Busting the Myth of Population Control

Just some two weeks back, Uttar Pradesh came up with the Population Control Bill which puts a constraint on the maximum number of children a family can bear, which has been fixed two. Well, UP is not the first state to bring this law and Assam and Madhya Pradesh have already implemented it. Now, at the same time, the point boils down to the question of population explosion and the need for the bill.

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What does the UP Population Bill draft says ?

See, the bill which is brought by the BISHT government has many incentives as well as disincentives for the people, but it all depends on how many children you have. If you have one or two children, actually one is better because then you will get many rebates, subsidies and even free healthcare and preference in the job of the single child. But, if you did the crime of having three or more children, then first of all forget about ever working in a government job, running for local body elections and even getting proper benefits and ration.

Well, the intention behind this has been to bring down the fertility rate of the state to 2.1 from the existing 2.7 by 2026. Here, we need to break down this fertility rate into some religious and regional lines to have the complete picture. If we look at the urban areas, the fertility rate is quite normal, 2.1, but when we go down to rural areas, it goes up to 3.0. Similarly, if we look at the fertility rates of Hindus, it is quite high at 2.7, but that of Muslims is even higher at 3.1. But, the overall fertility rate of the state has come down from around 4 in 1998 to 3.1 in 2016.

Analyzing the Trends in India

After India got independence, our fertility rate was somewhere around 5.9 (almost 6 children per woman…my gosh). It has come down to 2.2. in 2018 and currently in 19 states it is well below the 2.1 mark. By 2025-26 only our fertility rate would come down well below 2. Also, according to the experts, 2050 will be the year after which our population would start falling down…yes you heard it right. At the time of independence, our total population was around 34 crore, of which more than 30 crores were Hindus, 3.5 crore Muslims and the rest of other communities.

Now, after 75 years, Hindus stand well above 80 crores and Muslims are a little less than 20 crores. Yes, the growth has been more substantial in Muslims, but it should be duly noted that since 1991 the Muslim population is also falling without even one upward shift. Yes, it can’t be denied that Muslims hold a history of having a large number of children, but still, if we look today the fertility is falling, and falling considerably in Muslims as well. If the fertility rate in Hindus is around 2, then it is 2.4 in Muslims, it is not that high as is being projected (they have 8 and 10 children) and nor the situation is as tense.

Why is this policy a piece of Trash ?

Many might be thinking, why am I simply against this policy even before it is coming into effect. The answer is I am too smart a person to see the upcoming consequences based on past experiences, which I will talk about in a bit. Some of the big reasons for this bill being nonsense is:

  • It will lead to more female foeticides, especially keeping in mind Uttar Pradesh is a Patriarchal and a less developed state.
  • Since, to avail any government benefit, the couple will need to prouduce the Sterilization certificate, they will try to have the children in 1-2 years span only, again putting the lives of both women and children in danger. What could have happened smoothly in 5-6 years is being forced in an year or two.
  • There are high chances that people who already have mor ethan two children will divorce their wives to contest the local body elections.
  • Promoting just a single child can turn out extremely dangerous for us making our population old, just as happened in China.
  • FInally, even if I would like to willngly have only two children, but why would I go for Sterlization compulsorily, I mean it’s my godamn property and couldn’t I use it to masturbate, have casual sex or simply to pee peacefully (yes…it effects peeing as well).

India’s Sterilization Drive

Everyone must be knowing that the Indira Gandhi government too, during its Emergency tenure, implemented the Sterilization drive. Under the leadership of Sanjay Gandhi, around 6.2 million men were sterilized, which was around 15 times higher than what happened during the Nazi regime in Germany. There was such a tussle to reach sterilization targets to impress Sanjay Gandhi, that somewhere 18 years old was sterilized and somewhere a 72-year-old man. There were around 2000 deaths of males and females, and yes it is just the official figure and we have seen very recently how accurate the official figures actually are. And, if you are thinking that it must have reduced the population rate of the country greatly, you are wrong. India’s fertility rate remained at the same level and the marginal fall from 4.9 to 4.8 would have anyway taken place like any other year.

China allows three children in major policy shift - BBC News

The Inspiration Behind the Idea : CHINA

Well, though no one has said anything about the inspiration behind the idea, it is very obvious that the idea originally hails from China. China implemented the ‘One-Child Policy’ through the 1980s, where couples were only permitted to have a single child. Those having more than one child were punished or barred from any government benefit. So, what actually happened was an explosive rise in female foeticide. China too, like us is a very patriarchal society and if the parents could have had only one child, they wanted a boy at all cost so their surname can be passed on and the cost of marrying a daughter can be saved.

All of this led to many unsafe abortions and the killing of girl children. Not just this, China had to itself accept that its policy was a failure, as in 2013 it came up with the Two-Child policy. And now, they have gone to a Three-Child policy and as per the experts, they will soon allow as many children as you want. So, what opened the minds of the Virus Nation? Actually what happened was that China ended up having a huge chunk of the population as old and retired that needed to be taken care of…well, what could you expect with a fertility rate of as low as 1.3. Soon, China had a huge chunk of the old population who were becoming a burden on the nation with only one child to take care of them.

China allows three children in major policy shift - BBC News

Why a Population Control Bill is not needed in India ?

First of all, let’s look at these trends from some other point of view. If you start comparing the states in India, with just two factors female literacy and female fertility, you will get the drill. The states having higher than usual fertility and the states having high female illiteracy will have most of the names in common. In UP itself, the rate was 3.2 for illiterate, 3.8 for primary schools students and 2.6 for graduates. Bihar too is not much behind the race with around 4 and above fertility rate in illiterate women. So, you must have understood, if not take another example, UP has around 4.4 crore Muslim population, while Kerala has close to 8.8 crore Muslim population. But, surprisingly despite having almost twice many Muslims as UP, Kerala has a fertility rate of only 1.8 while we know UP, as we saw above is close to 2.6. Do you know what is the reason behind this? Kerala has a female literacy of 95% while UP has only 57%. So, I guess, we can make two big conclusions here :

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Conclusion : Focus on Human Capital instead of these Trash Bills

By now, it must be very clear to all of you that the way out of this crisis is simply more education, especially among women. It’s not that I am in favour of those who want 4 children, I too very much agree that population explosion and overpopulation is dangerous for the country. But, what I am categorically against is forcibly bringing measures to force people to act accordingly and penalise those who don’t. I mean, it’s a Democracy for god sake.

Also, one can’t deny the fact that the Muslim community has had a history of having more children due to some orthodox and stereotypical religious beliefs. But, it is also a fact that as education is spreading, in the country as well as among the Muslims, the fertility rate is dropping in Muslims as well at a quick pace. so, those who just demonize the community for all the problems of the country should better shut up.

And yes some people try to blame the higher population for almost every problem of the country, whether it is a failure during the Second Wave of the COVID or the slow pace of vaccination in the country when it is a known fact that in both cases the one and the only responsible party was our incompetent government. Anyways, will talk about that someday later. As of now, let’s have the message clear…Human Capital is the key to counter overpopulation and not the Bills worthy of Trash.



Sources :

1.Does India need a population control law? Data, survey say no

2. Does India really need a two-child law?


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