New Delhi: Former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi said on Monday that it is a mere “propaganda” that Muslims can overtake Hindus in terms of population numbers.
He asserted that Islam is not hostile to the concept of family planning and observed that several myths have been spread about the Muslim population in India thus creating hostility among the Hindus against the Muslims.
During a discussion on his book “The Population Myth: Islam, Family Planning and Politics in India” at the India International Centre here, Mr Quraishi listed the “myths” about the Muslim population in India. One of the myths he pointed out is that Muslims produce too many children and are solely responsible for the population explosion.
“Yes Muslims have the lowest levels of family planning (FP) — only 45.3 per cent. 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 per cent, and second highest TFR of 2.13, is completely missed,” PTI quoted Mr Quraishi as saying.
The Muslim population growth is upsetting the demographic balance is another myth, he observed. While accepting that the demographic ratio of India indeed shows an increase in Muslims from 9.8 per cent in 1951 to 14.2 per cent in 2011, and decline in Hindus from 84.2 per cent to 79.8 per cent, he pointed out that this is an increase of 4.4 percentage points in 60 years.
Rebuffing another propaganda that there is an organised conspiracy by Muslims to overtake the Hindu population to capture political power, Mr Quraishi claimed that no Muslim leader or scholar has asked Muslims to produce more children to overtake Hindus.
He cited a mathematical model by professors Dinesh Singh, former Delhi University Vice Chancellor, and Ajay Kumar, to prove his point that Muslims can “never” overtake Hindus.
The former chief election commissioner busted another “myth” that Muslims use polygamy to increase population, quoting a government study conducted in 1975 which concluded that all communities had some polygamy but the Muslims were the least polygamous.
Allaying a general misconception that Islam encourages polygamy Mr Quraishi said, Polygamy is also statistically not possible in India as the gender ratio (only 924 women per 1,000 men) does not permit it.