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Muslims overtaking Hindu population is a myth: SY Quraishi

Muslims overtaking Hindu population is a myth: SY Quraishi

New Delhi: Former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi on Monday busted several myths about Muslims overtaking Hindus demographically in India.

Islam is not hostile to the concept of family planning, he said adding that several myths are being put about the Muslim population in India, PTI reported.

Quraishi was discussing his book "The Population Myth: Islam, Family Planning and Politics in India" at the India International Centre here.

Propaganda is creating hostility among the Hindus against the Muslims, he said. One of myths he pointed out was that Muslims produce too many children, thus being solely responsible for population explosion.

"Yes Muslims have the lowest levels of family planning (FP) -- only 45.3 per cent. Their total fertility rate (TFR) is 2.61 which is the highest. But the fact that Hindus are not far behind, with second lowest FP at 54.4 per cent, and second highest TFR of 2.13, is completely missed," Mr Quraishi was quoted as saying.

Muslim population growth upsetting the demographic balance is a myth, he said. Because, there was only 4.4 percentage growth in Muslim population in 60 years.

Muslim population grew from 9.8 per cent in 1951 to 14.2 per cent in 2011; also, he added that Muslims were adopting family planning faster than Hindus, narrowing the gap in their number of children.

He said there was the false propaganda of Muslim conspiring to overtake the Hindu population to capture political power. No Muslim leader or scholar has asked Muslims to produce more children to overtake Hindus, he said.

Corroborating his argument with mathematical model proposed by professors Dinesh Singh, former Delhi University Vice Chancellor, and Ajay Kumar, he said Muslims can never overtake Hindus.

Dispelling the myth of Muslims engaging in polygamy to increase population, he cited a 1975 study underlining some polygamy in all communities and Muslims were found to be the least polygamous.

Polygamy is also statistically not possible in India as the gender ratio (only 924 women per 1,000 men) does not permit it, PTI reported.

Aside from interpretations for and against, nowhere has the Quran prohibited family planning, he said.

Numerous verses of Quran and citations from Hadith, according to him, emphasises quality over numbers, health of women and children and right of children to good upbringing.

He also said that Islam is the pioneer of the concept of family planning.

Former Jammu and Kashmir governor N N Vohra, former health secretary K Sujatha Rao and The Population Foundation of India Executive Director Poonam Muttreja also participated in the book discussion, the report said.

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