Former Chief Electoral Commissioner Dr. SY Quraishi

In an interview with Dainik Bhaskar’s local editor, Upmita Vajpayee, the former Chief Election Commissioner, Dr. SY Quraishi, discussed several topics relating to Muslims, including the Muslim population, multiple marriages, triple talaq, love jihad, the hijab and the pundits of Kashmir. Quraishi, a renowned Muslim, has always expressed his support for Muslims and has come forward to refute and mock all facts that show Muslims on the darker side.

This interview comes at a time when the entire Islamist and liberal lobby is busy repudiating the film The Kashmir Files as a farce. Here are some excerpts from the interview published by Dainik Bhaskar.

Are Muslims growing faster than Hindus?

When asked if the Muslim population is growing faster than the Hindu population, Quraishi responded by saying that there is no data to back up such facts. He said: “For many years it has been perpetuated that Muslims have a large number of children and marry four times. The slogan ‘we five, our twenty-five’ was also coined, however, research shows that is not the case.” Denying the role of Islam in increasing the Muslim population, he said “It is true that Muslims have the lowest rate of family planning, but that has nothing to do with religion.

To depict the slow Muslim population growth rate, he used some calculations and a mathematical model. He said: “Professor Dinesh Singh from Delhi University created a mathematical model for me. To inquire, as is claimed, I asked him, ‘tell me when the majority of Muslims will be formed?’ I would become Prime Minister of the country. Sir, you can’t become for 1000 years, he pointed out.

Is it because of population that Muslims have more than one marriage?

“Having four wives is impossible in terms of sex ratio. There are 920-22 females for every 1000 males. That is, not every man will even have a wife,” he replied. But, adding more on the merits of more than one marriage, he said: “Even if it is available, it is beneficial to the general public. When two women marry two men, they have more offspring; when two women marry a man, they have fewer children.

Referring to a 47-year-old report, he cited that the study conducted by the Indian government in 1975 found that Muslims had the lowest incidence of multiple marriages among all castes, but that is simply put on Muslims. Elaborating on the reference of multiple marriages in Islam, he said, “There is only one verse in the Quran that talks about it, it also talks about marriage with unmarried women and orphans.”

On the issue of Love Jihad

“There is a love jihad between me and my wife, in my house the girls also do love jihad. Love has no limits,” Quraishi replied. At one point, he maintained that there was no love jihad, but then he firmly stated that love jihad had affected Muslim girls the most, then he added further: “Educated Muslim boys are taken away by educated Hindu girls No one saw it from the perspective of Muslim women.

Quraishi also added that Madhya Pradesh’s anti-conversion law aims to defame Muslims. “The more you try to defame a Muslim, the less it is. That’s why this law was introduced,” he said.

The Kashmiri Pandit-Muslim Equation

Quraishi agreed that there had been atrocities with the Kashmiri Pandits, however, they were not alone in this and the Muslims of the valley were also affected. He further added, “Humanity must be heard, not religion.” He said The Kashmir Files divides the masses just like the terrorists.

Yogi’s triumph for democracy or communitarianism?

Quraishi pointed out that the victory of Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh is the victory of communalism. “Polarization has been an election gimmick for 20 years. The situation is such that even two children are fighting face to face, so it’s called polarization,” he added.

What about this phase of polarization?

He said the peak polarization occurred during Partition and then during the time of Babri and the country is now in its third phase of polarization. The inhabitants of the country are increasingly communitarized. However, surprisingly, he attributed the secular nature of India to the Hindus. He said, “India is secular because Hindus are secular. When the partition took place, Pakistan became a Muslim country, but India became a secular country, not a Hindu country. Then everything went back to normal, so hopefully the time will pass now.

Questions arise on EVM, Akhilesh says he wins in postal, how did he lose in EVM?

Quraishi said he supported the electronic voting machine. “I consider the EVMs to be reliable because the Bharatiya Janata Party would not have lost the elections in Bengal if it had gone bad. The BJP had spared no effort in the elections in Bengal. There is no question to go back to the polls,” he said.

Is faith in the Electoral Commission lost?

“Yes, sorry but it’s true,” Quraishi said. “The country had the utmost confidence in the Electoral Commission. It hurts me to say that. I don’t want to say anything about it,” he added.

Is the controversy over whether the hijab is part of the Quran fair?

The hijab, according to Quraishi, is not a commandment in the Quran, although both men and women are expected to dress modestly. He said, “Sikh turban, vermilion is allowed in school uniform, so what’s the deal with hijab?”

He said it is not the judge who will decide on the hijab but the maulana. “Will it be good if Maulana starts giving decisions to the IPC?” he added.

In another interview with The Times of India last year, Quraishi said that Islam pioneered the concept of family planning and that polygamy is rampant in India is a myth. He was talking about his book. Fighting for Islamic countries like Bangladesh, Iran and Indonesia, he said these countries were doing better than India when it came to family planning.

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