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MADHYA PRADESH

On birth control for Muslims, MP says it with booklet on Islam

Tuesday 19 December 2006, by GHATWAI*Milind

BHOPAL, DECEMBER 18: The Muslim population has always been a touchy issue with the BJP but its government in Madhya Pradesh has decided to go ahead and cite for the community a lesson or two from Islam and what their religion has to say about family planning.

No, it’s not going about it secretly. It will ask its health department to buy in bulk copies of “Census, Islam and Family Planning’’ - a 40-page booklet written by Muzaffar Hussain - and distribute them free of cost so that “the message of family planning reaches people.’’

“What comes in the way of family planning is ignorance and not religion,’’ Health minister Ajay Vishnoi said while releasing the book in the state capital on Saturday. “The community should come out of darkness (ignorance),’’ he said and lauded the book because it promotes issues like societal interest and family planning.

No publisher would mind such a gesture. In this case, the publisher happens to be Vishwa Samvad Kendra, a body of RSS, which published the first edition of the low-priced book in 2005. Hussain, who got the Padma Shri in 2002, is associated with the Mumbai-based body. He said the print order for the first edition was 50,000 and the second 20,000.

The first of the six chapters raises concern over the rising population in the country and devotes the second to why the Muslim community’s rising population is dangerous. The third chapter deals with the support family planning finds in Hadis and Quran and the fourth talks of references to family planning in Islamic literature. The fifth throws light on the practice of family planning in Islamic countries and the last chapter is consumed only by how it’s practised in Pakistan and pats the neighbouring government on the back for promoting the practice.

The booklet has compiled a dozen fatwas issued in countries like Egypt, Jordan, Malaysia and Iran in support of family planning. Hussain said the copies of the booklet were distributed free in Parliament. When asked about the state’s intention, he said no government could promote it directly.

UGC’s education plan discriminatory: BJP

NEW DELHI: The BJP on Monday registered its opposition to the politics of discrimination against majority, allegedly being pursued by the UPA regime. BJP parliamentary party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the Rs 5,460 cr scheme, recommended by UGC chairman Sukhdeo Thorat for the promotion of education among Muslims was discriminatory. “Muslims for the UPA regime have become synonymous with minorities,” Malhotra said. He said the government ought to have aimed at universal education by strengthening the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan.

See online : The Indian Express

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