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Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah backs Giriraj Singh’s ‘population’ remark

Najma Heptullah

New Delhi: Union Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah on Sunday advocated small families with two children, days after her colleague Giriraj Singh kicked up a controversy by calling for a law to impose a uniform limit on the number of children a family of any religion can have.

“I have been a votary of small family with two children for long. But I have three children myself, and I am also a culprit,” she told reporters in Bhopal.

“Had there been two-child limit back then, I too would have stuck to it,” Heptullah said when asked about Singh’s comment.

“After the Emergency, the family planning issue with two-child limit took a backseat and no one wants to talk about it,” Heptullah said.

The population explosion has eaten into resources and the infrastructure and damaged the country’s environment. People need land, air and water, she said.

A few days ago, at a cultural event at Bagaha in West Champaran, Giriraj Singh had said that “there should be such a law in the country that same number of children should be allowed for families across religions, whether Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian. Only then will our daughters be safe”.

Defending the remark later, he had said the number of Hindus was declining and therefore a uniform population norm was needed.

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