Shaista Fatima/ New Delhi
S. Y. Quraishi, former Chief Electoral Commissioner of India who authored the book “The demographic myth on India’s demographic changes says that Muslims in India are rapidly catching up in family planning and have debunked the theory and propaganda that “Muslims are taking over India in terms of population as myths.
In an interactive discussion organized by the Islamic Cultural Center of India, SY Quraishi gave a presentation which mentioned five myths which are the core of his book and a response to the rampant propaganda that “Muslims would take control of India following the policy of ‘Hum Paanch Humare Pachchees’ (we are five, ours would be twenty-five). He refuted the popular myths circulating about the comparative population growths of Hindus and Muslims in India through facts and figures which are also found in his book in an elaborate manner.
SY Quraishi said that it took him 25 years to write the book and that the data mentioned in it is accurate and can be matched with the NFHS 4 survey: “This book started accidentally, the Fund’s country director United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at the time was a Canadian, he came to me and asked me to write a book about promoting family planning among Muslims because our community is supposed to be the most resistant to the idea but after doing my research I realized that the gap between the Muslim and Hindu population was never much..
The slides presented by SY Quraishi
According to SY Quraishi’s book, the first myth states, “Muslims are having too many children and are solely responsible for the demographic explosion…”… Quraishi responds to this through facts and census data, he says, “Between the 1951 census and 2011, a net increase in Muslim population was 13.6 crores and Hindus 67.6 crores and that the gap between Hindu and Muslim population increased from 26.7 crores to 80.8 crores.
He said that for the next 600 years, the Muslim population will not exist anywhere, “The mathematical model of Prof. Ajay Kumar and Prof. Dinesh Singh of the University of Delhi says that Muslims can never outrun Hindus…” He even suggested that Muslims come forward and demand a ban on polygamy, “Islam does not prohibit family planning, acts which the Quran has strictly prohibited are listed as ‘haram’ (not permitted), the Quran even mentions “marry only when you are able to take care of your family”, this also matches Indian government age thresholds. “.
SY Quraishi mentioned a Hadith (precedents of the Prophet’s life), “One fine day a gentleman visited the Prophet, he told him that he has no means of subsistence so he does not marry but he has his biological needs, he asked the Prophet how to control his sexual urges, to which the Prophet replied “keep fasting..”…”
Quraishi says it is scientifically mentioned that fasting reduces sexual urge in both men and women, “so there is a solution to every problem…even the Prophet never objected to the idea of family planning…” the statements above largely covered the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th myths namely “The growth of the Muslim population disturbs the demographic balance”, “There is an organized conspiracy by the Muslims to overtake the Hindu population”, “Muslims use polygamy to increase the population” and “Islam is against family planning”.
He further stated that his book covers all the factual data refuting the misconceptions, “the best family planning is done in Islamic countries like Iran, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Egypt and so on… we are afraid to talk about reality due to politics and related factors…”
Panelists for the discussion also included Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India and Farah Naqvi, Writer, Consultant and Activist.
Farah Naqvi took the discussion further and said, “The questions posed in Quraishi Sahab’s book are serious and can be characterized as political and propaganda…”.
She said population control has always been an issue and will always be an issue, “It’s a persistent blame game that’s always been there in our society, from putting it on destitution to increasing the population there. in his thirties, the scapegoats today are Muslims…”
She said behavior change is difficult, “The discussion of population is also confined to a couple in the bedroom…so until we are aware of what we really aspire to, we cannot achieve the desired results…from portraying Muslims in films and cinema to portraying them on the national podium, it’s a constant fight against propaganda words like, “Muslims are against women, Islam forces women to wear the burqa, polygamy, love of jihad” an So on…”. She concluded by saying, “As Muslims, we must respond intelligently against propaganda…”
Poonam Muttereja said, “The book we are talking about should have been released many years ago, but it still came out at the right time. The myth is a worldwide phenomenon and it is anti-women. If men had the ability to reproduce, the concept of family planning would have had a whole new meaning…”
She said that developed countries have very conveniently dropped the bomb of population explosion on developing countries, “It’s about neglecting the most marginalized, women from different communities and regions never had any knowledge of family planning or the use of contraceptives…”
She went on to say that in India, only 1-3% of men are sterilized, while 75% of women are: “In India, women are expected to do sterilization as if a man is having a vasectomy. , his libido would decrease…the population has been synonymous with misconceptions.She pointed out that over the past decades Hindi media has been spreading fear among the communities,
“One day my cook told me “Madam, 2050 tak musalman zyada ho jayenge hindus se aur won hum by raaj karenge (mam, by 2050 the population of muslims will exceed that of hindus and then they will rule us…), my son-in-law is a muslim, he heard my cook and never bothered to answer…”
She said Quraishi’s book gave facts and figures about India: “The NFHS 5 data clearly shows that the Muslim population is declining at a rapid rate, the book is a must read as it dispels many myths about population related to Muslims.”
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The main guest Babur Durrezz Ahmad, former J&K Chief Justice in his closing remarks he said, “Misconceptions are rampant and Quraishi’s book shatters them. While a Rishi Sunak of Indian descent may be on the verge of becoming Prime Minister of an English-speaking majority, a Muslim may aim to become Prime Minister of a Hindi-speaking majority.