Population control by enacting law: A Myth
India has better options!
India has 2.41% of the world’s land area to support over 18% of the world’s population. Despite becoming the 5th largest economy we are at the bottom on most of the parameters due to this ever increasing population.
1952 to 1977 india launched a massive population control programme, As a child I used to read wall paintings saying ‘ do ya teen bachche hote hain ghar me achche’
Meaning two or three children are good in a family, it was improvised to ‘hum do hamare do’ and then to ‘ ham do ek hamara ek ‘. With decreasing child mortality and increasing longevity the birth control programme was getting some acceptance in the general public. Despite advanced countries like America not being able to legalize abortion, India could pass a law to allow abortion.
During the emergency Sanjay Gandhi hijacked this programme and alleged atrocities in the name of family planning took place, there was anger in masses as ‘Vasectomy’ by forcing people, government employees etc. The author was a student at that time. A Hindi teacher in his school failed to motivate two people. He got rid of the immense pressure by going for a vasectomy along with his wife. Due to these incidents, post emergency talking of family planning became a taboo.
Janta party got elected to power in 1977. It took active support of imam Bukhari of Jama Masjid of delhi. As Muslim clergy is normally against family planning, the programme was shelved for good. The author does not recall any wall painting etc on this matter post 1977.
Political parties made it a point to appease Muslim clergy as it was easy to win elections using fatwas issued by these people.
Destroying the will to implement common civil code.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) , a non-government organization, was constituted in 1973. Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi empowered it for the protection and continued applicability of Muslim Personal Law in India. It was a step away from the idea of a common civil code.Despite being a NGO it was given a status similar to constitutional authority and the state started consulting it. The irony is that despite going out of way in appeasing the hardcore elements shamelessly Mrs Gandhi lost the next election due to a fatwa issued by those elements only. Jama Masjid Imam stood with the leaders of Janata party. The common civil law became a distant dream after these developments.Madrasa were directly financed by the states without having any control over the curriculum.
Haj pilgrimage was provided with all the resources and permanent Haj houses were created across the country to accommodate a small time event. At best these Haj houses could have been normal shelter houses available to Muslim brothers and sisters during their Haj pilgrimage and others could have used it for the rest of the year but by naming Haj houses these properties go waste most of the time. Even a Haj terminal was created at Delhi.Presently it has been made terminal 2. Now Muslim orthodox have started claiming possessions of these properties which belong to the government.
Gaining these advantages the orthodox Islamic leadership acted in a manner which encouraged dividing of society, I.e filing more and more cases in courts to amend rules to accommodate sharia provision. Latest was the hijab controversy. They went ahead with halal certification. Choking Hindu religious practices by filing PILs against temple practices, claiming the right to sell Hindu religious products in temple areas.
The leftist and politicians brush these facts aside, Yet the decreasing ratio of the Hindu population from 84.3 per cent in 1952 to just above 79% in the last census and increase in Muslim population from 9.8% to 14.23 % in the same period is a fact which can not be ignored.This trend is uniform and their present higher growth rate 24.6% will ensure this gap to widen further.( censusindia.gov.in)
Ethnic cleansing of Kashmir and violence against Hindu Shobha yatra in some Muslim dominant areas have created suspicions in the mind of Hindus that the change in demography has dire consequences for them.
The Muslim clergy and extremist organizations in the name of NGOs are leaving no stone unturned to split the society. Illegal claims over non Muslim properties by the Waqf board are blatant.
“Waqf Act,1995: A Tool given to Waqf Boards to snatch the property of Hindus ?”
(TOI September 26, 2022, 1:30 PM IST Rajeev Gupta in MYVIEW, India, politics)
There are good organizations as well but they remain silent for example, organizations like Hamdard or Himalaya can do a great work as these have earned greater trust of their community but are skeptical in promoting reforms or opposing fatwas.
Any attempt to stop these menaces is treated as fascism.The practice of making fake mazars and claiming public land is another issue. Mazars are on flyovers, railway platforms where no cremation is possible.
So whenever anybody talks about population control these sections of the society start crying foul.
Why to have universal law for a problem which is specific to few pockets Muslims and other backward areas only ?
As all other religions are maintaining the same ratio without any major variation and they have no resistance to birth control then there is no point in bringing a bill where the majority has no issue and the community which has problems is not going to follow either. Over and above neither the government nor the court has a will to implement such laws. The case of the minimum age of 18 years for a girl to get married is a live example. Ignoring the medical sciences and law framed by parliament the matter was decided on the basis of Muslim law .
[Fija v. State Govt NCT of Delhi, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 2527, decided on 17-08-2022]. It is strange that a person who is not eligible to enter into any contract is eligible to enter a ‘contract of marriage’ just because the girl is Muslim. This brings us to a harsh reality where laws are enacted for the sake of it.
All reforms have become Hindu reform only and the same will be the fate of the new law.
It has been the fate since independence. Hindu Marriage Act which prohibited marriage of a Hindu whose spouse was still alive. Polygamy becomes illegal in India, except for Muslims, who are free to have four wives.why this exception was created no explanation was ever given. Whether true or not a fear is there in the mind of an ordinary Hindu that the system is discriminating against Hindus. It also assumes that Hindus are going to be a minority sooner or later. This fear becomes realistic when PFI paper’ India 2047’ Claims that 10 percent committed Muslim population is good enough to achieve the bringing of Hindus on their knees.
“Disturbing details emerge from internal PFI document -‘India Vision”
aninews July 14 2022.
Unless uniformity and equity is established, population control by enacting a law can not be achieved. For example, Since India’s Independence, the two-child policy has been placed in Parliament more than 35 times but it has failed to become a law. The Population Control Bill, 2019, was withdrawn in 2022. At present the morale of these fringe elements is very high and they will miss no opportunity to bring chaos.
Moreover Article 20 A, places Population control and family planning under concurrent list which means states have to play a major role. At present many states will not implement any law agonizing their loyal vote bank so even if passed the law will not have the full impact.
A movie with title ‘hum do humare barah’ is in the limelight where the family shown on the poster is wearing Muslim dresses. Nobody is ready to accept it as a satire and protests have started. The presstitutes have already started campaigning against state intervention in population control.
In India the word minority has been hijacked by the second largest religion.The hardcore section among this always talk against the national interest and politicians are eager to support these elements. During COVID these were the people who opposed vaccinations and attacked health workers. Rumors were spread and many political parties joined, leaders gave blatant support. When the death toll increased, all ran for vaccines shamelessly.
Government on other hand has no will to tackle these groups. Delhi has suffered immensely on this account. These groups propagated terror yet it took decades to ban their parent organizations. They are sabotaging Hindu Muslim unity with ease, and skirmishes have become regular, forward looking Muslims are getting victimized, their voice is being choked.
Arif Mohammad Khan is a live example who was made to campaign against teen talaq and then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi surrendered meekly and nullified the courts order.
In the recent past also CAA and farm reform bills could not be implemented, instead Delhi roads were choked and communal violence took place.Nation has already suffered a lot of violence and the government should not think of a population control bill unless it has a strong will as depicted by it for removing section 370 in Kashmir.
What is the solution to this mess?
- Government should stop funding religious organizations which oppose population control.
- for getting any subsidy or help everyone should take a pledge to follow fundamental duties.
- The State should finance Modern education only and any religious education should be financed by respective communities only.
Subsidies are the prerogative of the state and it should define eligibility accordingly.
There should be categories defined as one child family, two child family and so on. Subsidy should decrease as the children increase and it should stop for parents if they have more than two children.
- For example free delivery or treatment in government hospitals upto first two children and charge the parents after that .
- Ration card for parents plus two children but struck down the benefit for parents after the third child I.e parents will not get ration while the children will still get.
- Create similar categories in housing schemes,Job reservation, promotion etc. Here the government can incentivise parents with one child as carrots may work better than sticks.
- In the next phase the government can charge Higher rates for electricity or other facilities,higher property tax,cess on income tax and so on ( additional charges can be calculated on per person basis)
A care should be taken that parents having more than two children should be made to pay but not the child. Children being the national asset, should not be exposed to any discrimination.
Facilities like connectivity, electricity and other civic amenities are being provided at villages. Exodus to cities should be taken seriously. stren action should be taken against corrupt employees and states promoting encroachments many states were indulging in these practices for long.
Any attempt to change demographics through infiltration should be treated with an iron hand else there is no point in conducting a census to regularize the violation.
Taking leaf from swachchh Bharat and surrender of gas subsidy.
This government has sensitized public about ‘Swachh Bharat’ and
defecation in the open. Similarly over one crore households have been persuaded to give up their gas subsidy.
As a first step to population control, subsidies can be used to promote family planning. This should be supported by meaningful campaigns and appeals focusing on core areas where awareness is lagging. Good media campaign can play a major role as done in case of defecation in the open.
Women in Iran have shown the way.
Empowering women: angan wadi workers can take a big lead in encouraging women for family planning. Muslim women have shown courage in fighting the curses of ‘Teen Talaq’. A mother understands the pain of malnourished children and health hazards of multiple pregnancies. If empowered they can take on the hard liners as done in Iran recently. I do not know a single forward looking Muslim woman who has more than two children but governments after governments have brought them on the fringes.Till recent past good nationalist were on the hit list of terrorists while the Kashmiri hard liners were enjoying state privileges.
Rewarding good behaviour.
Rewarding the good examples will go a long way, for example any village where no family has more than two children can be declared a model village. Panchayat can be honored. Providing additional facilities at panchayat bhavan in such villages will Create competition.
India is a country of followers or blind followers!
- The country is unique on this count. It has responded to ‘swadeshi’ and ‘angrezo Bharat chhodo’
- prisoners of war became ‘Azad hind Fauz’ on the call of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose
- Jai jawan jai kisan won the 1965 war and gave us a successful Green revolution.
- Landlord gave up their land in ‘bhudan andolan’ of Binova Bhave
- Dacoits surrendered on his call.
- JP was followed in letter and spirit by students and public alike.
Fatwas and the blind followers.
Whether it is a fatwa on ‘sar tan se juda’ ,minor girl’s marriage,or hijab , there are blind followers. In an incident in Delhi people were beheaded in Udaipur and Maharashtra by the people having no direct concern just because somebody gave a fatwa. These are the people whose blatant power has to be challenged as they oppose every positive move. Long hand of law should teach them a lesson.
Time has come to launch population control as a mission. Spreading awareness is the key.Governments should talk boldly about population control. The increasing stress on natural resources should be explained. Public should be made aware about challenges we are facing on food, water and other fronts. If we are able to carry the majority with us then in a few years time, Imposing stringent measures on defaulters will make sense. Only then enacting a law may work.
India is tired of failing to control its population, we are also frustrated and we all want our population density to decrease yet it is a critical moment and we have to act as a united country – the people, the government, the religious leaders, the NGOs,the corporate leaders with their CSR fund, should work in harmony. Indian history makes one believe :
Together we move mountains and population control is also possible.
Let the nation work together and let’s get rid of the habit of making laws without having a will to implement them.
By Rakesh Kumar