Former Kerala police chief T P Senkumar, who retired last month, has raised the hackles of political outfits after he made statements against minorities. Targeting Muslims, the former DGP told online publication Samakalika Malayalam in an interview on Saturday: “There should be attempts from within the community to check religious extremism. When speaking about extremism, there is no sense speaking about the RSS. One cannot have a comparison between the RSS and the Islamic State.”
“The problem comes when a Muslim is taught he should do jihad to attain heaven and that jihad is when one converts another into Islam and kills a non-Muslim. Jihad should not be understood by the Muslim community in the manner in which they are understanding it now…,” he said. He said a section of the Muslim population still practised “love jihad”. “If religious conversions happen over love, such things would have taken place in all religions. But such conversions happen only in the Muslim community,” he alleged.
He spoke of “demographic change” and linked it to the alleged “growing Muslim population in Kerala”. “Of 100 births in the state, 42 belong to the Muslim community, which constitutes 27 per cent of the population. The birth rate of Hindus, which constitutes 54 per cent of population, is below 48.5 per cent. The birth rate of Christians, who constitute 19 per cent of the state’s population is 15 per cent. If demography is changing in this manner, what kind of change would be taking place in Kerala in the future? Although the Christian birth rate is coming down, their population is not falling because of the conversions they are doing,” he said.
Senkumar also said he recently saw a video clip of a Ramzan speech which found fault with the killing of men to save cows. “Such speeches would have far-reaching consequences. Action should be taken against them.” On Sunday, Senkumar attended an event of a BJP-backed daily, Janmabhumi, to honour top scorers in school exams. Reacting to criticism against turning up for the event, Senkumar said he had every right to attend an event organised by the newspaper of the party that is ruling the country. The programme was attended by BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi and party legislator O Rajagopal.
Senkumar’s comments triggered widespread protests. Congress ally IUML national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty said:“A person who had held such a top post should not have talked in this manner. Only now we came to realise Senkumar has such a mindset.” Congress MP M I Shanavas said: “He is speaking for the Sangh Parivar. A case should be registered against Senkumar for attempting to create communal hatred.”