There is no doubt that India’s rapidly growing population needs to be controlled as the country is expected to overtake China in terms of population in the next few years. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has appealed to the minority community of the state to adopt ‘civilized family norms’ to reduce the state’s population and eliminate ‘social threats like poverty’. On the first month anniversary of his government, Sarma said, “We want to work with the minority Muslim community to control the population explosion. Social threats such as poverty and land encroachment have their roots in population explosion. We can solve many social problems if immigrant Muslims can adopt civilized family norms…..this is my appeal to them.” He said, “With the increase in population, there will be problems of accommodation, Which in turn will give rise to a struggle to allow people to settle on temple and forest lands. It would be much expected from a democratically elected government. The Chief Minister of Assam said, “No one is our enemy. Government is the guardian of every poor and we want their development. But we need community support. They (non-resident Muslims) have to come forward. Protest will not end their poverty. To end their poverty, we have to educate Muslim women, work on population control… Poverty will never decrease unless they control their population.” Giving the example of tribals, Sarma said, “I understand the problem on the other side. As the population is exploding, They also need a place to live. They should try to practice small family size instead of criticizing the government. Tribals practice it and have never encroached upon forest land; Rather they have protected the forests and created new ones.” Read more: ‘He and his dog Pidi played a key role in installing me as the CM of Assam’, CM Himanta takes a dig at Rahul Gandhi In the last 10 years, Assam has registered a population growth rate of 16.93 percent and the total population has increased from 26,638,407 to 31,169,272. Earlier this week, Sarma pledged to protect the Assamese identity and said that infiltrators and encroachers would be evicted from all parts of the state. Sarma said on Twitter, “Today I visited Gorukhuti in Sipajhar, Darang and traveled in a country boat and inspected those river areas, Which was occupied by illegal settlers near Dholpur Shiv temple. The Assam Police and the district administration have freed 120 bighas of temple land from illegal occupants in the area. To protect our land and Assamese identity from encroachers and infiltrators, such people will be evicted from all parts of Assam.