On Wednesday, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale remarked that religious conversion and infiltration are responsible for “population imbalance” in India.
The leader expressed concern that infiltration from Bangladesh into Bihar and several northeast states is leading to “population imbalance” in India. According to Hosabale, the Hindu population has decreased in recent years in several parts of the country.
Speaking at an event in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj, Hosabale also called for a strict anti-conversion law in India.
In response, Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI (M)) member Brinda Karat has alleged that the RSS is “misleading” the people of the country over the subject.
Hitting out at Hosabale, the left leader said that the country has seen a sharp decrease in Muslim population over the past few years.
Citing the latest report of the National Family Health Survey, Karat said that the community-wise fertility rates show that the population of the Muslim community has decreased the most.
“There has been a 46.5 percent decline in the last 10 years in Muslim community, whereas in the Hindu community (there) is a 41.5 percent decline,” she said while speaking with news agency ANI.
Criticising the top RSS leader’s remark, Karat, who is a Rajya Sabha MP from the CPI (M), said that the RSS is trying to mislead the country, and that there is a “communal dimension” behind it.
While the fertility rate among the Muslim community has dropped significantly since the first family health survey in India, it remains higher than that of other communities. While the Total Fertility Rate for Muslims in 2019-21 reached 2.36, the Hindu community recorded a rate of 1.94, which is below the replacement level rate of 2.0.
This is not the first time that a RSS leader has raised concern over population imbalance in India. Earlier this month, RSS chief Dr Mohan Bhagwat had said that the country needs a “comprehensive population control policy” that applies to all “equally”. Bhagwat had also mentioned that “conversion” is the main reason for population imbalance in the country.
Last month, he suggested that a clear policy should be implemented to control the demographics of the country, reiterating his suggestion for a population control policy to face the demographic challenges that arise in India in the next 50 years.
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