Anisha sheth | The News Minute | November 13, 2014 | 1.08 pm IST
The Vishwa Hindu Parishat has endorsed the opposition of Karnataka's religious leaders to the central government’s move to amend the medical termination of pregnancy act.
A two-day Sant Sammelan of seers in Karnataka organized as a part of the Vishwa Hindu Parishat’s Golden Jubilee celebration passed set of five resolutions. The last one on the list was the opposition to the amendment to the act. It read: “Demand to central govt to withdraw “Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill 2014, 12015/49/2008 draft dated 29.10.2014″
Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill 2014 seeks to permit AYUSH practitioners and certain others to conduct abortions after providing them with training. The amendment also raises the period up to which medical termination is permitted from 20 weeks up to 24 weeks.
The medical establishment has been divided on the amendment, with the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), an umbrella body of gynaecologists supporting the move and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) opposing it on medical grounds.
Close to around 600 seers of various Mutts and other religious leaders participated in the sammelan. These included some of the most powerful seers in the state such as the Seer of the Pejavar Mutt Vishveshwa Tirtha Swami, head of the Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru, head of the Adichunchunagiri Mutt, Veerendra Heggade of Dharmasthala. Head of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar, who has a large international following, was also part of the sammelan.
Asked about the opposition to the amendment to the act, media in-charge of the RSS in Karnataka Rajesh Padmar told The News Minute: “We need to discuss that further, but Muslim population is the major problem facing Hindu society. (We oppose abortion because) Hindu family should have at least three children. The Hindu population needs to be increased. That is what the RSS has always been saying.”
He said that similar sammelans had already been organized by the VHP in other states, starting from around five months ago, and that in each state, resolutions were passed according to the needs of the local conditions.
In Karnataka, the problem of conversion is pressing, so that is the main issue here, Padmar said. “The resolution was passed by Swamijis at a Sant Sammelan organized by the VHP. The VHP does not pass resolutions, but there is no difference. We obey what they say, namage beku (we want their guidance).”
In February this year, Vishwa Hindu Parishad convenor Ashok Singhal had said the day would not be far off when Hindus would be reduced to a minority in this country and it was "imperative" for each Hindu couple to have five children.