You might think that, in a country of 1.2 billion people, where over 80% of your population is Hindu, you probably don’t have to worry about the preservation of the religion. And even if you’re somehow concerned that roughly 20% of your populace practices some other religion, it might seem impolitic to imply that child bearing is a religious duty for women of your faith.
You, then, are not Sakshi Maharaj, a member of parliament from Uttar Pradesh:
“The time has come when a Hindu woman must produce at least four children in order to protect the Hindu religion,” Maharaj said at a religious congregation in the city of Meerut.
Maharaj’s remark comes just days after another member of his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), referred to non-Hindus as “children of bastards.” Niranjan Jyoti, a junior minister in the government,
… told a crowd at a campaign rally on Monday to decide whether they wanted a government run by “the children of (Hindu god) Ram or the children of bastards”.
Oddly enough, that remark didn’t sit well with people either, and resulted in protests and calls for Jyoti’s dismissal (calls that the Prime Minister has rejected).
Which just goes to show, I suppose, that America isn’t the only country where righteous politicians are criticized for (to borrow a bit of our political rhetoric) “standing up for their faith and family values.” You know, disparaging minorities, dictating women’s reproductive choices, and stoking religious paranoia.
(Image via Shutterstock)