Row over Sakshi Maharaj asking Hindus to have 4 kids

Row over Sakshi Maharaj asking Hindus to have 4 kids

BJP distances itself from remark, says it is MP's personal view

Row over Sakshi Maharaj asking Hindus to have 4 kids

Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s caution to BJP leaders against controversial remarks, party MP  Sakshi Maharaj has kicked up a row by asking Hindu women to “ignore” family planning programme and give birth to “a minimum of four children” to ensure the existence of the community.

“Agar astitva ko bachana hai to kam se kam char bachhey paida karo” (Give birth to at least four children if you want to ensure the existence of the Hindu community), Sakshi Maharaj, an MP from Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao, said while speaking at a religious meet in Meerut, about 450 km from here, on Tuesday evening.

The saffron-clad MP said the slogan “hum do hamare ek” had been made irrelevant by others. “Achhey din has arrived in the country. We will not allow them to have....wives and...children,” he said.

Sakshi Maharaj told the Hindus that of the four children, they should send two to the “ashrams” (religious institutions) and one to the defence forces.

The Unnao MP, contrary to the government’s stand, openly advocated “ghar waapsi” (homecoming). “Conversion must be banned but ‘ghar waapsi’ cannot be stopped,” he added.

Sakshi said the Hindu seers and religious leaders would continue to encourage “ghar waapsi” irrespective of the opposition.

The religious meet was attended by over 150 sadhus and saints from different parts of the state. Almost all the speakers strongly advocated the “ghar waapsi” programme.
Modi, determined not to be sidetracked from economic reform agenda, had warned his party MPs to avoid making statements described by political opponents as evidence of intent to promote Hindu agenda.

‘Personal view’
The MP’s comment has not gone down well with the BJP. Party national Secretary Shrikant Sharma described it as his “personal” view  and said the “party has nothing to
do with it”. Indicating that the BJP does not want to provide fodder to opposition, Sharma said the party has asked its leaders not to make “such comments”.

Senior muslim cleric and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangimahali slammed the remarks saying that the Centre should explain if the family planning programme still existed or not.

“The government should clarify if family programme is still there,” he said.
Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said he did not have any knowledge of the remark by the MP but added that every one was bound by the official party line on the issue.