Theory That Muslims Can Exceed Hindus in India Is Propaganda: Ex-CEC SY Quraishi

Quraishi was speaking about his book 'The Population Myth: Islam, Family Planning and Politics in India' in Delhi.

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Former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India, SY Quraishi, said on Monday, 28 February, that the theory that Muslims could overtake the Hindu population in India was mere propaganda.

He made this comment at the India International Centre in New Delhi while speaking about his book, The Population Myth: Islam, Family Planning and Politics in India, as per a report by PTI.

Emphasising that Islam was not hostile to the concept of family planning, the former CEC said that myths were being created in the country regarding Muslims, leading to animosity among Hindus against the minority group.


'Hindus Not Far Behind in Growth Figures' 

He stated that one of the popularly believed myths was that Muslims were single-handedly responsible for a population explosion in India as they produce too many children.

"Yes, Muslims have the lowest levels of family planning (FP) - only 45.3 percent. Their total fertility rate (TFR) is 2.61, which is the highest. But the fact that Hindus are not far behind, with second lowest FP at 54.4 percent, and second highest TFR of 2.13, is completely missed," PTI reported Quraishi as saying.

He also denied theories that the growth of the Muslim population was upsetting the demographic balance in the country.

The demographic ratio of India shows an increase in Muslims from 9.8 percent in 1951 to 14.2 percent in 2011, and a decline in the Hindu population from 84.2 percent to 79.8 percent, but this is an increase of 4.4 percentage points in 60 years, the former poll body chief explained.


No Attempt by Muslims to Seize Political Power, Quraishi Says 

He also slammed the "myth" that Muslims were indulging in a conspiracy to overtake the Hindu population to capture political power in the country, adding that not a single Muslim leader or scholar had urged the minority group to give birth to more children for this purpose.

Quraishi also rejected claims that Muslims were using polygamous relations as a tool to increase their numbers, citing a government study in 1975 that stated that all communities had some degree of polygamy, but the Muslims were the least polygamous among them.

He also said that nowhere does the Quran say that family planning was prohibited in the Islamic faith, adding that people may have different interpretations on the basis of their understanding of the holy book.

Several verses of the Quran and the Hadith give importance to quality over quantity, the good health of women and children, and the rights of children to a proper upbringing, Quraishi added.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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