NEW DELHI: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, in his annual Dussehra speech, proposed a population control law that would be “equally applicable to all”, and lamented that “religion-based imbalance” and “forced conversions” were breaking the country apart.
Bhagwat cited East Timor, Kosovo and South Sudan as examples of “new countries that emerged because of religious community-based imbalances”. Along with population control, “population balance on religious basis is also a matter of importance which cannot be ignored,” he argued. “Population requires resources, or it becomes a burden. There is a view that the population can be an asset. We need to work on a policy keeping both aspects in mind,” he continued.
The RSS chief’s Dussehra address is considered important for its members and those running associated organisations, including the BJP that rules at the Centre and most states. Some of the BJP-ruled states have already passed rigorous population control laws and others have promised to do, provoking the Opposition to allege these are targeting the minority community. Observers feel this has sent confusing signals in the backdrop of Bhagwat’s recent outreach to the leaders of India’s largest minority community of Muslims.
The RSS chief recently visited several mosques and madrasas and assured Muslim clerics and intellectuals that the RSS did not harbour any ill will against any community and was against targeting anyone on the basis of his religion. He reportedly told them that the RSS stood for an equitable application of laws to all.