A two-child policy is the only way to eradicate poverty and illiteracy among his state’s Muslim minority, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said today. Organisations operating in the community, he said, had welcomed his proposal of adopting good family planning norms, including such a policy.
“There is no resistance from the Muslim people. The two factions of the All-Assam Minority Students Union met me twice in the past one month and openly welcomed (the 2-child proposal), saying Assam’s Muslims need population-control measures,” Sarma told media persons in Guwahati today.
“I’m meeting lot of Muslim intellectuals in July and I’m sure they’ll support the state government’s policies as this is the only way through which poverty and illiteracy can be eradicated from the Muslim minorities of Assam.”
He said he has invited 150 Muslim intellectuals to meet him on July 4. He also plans to have intensive discussions with various socio-political organisations representing the community.
Sarma had a few days ago announced that there will be a gradual implementation of a two-child policy in state-run welfare schemes. His government may even bring in new legislation during the state Assembly’s next budget session in July to enforce it. The law could make only those with up to two children eligible for government jobs and welfare schemes, official sources had indicated earlier.
The proposal and the rhetoric surrounding it have been viewed as targeting the state’s Muslim population of Bangladeshi origin. In the last two assembly polls that the BJP has won, the party has relied heavily on the narrative that it has to protect the indigenous communities of Assam against the illegal migrants.
With inputs from NDTV