UP’s fresh population policy targets minorities New Delhi:

Editor (editor@indnet.org)

Sun, 5 Mar 2000 16:11:47 -0500 (EST)

After bringing in the controversial legislation banning construction of religious places without prior permission of State authorities, the Uttar Pradesh government has now decided to introduce a population policy which will target specific groups and communities which have a higher rate of growth of population. Announcing the decision, Chief Minister R P Gupta said, There are groups and communities which feel that if they go on increasing their number they will capture power one day.

Such a way of thinking has to be disincentivised.The disincentive, to begin with, means debarring those having more than two children from contesting panchayat elections, he said. The State governments new population policy, the Chief Minister said, would come into effect within three months. He said in order to control population, there should be some restrictions on contesting election then only the menace could be controlled.

Gupta made these announcements on Thursday while addressing a three-day conference on population issues in Lucknow. Opposition, however, have cried foul. They say this obviously is yet another move by the BJP government in UP to target minorities, especially Muslims. UPCC president Salman Khursheed said, It is obviosly directed at the minorities, especially Muslims. Khursheed said he was not at all surprised at the announcement, knowing Guptas track record, but he was shocked at the audacity of it all.

Gupta is blatantly implmenting the RSS agenda. He represents the core of the RSS and BJP, with all its warts and moles, without the sugar-coating that they have in Delhi. He is taking the original RSS position which has always been targeted against the minorities, he said. SP leader Amar Singh too minced no words while lashing out at the Gupta government. This is a direct attack, second in a row after the Religious Places legislation, on the minorities.

The RSS agenda, so far hidden, is now out in the open. Gupta is repeating the established Sangh line on Muslims whom the RSS ideologue, Golwalkar, described as videshi.