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Family planning not in our hands: AIMPLB
Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi |
September 14, 2004 17:50 IST
Last Updated: September 14, 2004 18:17 IST
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), a conglomerate of prominent Muslim groups, on Tuesday said it has no plans to be part of any family planning campaign but neither will it interfere in the same.
The board's spokesman S Q R Ilyas told rediff.com that the issue was beyond AIMPLB's jurisdiction.
Asserting that the Muslim growth rate in India, according to the Census 2001, has declined in the last decade, Ilyas said, "The board mandate is confined to personal laws and the shariat (Islamic jurisprudence). Family planning is beyond our limits.
"There are many government schemes for family planning. It depends on individuals and many Muslims do practice family planning methods.
"However, it will oppose any move to impose family planning on the community."
AIMPLB vice-president Maulana Syed Kalbe Sadiq had on Monday told reporters in Delhi that the board would 'discuss steps to promote education and family planning among the downtrodden in the (Muslim) community'.
The issue, he said, would be taken up for discussion at the board's meeting to be held in Kerala this December.
A section of Indian Muslims consider family planning as un-Islamic though it is practiced in many Muslim countries. Sadiq cited Iran, which is governed by shariat law, as an example where family planning has been a success.
Sadiq's statement came on the sidelines of a press conference when reporters asked him to comment on the census figures, which indicate a growing Muslim population.
But Ilyas insisted they were Sadiq's 'personal views'.
"The board is a democratic institution. All members have the right to express their views. If he (Sadiq) wants these issues to be discussed in the meeting, we will do it. But a final decision will be moulded by the majority view," he said.
The Census 2001 report released in Delhi last week had led to a controversy with the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party pointing out that the growth rate of Muslims was higher than that of the Hindus.Muslims are estimated to constitute 13.4% of the country's over one billion population while Hindus account for about 80%.