AIDWA Condemns Distorted Interpretation of Census Data by RSS

4 December, 2005  
The All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) president Subhashini Ali and general secretary Sudha Sundararaman have issued the following statement on November 18, 2005.
IT has been highlighted in media today (November 18, 2005) that the RSS leader Sudarshan, at a book release ceremony in Delhi, referred to the 2001 Census data as showing a decline in Hindu population in certain states, including those in the north east and on the basis of this distorted interpretation of Census data urged upon Hindus the 'sacred' duty of rejecting the two-child norm being pushed by the government of India and of contributing to the cause of maintaining a Hindu majority in the country.
Not only has Sudarshan been totally regardless of the fact that the question of reproductive choice has something to do with a woman's right over her body, her well-being and health and her economic capacity to provide for her children, and that she cannot be seen as a reproductive machine serving the Hindu Nationalist agenda, at the same time, he has deliberately confused the rate of population growth with population strength to promote communal paranoia in the psyche of the Hindu majority, fanning the fear of being swamped by religious minorities in the coming years. For quite some time now the false arithmetic about Muslims producing more children because they have legal sanction to marry more than once has been flaunted by the likes of Sudarshan, in spite of the statistically established fact that the percentage of polygamous Hindus, if anything, is slightly higher than the percentage of polygamous Muslims in our country. Now this mischievous propaganda will not only help to fan communal hatred, but the Hindu woman not able to produce the desired number of children (Sudarshan does not actually say "sons" but may very well have done so), will be seen as not having fulfilled her duty towards her community.
Further, which Hindus is Sudarshan talking about? Is it about urban affluent Hindus who have accepted the small family norms? Does he not know that whether Hindus or Muslims, the size of the family is determined by comparative affluence, access to education and other basic civil rights and not by which community one belongs to? If he was at all thinking about the millions of economically deprived, caste-oppressed, hunger ridden 'Hindus' who have no access to the basic necessities of life and are no different from the poor of other communities in that respect, he would not be raising the slogan of bigger families, but would be talking about the need to provide them with the basic necessities of life. But as it is, his unconcern for them is quite blatant. We therefore strongly condemn the stand taken by him and denounce the agenda of hatred that underlies it.