian nation to a potential global economic superpower after independence. Nonetheless, India lags far behind developed countries in terms of provisions for basic facilities — health, education, water, sanitation. While, it is true that India has a large population, it also has the economic capability to provide the basic necessities to its people. It all depends on sectors of priority to boost the economy. For instance, if India’s expenditure on defence or space programmes was to be diverted to health and education, there should be a transformation. Time and again, Indian planning experts have raised the issue of overpopulation as to explain the large-scale poverty that exists in the country. The basic truth is that, even though India’s economy has been steadily growing, the fruits of development have not been shared to all sections of the population alike. Every section is not getting equal slice of cake even though cake is bigger. Slightly, some get bigger slice whereas other even not get a bite of it, which is resulting in sharp inequalities. In such conditions, is it important to producing ten kids by one woman? This will also lead to other complications. Then, there will be health issues with poor women.