Narendra Modi, the architect of a pogrom in which the Vishwa Hindu Parishad mobs killed around two thousand Muslim Indians in 2002, onec made a controversial statement saying that Muslims reproduce so as to turn five of them into twenty five, thus increasing their population. This is conventional wisdom an old cliche of the Hindu right that tries to scare you into believeing that Muslims are going to outnumber Hindus by the time an Indian lands on the moon. Modi later claimed, with intellectual honesty typical of the Hindu right, that he was quoted out of context, that he was merely talking of population control, with no reference to any community in particular. What those of us outside Gujarat didn’t get to know is that he backed up his claim with a ‘massive’ population control programme.
This is said to be Modi’s larger agenda of ‘development’ and ‘progress’ for the Gaurav of Five Crore Gujratis as a strategy to deflect attention from the pogrom and demands for justice, and to keep his voters happy who happily voted him with a huge majority as a reward for the pogrom. But the development strategy does is part of the communal agenda (A state run on the Hindutva agenda has higher GDP…’). In fact, the pogrom continues in ways we don’t usually get to hear about.
If you live in Gujarat, you can obtain a family planning kit from the ration shop free of cost. Amongst other things, it would have Narendra Modi’s photo on the condom packet. They call it “Modi condom” there. Avinash Kumar has sent me the first photograph above. How I’m dying to get a kit, but Avinash says it’s too heavy to be couriered from Ahemdabad to Delhi.
“He puts his photographs on food packets for those affected by the floods in Surat. Now it is even on condom packets, it is embarrassing,” said Arjun Modhwadia, Congress leader.
But the government says its intentions are noble and even though it has unfortunately got nicknamed the Modi condom, the plan has worked.
“Yes, the chief minister and my photographs are there. But the intention was to make these things available to poor people,” observed Ashok Bhatt, Health Minister. [Central Chronicle]
Ruchir Joshi in the Hindustan Times:
There is a commonly used phrase in Gujarati: “E manas to naago thayi gayo” — literally ‘that man became naked’, meaning he became completely and brazenly shameless. There is no more apt sentence to describe what Narendra Modi and his government have been doing since he took over as Chief Minister five years ago. [Source]
Dionne Bunsha in Frontline:
While the Sangh Parivar prefers to project the Muslim community as one that
is illiterate and underdeveloped, Census data proves the contrary. The 2001 Census shows that the Muslim literacy rate in Gujarat (73.47 per cent) is higher than the Hindu literacy rate (68.31 per cent); and the State average was 69.14 per cent. The annual growth rate of Muslims was 2.7 per cent, slightly higher than the Hindus’ at 2.2 per cent. However, demographer Leela Visaria points out that Kutch and two taluks in Rajkot were not counted in
2001 because of the earthquake and may not have been included in the new Census data. If they were, it would have pushed up the Hindu growth rate.
However, the real problems facing the State are its abysmal sex ratio and infant mortality rates. At 878:1000 in the 0-6 years age group, Gujarat has one of the five worst sex ratios, lower than even Bihar’s 938:1000. It implies that a rather different method of population control is being used. Infant girls are being eliminated soon after they are born. Economist Amartya Sen calls them India’s `missing’ girls. [Source]