The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) national general secretary B L Santosh on Saturday stirred up a hornet's nest when he said that the concentration of minority communities in some parts of the country is a cause for worry.
Santhosh, who was speaking at a panel discussion on 'New India: Demography — Dividend or Danger' at the ongoing Mangaluru Literature Festival, said, "The concentration of Muslims and Christians is high in some parts of the country, which is dangerous."
He went on to add that the communities are not evenly spread and the central government will come up with measures to deal with the situation. However, he stopped short of divulging what steps the government could take.
The senior BJP leader pointed out that in South India, there is a 50% concentration of the Christian population and in the North-East, it is 37%.
"The concentration of minorities only in some areas is a threat and this has to be resolved. The Malabar district in Kerala is a good example. There is a high concentration of the Muslim population and hence, they had demanded a separate North Malabar state," he said.
In coastal Karnataka too, the concentration of these two communities is high. The ruling dispensation is not worried about their numbers, but the area-specific concentration, he stressed.
"The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is not a tool to target people on religious lines but is being done on humanitarian grounds. Hindus who were persecuted in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan had come here seeking refuge. Those people will be given citizenship. Religion has nothing to do with this," he asserted.