In a stunning development, Chief Minister of BJP's ruling state of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma has sparked outrage through his remarks of asking the immigrant Muslim community in the state to control the population. His statement was in a fashion that the Muslim community is the reason for the increasing population, poverty, and other social problems in the state.
On Thursday, the Chief Minister has asked the Muslim community in the state to adopt a 'decent family planning' policy to deal with poverty and other social problems. While speaking at a press conference to mark the completion of 30 days of his government, Sarma said, "We want to work with the minority Muslim community to control the population."
"The root cause of issues such as poverty and land encroachment is due to uncontrolled population growth. I think we can put an end to a lot of social problems in Assam if the Muslim community adopts decent family planning norms," the Chief Minister added.
According to PTI, Sarma said that his government will work towards educating the women of the community so that the problem can be tackled effectively. The government cannot allow encroachment of temple and forest lands and members of the community have also assured the government that they do not want encroachments of these lands.
By citing that his remark to the Muslim community to control the population as his appeal, the Chief Minister has expressed his willingness to work with Muslim organizations to educate Muslim women on the necessity for population control to eradicate poverty and encroachment of land and ease pressure on land. He said, "With the increase in population, there will be a problem of living space, which in turn will give rise to clashes."
The Chief Minister had asked the Muslim community to come forward to reduce the population. He said, "Protests will not end their (Muslims) poverty. To end their poverty, we have to educate Muslim women, work on population control. Poverty will never be reduced unless they control their population."
Sarma's efforts to end land encroachments have come against the backdrop of BJP's poll promises in the recently-held assembly polls. The Central ruling party has promised to protect the land, culture, and identity of the indigenous communities of Assam from the immigrants. He said that instead of criticizing the government, the Muslim community should try to practice small family sizes.