Population control law to be introduced soon, says Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel

Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said on Tuesday that India will soon have a population control law, PTI reported. The food processing minister made the statement while addressing reporters at an event in Raipur.

Over the years, BJP leaders have pushed for population control laws. Their actions are based on the Hindutva narrative that Muslims are producing more children as part of a deliberate plan to achieve majority and seize political power in the country.

However, government data shows that the fertility rate among Muslims has gradually declined over the years and is no more alarming than that of other communities in India.

Patel himself had introduced a private member’s bill on population control in 2016. The bill contained a provision to deny social benefits to people with a third child. He also proposed that government permission be made compulsory to give birth to a third child.

Party MP Rajya Sabha Rakesh Sinha presented the Population Regulation Bill, 2019 in July 2019 offering several benefits such as housing subsidies, income tax reductions, travel subsidies, health insurance benefits and others for families with two children where one of the spouses has suffered a sterilization.

Since 2021, the BJP-led government of Assam has barred citizens from accessing government jobs if they have more than two children.

Since Independence, laws on a two child policy have been tabled in Parliament more than 35 times but have never been passed, The new Indian Express reported.

Falling fertility rates among Indian Muslims

Fertility rate among Muslims experienced the largest decline among all religious communities in India over the past two decades, according to data from the National Family Health Survey-5.

The fertility rate is the average number of children born to a woman during her lifetime.

The fertility rate among Muslims fell to 2.3 during 2019-2021 from 2.6 recorded in 2015-2016, according to the survey conducted by the Union Health Ministry. In 1992-93, Muslims had a fertility rate of 4.4.

Among Hindus, the fertility rate fell from 3.3 in 1992-93 to 1.94 in the latest survey. In the previous survey for 2015-16, the fertility rate among Hindus was 2.1. The figures show that the fertility rate has fallen by 46.5% among Muslims since 1992-93 and by 41.2% among Hindus.

The survey data also showed that the fertility rate of Muslims is only 0.36 percentage points higher than that of Hindus.

In 2015, Scroll.in had reported that according to the 2015-2016 survey trends, it would take 220 years for India’s Muslim population to equal the number of Hindus. Between 1951 and 2011, Hindu population rose from 30.04 crore to 96.6 crore, according to the Pew Research Center. In the same span, the Muslim population grew from 3.5 crore to 17.2 crore.