Home Muslim culture Population control should be divorced from politics: Chief Minister of Assam

Population control should be divorced from politics: Chief Minister of Assam


“… our population policy is not anti-Muslim but anti-poverty,” Himanta Biswa Sarma said. Deposit


Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today called for decoupling the issue of population control from politics and adopting a realistic solution emphasizing education, health, end of child marriage and financial inclusion to solve the problem among Muslims in the state. The problem is more pronounced in predominantly Muslim neighborhoods, he said.

It was accepted by all members of the assembly that the increase in the population within the minority community of Bas-Assam and Center is a matter of concern, he said during a discussion in the Chamber initiated by opposition Congressman Sherman Ali Ahmed on various issues related to Muslims living in the ” Char-Chaporis ” (sandbank areas).

Opposition members who participated in the discussion said using the issue politically would not solve the problem, but argued that there should not be a population control policy for Muslims alone.

According to the 2011 census, Muslims make up 34.22% of Assam’s total population of 3.12 crore and they are in the majority in several districts.

To lower the rate of population growth among Muslims, especially those settled in the ” Char-Chaporis ”, Mr. Ahmed proposed to create educational institutions, stop child marriage, improve health and communication services, create jobs in the public and private sectors based on population representation and facilitate the availability of birth control measures among women.

The chief minister said his government had no objections to the proposals except those related to job creation, as it must be based on merit and not on representation of the population.

The House will pass the resolution without further debate on Tuesday, he said.

“I am happy that this proposal came from a congressman. If it had come from me, people would have said that I am in politics. I thank the opposition member for initiating the discussion because our politics population is not anti-Muslim but anti-Muslim. -poverty, “Sarma said.

The government has already planned to appoint 10,000 ASHA employees to distribute contraceptives to Muslim women and set up a population army of 1,000 young people to educate community members, he said.

The government is also considering raising the marriageable age of girls to control child marriages as it took steps to expand educational facilities for girls and steps would be taken to improve health facilities, communication network and increased financial inclusion of women, he said.

According to 2011 census data, population growth among Muslims in the state fell to 29% from 34% previously, while that among Hindus fell from 19% to 10%.

Mr Sarma said that with the decline in the population growth of Hindus in the state, there has been an improvement in their lifestyle and education level but, with a growth rate of 29%, Muslims are currently in a state of crisis.

“In recent times, we have seen that due to the lack of living space, many people are moving to vacant land, mainly in forest areas, by force and therefore come into conflict with the law. Migration to Kerala has also increased within the community and women are being lured and forced into the flesh trade.

“There are social tensions within the community in Lower and Central Assam, but we cannot blame the poor. If the growth rate decreases further from five to six percent, there is no will not be a problem, ”he said.

Regarding Mr. Ahmed’s allegation that members of the Bengali-speaking minority community were not invited to recent discussions the Chief Minister held with members of the indigenous Muslim community, Mr. Sarma said that religion is the only common factor between them but they are different as far as their linguistic and cultural traditions are concerned.

“We have decided to meet the two groups separately and we will soon have discussions with intellectuals and socially conscious people, not politicians, from predominantly Muslim neighborhoods,” he said.

He proposed that a seven-day study tour of MPs from Upper Assam to Lower and Central Assam and those from the latter regions to the former be organized so that they understand each other’s problems.

Earlier, Ahmed said the population growth among Muslims in the state is higher, but the fertility rate has declined over the past 14 years from 3.6% to 1.3%, while for non-Muslims it has fallen. by only 0.4 percent.

Participating in the discussion, Jakir Hussain Sikdar of Congress said the issue should be approached with the utmost sincerity.

“There should be a strict law for controlling the population, but it should not be reserved for Muslims,” ​​Sikdar said.

AIUDF MP Aminul Islam said the issue should not be used as a political weapon to target a particular community as it would demoralize people and the problem of underdevelopment would continue.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)


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