Stating that religion has played a crucial role in population control through the ages, Punjab Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jayani on Saturday said that when it came to family planning, people obeyed gurus and saints as opposed to laws.
Speaking at a state-level programme on World Population Day, organised at the Pal Auditorium in the Punjab Agricultural University, Jayani said: “Governments can only make laws and implement policies to control population but this depends on the wisdom of the people. They should refrain from having more than two children. More than laws or government, however, it is religious gurus and saints whom people listen to.”
He also claimed that in “ancient times”, saints and gurus were successful in controlling the population.
“Once upon a time, the population of a country (he did not specify which one) was burgeoning and then it was the religious gurus that helped. Announcements were made through temples that couples who had children would not be in the good books of Gods. Soon, the population was controlled,” Jayani said.
He then went on to add the announcements were so successful that the population had decreased to “dangerous levels”. Jayani, a BJP leader, said religion stepped in again and as part of the process to increase the population, nude statues were installed in temples.
“More than laws, people fear God and religion and once they stopped having children the population was controlled. When it decreased to such a level endangering the very existence of human beings, statues were put in temples to encourage couples to have children; to settle in their minds that God does allow physical relationship of couples. It is no sin,” Jayani said. “History is the testimony to the fact that people listen to religion more than laws,” he added.