Denial of Right to Franchise to Muslims

R.D. Bhardwaj “Noorpuri”

Around a month ago, a BJP leader, Sakshi Maharaj, touching upon a very sensitive matter, strongly advocated for denial / banning of voting rights to Muslims who have extraordinary large families, as their having greater number of children puts a nasty break on the progress and development of our country, in many ways. Some other leaders of the ruling party have also supported him on this crucial issue, as they also feel that population of the Muslims community is exploding in disproportionate manner in relation to population growth of other religions, viz. Hindus, Sikhs and or Christians etc. BJP’s long time political associate and supporter party, Shiv Sena has also been advocating this measure since long, as Muslims are not sensitive and sincere to take care of the national interests and thus, have larger families. In view of this, their voting rights deserve to be scrapped and their high rate of population growth is posing a huge threat to the country as a whole. For many decades, the largest party of India (Congress) has also been accused of stealthily practicing the policy of appeasement of Muslims for the obvious reasons of keeping in intact their larger share of vote banks.

A few days ago, a graph published in a national news paper (Mail Today) also revealed that Muslim population in many countries is growing at an alarmingly faster rate than similar growth in comparison to other religions of those countries. And also I would like to quote here that the population of India at the time of independence in 1947 was 33 crores and out of which Muslims constituted less than ten percent (exactly 9.93%). Our last head counts completed in 2011 also revealed that the Muslim population has grown much higher pace than the national average growth rate and that the Muslim population has now come to around 15% of our total population of a little over 121 crores. Let us now take the comparative study of population of our neighbouring country i.e. Pakistan – at the time of independence, the combined population of Hindus and Sikhs who decided to stay in Pakistan was more than 22 %, which has now been drastically reduced to just 3 %. Now the pertinent question arises as to where have the remaining 19% people gone? The newspaper reports published from time to time say that the other Hindus and Sikhs have been either forcibly converted to Muslims or killed under the unwritten law and policy of that country.

The obvious reasons for the reverse swing as compared to the head counts of both the countries is that, while the Hindus in India are generally tolerant, persevering, believe in the thinking and policy of peaceful co-existence, whereas, the Muslims are very cruel and intolerant towards the people of other religions. Education level of both these religions is also in the reverse order. A research conducted by the paper Mail Today and published in its 18th May edition also confirms that, amongst all the religious group in the whole world, Hindus are the most educated (77%) people, followed by Jews (59%) and Muslims occupy just the fourth position (39%) as of 2014.Coupled with these facts are also policies of the governments of both countries i.e. various governments in India have been generally following the policies of appeasement of Muslims for the fear of losing a big chunklet of its vote banks; while in Pakistan, its government had always been keeping a deaf ears and blind eyes to the various kinds of wrong doings and atrocities committed on the Hindus and Sikhs who are staying in Pakistan. That is why lakhs of Hindus and Sikhs of Pakistan even now yearn to migrate to India and settle down here permanently, if given an opportunity to do so.

Now coming to the main issue, it is relevant to mention here that while addressing a press conference in Shanghai 2/3 days ago (on a three days tour to China), Prime Minster, Narinder Modi has lamented that he is being criticized by some people in India for being hard in administration. But the reality is that, people here also feel that, no doubt he is hard, but he is so, in selective matters only, while on other issues which also need his urgent and serious attention, he is equally dilly-dallying as compared to his predecessor, the former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. For example, appointment of Chief Information Commissioner, appointment of Lokpal, dealing with corruption at high places, court cases of high profile people v/s. common people, taming the sky-rocketing inflation, keeping his election promise of bringing back huge stacks of black money stashed in foreign banks, taking remedial / corrective steps for the disposal of lakhs of pending cases lingering on in various courts for years together, filling up pending vacancies of High Court and Supreme Court judges, and lastly, giving the much desired attention to the explosion of population etc., to name a few. While everybody is well aware that the high growth rate of population is basically the root cause of thousands of other problems afflicting our society, but precious little is being done to put an affective check on it as a matter of long term policy. Our leaders have also to keep in mind supreme the national interest over cheap and short term gains of party politics and vote banks.

And if our Prime Minister, Narinder Modi really feels that he is really a hard task master, instead of thinking on what his party MP, Sakshi Maharaj or a few other politicians have suggested denying voting rights only to the Muslims, the Prime Minster should first come out with really affective steps to tackle this vexatious issue. Moreover, unlike his predecessor, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Modi government also enjoys a clear cut majority in Lok Sabha, and hence, it should draft a well defined population policy and declare that, hence forth :

(a) Marriage age for all citizens should be enhanced to 22 for girls and 25 for boys,

(b) No family in India shall have more than two children irrespective of the sex of children they have, and also irrespective of the caste, colour, creed, religion or region of that family,

(c) Any family having more than two kids shall not be given any government jobs,

(d) Anybody having more than two children shall be barred from contesting any elections starting from members of Village Panchayats, Municipal Councillors, MLA and MP also,

(e) Denial of right to franchise to all citizens having more than two children,

(f) He or she should not be made President of India, Governor or LG of any state / Ambassador to any country, and lastly,

(g) Any citizen having more than two children shall be made to contribute to national exchequer 10% additional income tax, property tax, road tax and electricity bills etc. as a measure of penalty for adding to the social and economic problems of our country.

And I feel that making of such a uniform civil code for tackling a variety of problems of our society, India will work on a much desired policy matter which is badly needed for our country and no community, caste, creed, religion and or region shall not have any specific grudge against the government for targeting them alone. All citizens should also cooperate with the government on these issues, as we are working on a much bigger issue and on a much bigger scale with the aim and purpose of making India vibrant, self reliant, progressive and a fast developing country, comparable with some other advanced countries such as UK, USA, Canada, Germany, France and Australia etc.