Barely a couple of days after calling for an end to voting rights for Muslims, the Shiv Sena on Wednesday sought forced sterilisation of Muslims to check what they alleged was their burgeoning population.
Shiv Sena, known for its disruptive politics, on Wednesday supported the recent call by All India Hindu Mahasabha vice president Sadhvi Deva Thakur demanding forced 'nasbandi' (sterilisation) of Muslims and Christians to restrict their numbers in the country's population.
Saamana executive editor and MP Sanjay Raut
"What she meant was family planning...She should not have uttered the word 'nasbandi'. But family planning and population control are one and the same thing," the Sena said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamana on Wednesday on the sensitive issue.
With over 170 million Muslims, India is home to the third largest Islamic population in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan.
This is the latest attack by the Shiv Sena on the Muslim community. Two days ago, the party kicked up a controversy by reportedly demanding disenfranchising Indian Muslims from the country's polity.
Following a nationwide furore, and demand for legal action, Saamana executive editor and MP Sanjay Raut claimed he was misquoted as he had said "Muslims would not be used for political opportunism if they are not allowed to vote."
The Saamana on Wednesday lamented that in our country, forced sterilisation cannot be carried out even on stray dogs who rule the streets, courtesy support from animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi.
Targetting All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi, the Sena said that if he is so concerned about the plight of the Muslim community, he must first come out in support of family planning and ban burqas (veil) for women.
"When we raise the demand for performing 'nasbandi' - sorry, family planning - it is in the best interests of the country and the Muslim community...With family planning, they will be able to feed and educate the children and live better lives..." the Sena said.
The Sena dismissed Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan's statements that Muslims are poor so they produce more children, and then say poverty lures the Muslim youth to terrorism. "They should be clear once and for all about what exactly are the community's problems and their increasing numbers."
However, the Sena acknowledged how some Muslims have voluntarily adopted family planning for their own betterment. "It is not as if they incurred the wrath of Allah or that he crucified them... they are leading contented lives."
"We are wasting time engaging in a useless debate on 'nasbandi' versus 'family planning'... If nothing else, the Muslim leaders can at least sterilise their communal ideology and save the country," the Sena urged.