By Vritti Gandhi

Edited by Namrata Caleb

In a country that’s treading along the path that leads to development, comes a remark from the politicians that pushes us back several steps.

Sakshi Maharaj and Shyamal Goswami have recently said that a Hindu woman should produce four and five children respectively, in order to preserve the Hindu religion.

“We have accepted the slogan ‘hum do, hamara ek’. Now these traitors are not satisfied. They have given another slogan ‘Hum do aur hamara… They are advocating marriage of a girl to a girl, boy to another boy. This is what the last government did. This is why I want to request women to give birth to at least four children. Give one to sadhus and ascetics. Media says there are ceasefire violations happening, so send another to the border,” Sakshi Maharaj said at a religious convention in Meerut.

And if that wasn’t enough, BJP leader in Bengal Shyamal Goswami at a public rally in Birbhum district said: “I want to tell my Hindu mothers and sisters that if they don’t have five children, there will be no balance in India in future. Don’t misunderstand me. If my Hindu mothers and sisters don’t have five children, hardly any Hindus will be left in India. To protect Hinduism and Sanatan Dharma it is necessary for all Hindus to give birth to 5 children.”

From the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Chhatisgarh banning the distribution of sweets by Santa Claus to the controversial conversion affair, religious intolerance has been heightening with each passing day. It is not possible to not pay heed to such statements, especially when they come from the ruling party’s MPs.

The BJP giving out a notice to Sakshi Maharaj and distancing itself from the remarks hardly solves matters.

These comments are adding on to the atmosphere of communalism that has been persisting for a while now, spreading around hatred and distrust.

Where in this world, I ask, can we have harmony when differences (whether in religion, geography, beliefs, et al) create a feeling of angst among the beings? And why do we let these differences, which should be celebrated, get to us each time?

The Gujarat riots of 1969, the Anti-Sikh riots of 1984, our motherland has had to confront so many communal riots wherein religious fanatics have been dragging on violence and answering criticism by shedding blood. Time and again, we have been taught our lessons. Time and again, we go ahead and repeat our mistakes.

India is a nation that is known and admired for its diversity. It is indeed a marvel to see people from such different backgrounds coexist. Why then do we let matters of religion become a hindrance? Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, each religion has a story of its own, its own beliefs, its own rituals. Let’s all hope that in today’s world, where humanity is being disrupted, the values that various religions impart in us save us, instead of pushing us further apart.

Vritti Gandhi is a second year Economics student at the Shri Ram College of Commerce. She enjoys being her eccentric self, astrology is her first love, and F.R.I.E.N.D.S is her way of life. Having co-founded a chapter of an NGO in her college, she strongly wills to highlight the importanceof self-sustenance. She is presently looking for her passion, hoping to light up others’ lives and leaving her own mark in this world.

Posted by The Indian Economist | For the Curious Mind