GUWAHATI: Lok Sabha member and chief of Assam’s minority-based All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, said that Muslims cannot be bound by laws and they will continue to produce children.
Reacting to the state government's two-child policy Ajmal, a perfume baron, said, "Muslims will continue to have children and not listen to anyone. The government is bringing in a law to stop Muslims from getting jobs. However, the Sachar committee report suggests less than 2 per cent Muslims get government jobs."
The Assam cabinet took a decision whereby government jobs were kept out of bounds for people with more than two children from January 1, 2021.
"Not just our religion, even I personally believe that those who want to come will come and none can stop it…It is not good to tamper with nature," he said even as he asserted that Muslims would keep producing children and no laws would have any impact on them.
The Assam government’s two-child policy is in line with small family norm. The state Assembly had passed the "Population and Women Empowerment Policy of Assam" in September 2017. One of its objectives was to vigorously promote small family norm to achieve replacement levels of total fertility rate.
Assam’s average family size is 5.5, which is above the national average. Its maternal mortality ratio is the worst among all states at 300 as per the sample registration survey (SRS), 2013. The state’s infant mortality rate is also considerably high with 54 (SRS, 2013). In under-5 child mortality rate also, Assam tops the chart among the states with 73 per 1,000 births against the national average of 49 (SRS, 2013).
Although incidents of child marriage in the age group of 7-10 years are not prominent in the state, there are high incidences of marriage in the age groups of 14-16 among girls and 16-20 among boys. Incidents of such underage marriage are most common in Muslim-majority river sandbar areas besides tea belts and some tribal areas.