New Delhi: In the backdrop of projections that India will have the largest number of Muslims by 2050, Vishwa Hindu Parishad today demanded a uniform law to rectify the "demographic imbalance" in the country and asked Hindus to have as many children as Muslims.
Addressing a press conference, Joint General Secretary of VHP Surendra Jain also warned that the country would otherwise become like Kashmir, Pakistan or Afghanistan, where Muslims are in majority.
Jain's remarks came a day after VHP's international secretary general Champat Rai said that Hindus should have more than one children to ensure that there was "no imbalance" in India's demographic profile.
"I am surprised why the secularists are raising a storm over it. Whether Champat Rai has said this or not is not at all important. Anybody saying so is not wrong.... What is being said does not need any attribution. Everybody in the country is concerned about the demographic balance. The entire world agrees with this statement
"...There are only two ways to remove the demographic imbalance. Either the Hindus should increase their population or there should be a uniform civil code on it...The country is being misled in the name of secularism. If anybody is seeing communalism in it, he himself is the most communal. This is the most secular demand. I want to ask the secularists whether they want to make the whole of India Kashmir, Pakistan or Afghanistan," Jain said replying to a volley of questions on the issue.
The VHP's comments come close on the heels of the findings in an international study by Pew Research Center, which said that India will surpass Indonesia to have the largest Muslim population in any country of the world by 2050.
Jain also made it clear that the Ram temple is very much on the agenda and urged the government to remove obstacles in the way of its construction, warning "otherwise the patience of Hindus may break due to unnecessary delay".
Replying to a question on whether there is laxity on the part of government to resolve the Ayodhya issue, Jain said, "Hindus will not allow any laxity on the Ram Mandir issue.
"The issue is pending in the Supreme Court. The government should urge the Supreme Court to decide the matter expeditiously."
The VHP leader at the same time said that the Narendra Modi government is working in the right direction on this issue so that the roadblocks in construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya are removed.
Replying to questions on his demographic imbalance pitch, Jain said that British lawmakers had also demanded that it should be corrected.
"Do you not agree that there is a demographic imbalance in the country.... I want to ask the secularists whether they want to make the whole of India, Kashmir or Afghanistan ...whether they want to turn India into Pakistan or Afghanistan.
"If anybody sees communalism in this demand (for uniform law), then he, himself, is very communalised....such people should leave India and go to Pakistan," he said.
Pressed further he said,"Yes, Hindus should have as many children as Muslims do."
Jain insisted that whoever is concerned about the identity of India is concerned about the demographic imbalance and claimed that the term was first used by Mahatma Gandhi.
"This is no communal demand. There cannot be a more secular demand. It is a litmus test for secularists. They should bring a private member bill to bring uniform law. We urge the government of Modi ji to support such bill," he said.
Asked about controversial remarks by BJP MPs Dilip Gandhi, Shyam Charan Gupta and Ram Prasad Sarmah claiming that there is no clear proof of link between tobacco and cancer, Jain blamed this on their "lack of knowledge", saying these MPs should have checked facts by visiting hospitals and consulting experts before making such remarks.
He said that the controversy over the issue should, however, come to an end after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's backing for larger health warnings on cigarette packets.
Slamming West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the ban on entry of Pravin Togadia into West Bengal, Jain said that the VHP leader's address will happen at the April 5 Hindu Sammelan in Raiganj but declined to divulge whether he would personally go there or it will be through video conferencing.
He alleged that Banerjee was doing all this for her "vote bank politics".
Jain refused to comment on questions over BJP veteran L K Advani not addressing the National Executive meeting of BJP in Bengaluru and the perceived differences between him and Modi.
"This is an internal matter of BJP," he said.