New Delhi: Days after Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna made a strong pitch for compulsory sterilisation of Muslims to control population, Shankaracharya Swami Narendranath Saraswati of Sumeru Math in Varanasi said population control policy must be made a top priority.
Saraswati, who was speaking at News18's chaupal session titled, ‘Chalo Kumbh Chalo’, said, "We have lost many temples in the past. We need a strong population control policy for the security and safety of our temples. It should be taken up as a top priority, even more important than the construction of Ram temple."
The session also had UP health minister Sidharth Nath Singh and Sadhvi Geetamba Teerth as speakers. "If a strong population control policy is not worked out, 30 years later you won't be the MLA," Saraswati told the BJP minister.
To this, Nath said: "A strong population control policy is an important demand. But Ram Mandir and population policy are two different issues - one is about aastha and the other is about governance. They are of different nature. But this is one issue on which we all should brainstorm."
Early this month, while referring to a report of the BSF that the Muslim population had increased in Rajasthan villages which touch the Pakistan, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece urged the government to immediate measures to check the trend.
By pitching for a population control policy, both Saraswati and Singh also echoed the views of RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat, who had in September fielded the idea of comprehensive policy for all communities.
“A comprehensive and balanced policy should be made on the issue of population. The policy makers must envision the next 50 years and plan accordingly. The policy, once made, should be applicable to all communities. And wherever the situation is more complicated, it should be implemented on a priority basis,” Bhagwat had said during a three-day lecture series in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, with the dates for the annual Kumbh Mela drawing near, Singh said this year’s gathering will be bigger, grander. "UNESCO has recognised Kumbh as an intangible heritage. Earlier, it was set up on 1,900 hectare land but now it is spread in 3,200 hectares. There was no infrastructure to support Kumbh earlier but now people can take trains, flights and boat streams from Varanasi,” he said, adding: "The government has built over one lakh toilets and Guinness Book World Records has taken a note of it. It is an instance where such huge area of 3200 hectare is open defecation free."