There seems to be no stopping Indian right wing leaders from making incendiary statements despite a strict missive from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reign them in. Sakshi Maharaj, a BJP lawmaker from Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, has sparked a controversy by stressing that all Hindu women must produce at least four children.
Maharaj told a gathering in Meerut on Tuesday: "The concept of four wives and 40 children will not work in India and the time has come when a Hindu woman must produce at least four children in order to protect Hindu religion," the Times of India reported.
As if that wasn’t enough, the MP went on to state that "a law will be passed in Parliament in which anyone indulging in cow slaughter and conversion will be punished with the death sentence," according to the report. 'Ghar Wapsi', or homecoming, the term used by far right groups to 're-convert' people from minority religions to Hinduism, is not conversion, he said.
The conversion issue rocked both houses of Parliament in December and the ruling BJP earned flak from all political parties for converting poor Muslim families to Hinduism.
But this isn’t the first time that the Sangh leader has said something controversial. On December 11, 2014, Maharaj said Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse was a patriot. He later retracted his statement.