Two-child norm required to keep 'Hindu daughters' safe: Giriraj Singh

BJP leader and Union minister Giriraj Singh Photo: Twitter
'Hindu daughters' need protection and the only way to ensure that is to enforce a two-child policy for all religions, Union minister Giriraj Singh was reported as saying on Wednesday by The Indian Express

"Daughters will not be safe and might have to be kept under the veil, like in Pakistan,” said the Bharatiya Janata Party leader, according to the report. 

The minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises was speaking at a cultural yatra in Bagaha, West Champaran, and, according to the report, various Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh workers were present in the audience.

It would not be a stretch to say that Singh was specifically taking aim at the Muslim community, despite trying to couch his comment as something which should be applicable to all religions. The threat, in Singh's mind, emanates from one particular community. 

In his speech, Singh referred to seven districts in Bihar where "our" (Hindu) population has ostensibly "gone down" and the Muslim population grown. 

He tried to emphasise his point by warning that if the situation continued unabated, then Hindus would have to keep their daughters under the veil like in Pakistan. 

According to the report, he was referring to districts "such as Kishanganj and Araria, where Muslim population has been increasing at a faster pace than Hindu population".

Singh finds himself in the news, often, for remarks made in bad taste. 

Earlier this month, Singh attributed the fatwa asking Muslim community members not to chant 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' to a conspiracy by "international powers" to destroy India and divide it into bits and pieces. 

Last month, he had said that Akhilesh Yadav's government has turned Uttar Pradesh into a "nursery of terrorism" and alleged that it was not dismissing Azam Khan for fear of losing Muslim votes. 

Singh, in February this year, hit out at Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi alleging he was using language that would make Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed "happy".

Singh's remarks had come after Gandhi had said that he did not need a certificate from anyone to prove his patriotism. 

Singh's penchant for shooting from the hip has not dulled over the years. 

Last year, in the run up to the crucial Bihar Assembly polls, Singh jumped head first into a political fist fight with Lalu Yadav.

In October, 2015, Singh found himself explaining the difference between beef and mutton to former Bihar chief minister Lalu Yadav. Furthermore, Singh went on to describe the veteran politician as "senile". 

In a tweet by ABP News Hindi, Singh was quoted as saying “The difference between beef and mutton is the same as the difference between our relationship with our mothers and our wives”.

A week before Singh's remark, Yadav had said that Hindus also consumed beef and that there was no difference between goat meat and beef. The statement had come against the backdrop of a 52-year-old Muslim man being lynched by a mob in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri, allegedly for storing and eating beef in his house. 

The member of Parliament from Nawada, Bihar, first shot to fame, also for the wrong reasons, when during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections he declared that critics and opponents of then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi should go to Pakistan. 

The remarks resulted in police cases against him and Election Commission censures. 

Of course, apparent religious bigotry is not Singh's only flavour, he had landed himself in another political controversy in April last year when he racially targeted Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Singh asked jocularly whether Sonia's "white skin" had been her ticket to securing the top job in the Congress Party.

Stoking the controversy further, he had asked, "If Rajiv (Gandhi) had married a Nigerian, things would have been different."

The political firestorm his remarks created aside, the Nigerian High Commission in India did not take too kindly to his remark. 

The acting High Commissioner of Nigeria had said that a complaint could be filed with the External Affairs Ministry as Singh's comments were in "very bad taste".

"We expect the minister to withdraw the comments and apologise to the Nigerian people. We will notify our government about the issue," he had said.

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