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Population control a social reform, not a communal issue: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address on Thursday had urged the countrymen to plan for smaller families so that the “dreams of their children get fulfilled.”

, ET Bureau|
Aug 19, 2019, 07.30 AM IST
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The minister also said there was no “question of questioning the patriotism of the people of Jammu and Kashmir” and “one should not forget that the people of the Valley have been the worst victims of terrorism.
New Delhi: Population control is not a communal issue but a mandatory social reform for the growth of the country, Union minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told ET on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address on Thursday had urged the countrymen to plan for smaller families so that the “dreams of their children get fulfilled.” Keeping one’s family small is an act of patriotism and those who do so deserve our respect and need to be felicitated, the prime minister had said.

Urging all communities to see this as a measure of “social reform, rather than a communal attack”, Naqvi said family planning measures were ineffective under the Congress regime but will work now as Prime Minister Modi has created an “atmosphere of trust.”

“Any growing economy or a country that is on the path of becoming a developed nation cannot ignore the problem of population explosion.

Country’s five-year plans go haywire only because of the unprecedented population growth.

Policies have failed. Hence, it is important that we create awareness among people and see this as a social reform measure which is for the collective good.”

Commenting on the incidents of coercive sterilisation and forced vasectomies during the Emergency, Naqvi said: “It was seen as yet another act by the government to suppress democracy… Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seen as a reformer who has introduced various electoral, economic and social reforms. People trust him to take the right decision.”

Naqvi said his ministry has prepared a vision document for Jammu and Kashmir and officials would visit the Valley and Ladakh next week to assess the situation there. “Over the past five years, the Centre has spent about Rs 3 lakh crore in the Valley but most of it has been misused. That won’t be the case anymore.”

Jammu and Kashmir lagged behind other states because the special provisions of Articles 370 and 35A, which have now been abrogated, were used as a cover by the separatists, Naqvi said.

The minister also said there was no “question of questioning the patriotism of the people of Jammu and Kashmir” and “one should not forget that the people of the Valley have been the worst victims of terrorism.

The people of the Valley never allowed Al Qaeda or ISIS to grow there.

Yes, there have been stray incidents of terrorists infiltrating into the Valley but they have always been shot or caught or have run away.”

Naqvi said the ministry was also open to examining the proposals from people willing to build hospitals, colleges, ITIs, schools and community centres on Waqf properties in the Valley. “The Centre will fund them completely. The health and education infrastructure has collapsed, particularly in the interior regions of the Valley,” he said.
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