Rijiju stirs row, says Hindus reducing in India

Rijiju stirs row, says Hindus reducing in India

Hindu population is diminishing in India as Hindus “never convert people” while minorities are flourishing unlike in other countries, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said.

The minister’s controversial tweets came in response to accusations by Congress Arunachal unit that the Narendra Modi government is converting it into a Hindu state.

“Hindu population is reducing in India because Hindus never convert people. Minorities in India are flourishing unlike some countries around,” he said in a tweet, which also had a screen-shot of a report on Congress’ allegations.

“Congress should not make such provocative statements. India is a secular country. All religious groups enjoy freedom & living peacefully...Why is Congress making such irresponsible statements? People of Arunachal Pradesh are living peacefully in unity,” said Rijiju, a practising Buddhist who hails from Arunachal Pradesh.

Figures from Census 2011 revealed that Hindus formed the majority of 96.62 crore in a 121 crore population with a growth rate of 16.8%, while Muslims with a population of 17.22 crore grew by 24.6%. Hindus grew by 13.86 crore between 2001 and 2011 while other religions together rose by only 4.20 crore, including Muslims who saw an increase of 3.40 crore with an analysis showing that the decline in growth rate among Muslims is higher than any other religion.

In his reaction, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted, “MoS Home should remember he is a Minister of India for all Indians not for Hindus only, Remember your oath as minister. What have the minorities in India got to do with minorities of  “other” countries. It is Constitution which guarantees rights.”

 Later, Rijiju said Congress has made “a very irresponsible statement” and he was just “clarifying the BJP’s position” on the allegations.

 “How can Modiji convert Arunachal Pradesh into a Hindu state? What (kind of) statement is this?” he said adding, the remarks made by Congress was “very wrong”.

He also defended his tweets, saying the minorities feel insecure in neighbouring countries and take refuge in India as it is tolerant.

Desperate BJP trying to garner votes on religious polarisation, says Cong

The BJP is going back to its pet themes of religious polarisation and nationalism after the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh elections, the Congress said on Monday, reports DHNS from New Delhi.

The Congress saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s thrust on surgical strikes and Union Minister Kiren Rijiju’s statement on declining Hindu population and attempts to link it to religious conversions as a “desperate” move to regain lost ground in Uttar Pradesh.

Rijiju tried to trigger a controversy claiming on Twitter that the Hindu population was decreasing in India as they “never convert people”, while minorities were flourishing unlike in some other countries.

“The tweet that he put out was not limited to Arunachal Pradesh,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said here.

Modi, in his election rallies, had hit out at the Congress for questioning the September 29 surgical strikes along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. “...attack Modi as much as you can, but don't ever raise doubts about our military and the soldiers’ bravery,” the prime minister had said in election rallies in Uttarakhand on Sunday.

Congress believes that desperation was evident in the BJP ranks as it was now clear that the voting in the first phase of Uttar Pradesh elections did not happen as they had expected.

“Suddenly, one fine day you wake up and shoot from the hip, this is a conduct that is unbecoming of a minister,” Tewari said referring to Rijiju's comments.

He said the remarks by Modi as well as Rijiju smacked of “desperation” and the BJP had realised that they had lost the plot. “It has come back to its basic DNA — try to garner electoral benefit out of religious polarisation,” Tewari said.

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