God was supposed to have commanded Adam and Eve, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Never mind planners agonizing over the problems resulting from population explosion. Here is a barely 21-year-old Harjinder Singh from Punjab in northern India , invoking the God's message to his fellow Sikhs.
Advertisement"The birth of every Sikh child contributes to the Sikh population. Sikh couples must consider having more than two children to add to the population of Sikhs."
"A sharp decline in the growth of Sikh population is shocking the Sikhs worldwide. If you and your partner are concerned, please plan more than two children."
Through his web-based Sikh Network, Harjinder Singh bombards hundreds and thousands of mobile phones of Sikhs with such messages every morning.
He argues, "In this vote-bank driven political system, Sikhs must increase their number in order to assert their identity."
Harjinder says he was driven to send these after reading that two communities had been growing at a high rate and that of the Sikh population had been flagging.
According to latest figures while Muslims at 138.2 millions constitute 13.4% of India's population,
Christians, with 24 millions 2.3%, Sikhs at 19.2millions make up 1.9% of the population.
Hindus are of course at an overwhelming majority. Harjinder's grouse is that among the minorities, the Sikh's proportion is declining.
However, Avtar Singh Makkar, a prominent community leader, retorts, "Rather than advising people to have more children, they should be asking them to curb female foeticide as this will in a way help increase Sikh population."
A well-known Punjabi poet, Jaswant Zafar, who also received the message, shares, "These are ridiculous messages and I have asked them not to send them in the future." He adds that such incidents could lead to alienation of the community, and thus, must be nipped in the bud.
Sikh scholar and educationist Prithipal Singh Kapoor, says, "Having children is a personal choice and our social fabric does not allow for passing an opinion on such an issue." However, he is not too worried about such messages as he says, "People are far too intelligent to get swayed by such things."
"The youth in Punjab has become a slave to drugs. Giving birth to four children, instead to two, will only worsen the condition," thinks Paramjit Singh Sarna, president, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee. He says when it comes to having children, the focus must be on improving their quality of life, and not just increasing the number.
Rajpreet Singh Gill, a university student, thinks that people spreading such messages could harm the social set up, and so must be dealt with severely.
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