LUCKNOW: Batting for population control and emphasising the relevance of having small families to draw equal benefits of development, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said the two-child norm should be introduced in the country. He said this was what the Sangh believed but added that the final decision rested with the Centre.
The RSS chief also denied that the contentious issues of reclaiming the Kashi and Mathura shrines were on the Sangh’s agenda.
Bhagwat was addressing a special session -- ‘Jigyasa Satra’ -- of Sangh volunteers during his four-day stay at Moradabad on Thursday.
The RSS chief’s opinion on population control appears to be in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal during his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort last year.
The PM had laid stress on the need for population control while having a word of praise for those who had smaller families. He had delved, at length, on population control during his speech saying population explosion would cause many problems for future generations. He also said the policy of having a
small family was a gesture of patriotism.
National Family Health Survey figures show that the country has a population size of 1.37 billion. After PM Modi’s call for population control, the Niti Aayog was entrusted to formalise ideas that can then be proposed to the Prime Minister’s Office over the issue.
This newspaper had reported that the Aayog was mulling a national level population policy intervention following the PM’s emphasis on the issue. The Aayog has held a number of meetings to discuss models from states that have adopted a limited two-child policy and sterilisation programme introduced by the Congress government in 1975.
Replying to a query by a volunteer on the Ram temple issue, the RSS chief claimed that the role of the Sangh was limited only to the establishment of a temple trust to oversee the construction. Subsequently, the Sangh would disassociate itself from the issue, he said.
As per insiders, Bhagwat also declared in the meeting that the Sangh did not have the reclamation of disputed religious sites at Kashi and Mathura on its agenda. “In fact, the Sangh never had the issues of Kashi and Mathura on its agenda and neither will it have them on its agenda in future,” the RSS chief
reportedly told the gathering.
Replying to the queries of volunteers over the ongoing protests and nationwide unrest over Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Bhagwat reiterated Sangh’s support to Modi government over CAA saying the organisation would not step back on the issue. “Be it CAA or abrogation of Art 370, Sangh is firmly standing behind the Modi government on these issues,” the Sangh Pramukh said. He rather exhorted the
volunteers to sensitize people on the Citizenship Act.
The sources said the RSS chief was addressing a gathering of around 40-50 volunteers of the Sangh’s regional executive council.