Irrational, regressive, patriarchal, communal – it is deeply unfortunate how often our political class endorses and hardens these values. Surendra Singh, a BJP MLA from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh, repulsively crossed all these fault lines when he declared that every Hindu couple should have a minimum of five children, which would make Hindus strong, and thereby India strong. In saying this of course the MLA was feeding the fake news that a rising Muslim population means that “Hindus will be a minority, not due to terrorists but due to themselves.” Census data shows that Muslim population is growing slower than ever before and in fact its growth has slowed more than that of the Hindu population. The greatest birthrate disparities are actually not between religions but states. Uttar Pradesh has a TFR of 2.74 comparing very poorly to states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka with a TFR of 1.8. Obviously leaders like Surendra Singh spread fact-less demographic alarm only to capitalize on majoritarian victimhood. This does not just drive dangerous religious wedges in our society but it is also seriously harmful to women. Stop reducing them to a numerocratic womb.
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