No reason for Muslims to be insecure in India since their population growing, says Anurag Thakur

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Hamirpur (HP) Citing a new report on India’s demographic transition, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur wondered how Muslims can feel insecure in the country, especially when their population has reportedly increased by 45 per cent and they have been equal recipients of government welfare programmes.


A working paper on population trends released recently by the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister said the population of majority Hindus declined by 7.82 per cent between 1950 and 2015 while that of Muslims increased by 43.15 per cent, suggesting that there is a conducive environment to foster diversity. It, however, did not give absolute numbers.

In an interview to PTI late Friday, senior BJP leader Thakur said the minorities are clearly thriving and need not worry.


He also rubbished the opposition’s charge that the BJP would change the Constitution. “On the contrary, the BJP will ensure that reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs is not diluted or altered by anyone.” The four-time MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, who is defending his seat against Congress’ Satpal Raizada, accused the party of seeking to take away the reservation meant for SCs/STs/OBCs and provide it to Muslims.

He also alleged that the Congress is aiming to grab the wealth of people and provide the same to Muslims to further its appeasement and vote bank politics.


The Congress has denied these claims, also made by other BJP leaders, as lies and distortion of their manifesto.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also said that he will never allow reservation based on religion by taking away quotas meant for SCs, STs and OBCs, Thakur said.


Asked if there was a need for policy change on population control or a legislation on the issue in the wake of changing demography, Thakur said the new government will discuss the issue and then take a call after discussion as population figures have just come out in public domain.


He said the figures show that the population of Muslims in India has increased by almost 45-47 per cent over 65 years.

“What do these figures indicate. On one side the population of Hindus declined by 7.8 per cent and on the other hand the population of Muslims increased by 45-47 per cent. One has to ponder over the reasons behind this.


In Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, the population of Hindus was 23 per cent in 1947, now they are only 2 per cent left. And still, some people in India say Muslims are insecure. Their population has increased by 45 per cent, still they say they are insecure,” he said.


“How are they insecure? We never said vote for us out of compulsions, we have not indulged in any vote bank politics. We freed Muslim women of the scourge of triple talaq, we have also provided Muslims women with pukka houses, toilets and free (cooking gas) cylinders, besides free medical treatment even if they have eight children. They have also benefited from our schemes,” the minister said.

On the Constitution, he told PTI, “There will be no change of Constitution.” He said the BJP has been in power for the last 10 years while wielding absolute majority in Parliament. Still, it has not made any Constitutional amendment, Thakur said.


“It is the Congress which has amended the Constitution all the time. Besides, the Congress insulted Babasaheb Ambedkar, who gave us this Constitution, and even worked to send him out of politics. The Congress also did not give him honour,” he alleged.


Instead, he said, it was Narendra Modi who made ‘paanch teerth’“ at Nagpur, Mhow, Mumbai, Delhi and England in honour of Babasaheb Ambedkar and began marking Constitution Day on November 26, besides declaring a holiday on Ambedkar Jayanti on April 14.


“I want to tell this country and the youth that it was Indira Gandhi who murdered democracy and if anyone has tried to crush the Constitution, it is Arvind Kejriwal,” Thakur said.

“Even the creators of the Constitution would have never thought that a chief minister and deputy chief minister would be in jail for corruption and still are reluctant to resign from their posts,” Thakur added.


Thakur also reeled out government statistics to support his view that the BJP government has consistently worked during the last 10 years for the poor, especially the backward class and castes.


Out of four crore houses made under the PM Awas Yojna by PM Modi, as many as 58 per cent houses were made for SC/STs, he said.


He also cited the Rs 6,000 annual dole given to farmers, of which a majority of the beneficiaries are SC/ST and OBC category people.

Thakur noted that four crore houses, 12 crore toilets, 13 crore water connections and 10 crore free cooking gas cylinders were provided to people, as well as free medical treatment to 60 crore people and free ration to 80 crore people.

“These people (opposition) are spreading fear, misconceptions and rumours that SC/ST reservation will go, but the truth is that wherever the Congress governments came, in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana, they took away SC/ST quota and gave to Muslims and are creating fear among SC/STs,” Thakur said.


The senior BJP MP said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wants a survey that will lead to wealth redistribution. “This is appeasement politics which the Congress started, not us,” he said.


“We have done ‘Sabka Vikas’ and did not do Hindu-Muslim, and we will carry on doing work like this in future. But when these people say such things for votes that they will give to Muslims, then we raise questions that they try to insult Hindus and talk of crushing Sanatan and talk of giving resources to Muslims,” Thakur said.


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