A Hindu nationalist politician recently said India’s minority Muslim and Christian populations must undergo forced sterilization so they cannot reproduce any further and increase their numbers.
Sadhvi Deva Thakur, vice president of the political party All India Hindu Mahasabha, said, “The population of Muslims and Christians is growing day by day. Muslims and Christians will have to be forced to undergo sterilization so that they cannot increase their numbers.”
Stressing on the state of emergency, Thakur urged Hindus to bear more children and increase their own population. She also went on to say idols of Hindu gods and goddesses must be placed inside mosques and churches.
The politician’s controversial comments have reminded critics of the Emergency (1975 – 1977) that was declared under the rule Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, during which her political threats were imprisoned and a dreaded mass sterilization campaign was carried out under the guise of controlling India’s rampantly growing population. Though some people volunteered in response to the incentives offered by Gandhi’s administration, most others were coerced into being sterilized.
Thakur’s comments have caused widespread outrage among Indians, with the Global Council of Indian Christians calling for her arrest on grounds of sedition and xenophobia.
“The statements are an insult to secular India and also to religious freedom in the nation. These attacks on minorities are anti-constitutional. We ask the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, to intervene and ensure the safety of all citizens and all the communities that make up the Indian society,” read the council’s statement.
The current government, headed by the National Democratic Alliance, was elected on a Hindu nationalist platform by an electoral that was desperate to end corruption long prevailing under the previous administration headed by the United Progressive Alliance. Despite being drawn by Modi’s reputation for competence, the country’s citizens have been let down time and again by Hindu radicals who have been routinely targeting minorities for religious re-conversions and advocating a pro-Hindutva agenda in several states.
All India Hindu Mahasabha believes Islam and Christianity are foreign religions and thus opposes their ideologies, fearing what it looks upon as the westernization of India. It is known for promoting the same Hindu nationalist ideology as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Photo Credits: Haber Kibris