Muslims can overtake Hindus in terms of numbers just propaganda, can never happen: Quraishi

08:45 PM Mar 28, 2022 | PTI |

New Delhi: Islam is not hostile to the concept of family planning and it is mere ”propaganda” that Muslims can overtake Hindus in terms of population numbers, former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi said on Monday.


There are several myths being spread about the Muslim population in India which are creating hostility among the Hindus against the Muslims, Quraishi said during a discussion on his book ”The Population Myth: Islam, Family Planning and Politics in India” at the India International Centre here.

Listing the ”myths” about the Muslim population in India, he said one of them is that they 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 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,” Quraishi said.

Quraishi said it is also a myth that the Muslim population growth is upsetting the demographic balance.


The demographic ratio of India indeed shows an increase in Muslims from 9.8 percent in 1951 to 14.2 percent in 2011, and a decline in Hindus from 84.2 percent to 79.8 percent, but this is an increase of 4.4 percentage points in 60 years, he pointed out.

Asserting that Muslims are adopting family planning faster than Hindus, he said the gap in their number of children is narrowing.

Pointing out that another propaganda is that there is an organized conspiracy by Muslims to overtake the Hindu population to capture political power, he said no Muslim leader or scholar has asked Muslims to produce more children to overtake Hindus.

Citing a mathematical model by professors Dinesh Singh, former Delhi University Vice-Chancellor, and Ajay Kumar, he said Muslims can ”never” overtake Hindus.

Busting another ”myth”, he said it is wrong to state that Muslims use polygamy for increasing population as a government study in 1975 found that all communities had some polygamy but the Muslims were the least polygamous.

He said there is a general misconception that Islam encourages polygamy but the reality, however, is different.

Polygamy is also statistically not possible in India as the gender ratio (only 924 women per 1,000 men) does not permit it.

Asserting that Islam is not against family planning, Quraishi said nowhere has the Quran prohibited family planning and there are only interpretations — both for and against.

Numerous verses of the Quran and citations from Hadith emphasize quality over numbers, the health of women and children, and the right of children to a good upbringing.

Islam is not only not opposed to family planning but in fact, is the pioneer of the concept, he said. Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, former health secretary K Sujatha Rao and The Population Foundation of India Executive Director Poonam Muttreja also participated in the book discussion.


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