M K Stalin, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu said that the union and state governments are working hard to execute family planning and healthcare programmes. Stalin on Sunday urged couples to restrict the number of children they may have to one or two.
Stalin was speaking at a large wedding in Chennai that the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department of Tamil Nadu had organised (HR&CE). Up to 31 couples were wed in Chennai, and 217 were wedded throughout the state.
“I have a request to the newly married couples. Stop with one or two children that you may have,” Stalin said. “Union and state governments are spending a lot on family planning and conducting awareness campaigns…This is for the benefit of the nation and families.”
In jest, the chief minister also said that he saw an advertisement that wondered why we need a child when we ourselves are children.
Stalin’s statement comes at a time when the BJP-led union government has said earlier this year that no law is needed to restrict couples from having more children as a population control measure as public awareness campaigns were working well.
The Rajya Sabha was informed in July by Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar that the government aims to stabilise the population by 2045 through its ongoing efforts. However, some BJP leaders, including Union Minister Giriraj Singh and MP Ravi Kishan, have been calling for legislation for population control.
As a fundamental principle of social justice and the Dravidian model, Stalin pushed the spouses to name their children in Tamil and uphold equality in their families. He also praised HR&CE Minister Sekar Babu’s efforts, claiming that a few groups are attempting to exploit religion as a political tool in the state.
“Some people are unable to tolerate the various welfare measures taken by the HR&CE department. So they are trying to malign the DMK government,” Stalin said. “Whether it is a monarchy or democracy, temples are for the people. Temples are not anyone’s personal property. It was only to change that, the (HR&CE) department was created during the Justice Party rule.”
Stalin recalled the contributions made by his father and former chief minister M Karunanidhi for temples. “Following him, today Sekar Babu is running the department true to our governance of the Dravidian model,” the chief minister said. “Those who do not have any issue to do politics are using religion, and if we ask them for evidence, they have none.”