… Population scientists and demographic experts have made mockery in past of
Getting back into history books (a.k.a websites) to check origin of assumed ideology is both tickling and fun. Thomas Malthus, a clergy Englishman * predicted in his academic essays that increasing population would lead to epidemics, famines or wars! In his time of early 18th century, intellectuals in East Asian English colonies came from
Growing global concern of population fuelled by domestic problems forced
People in power wanted drastic and quick workable remedies. Dr.S Chandrashekar, minister for health and family planning hinted at scale-on-knuckle measures and remarked “Our house is on fire”… “We can get blaze under control” pointing at sterilization. By 1970s, sterilization clinics were set up for citizens to avail free services. Indians didn’t get lured by any number of sops to compromise on possibility of giving birth to a son who is perceived as social and financial insurance. Government’s methods to persuade people to get sterilized backfired in many ways. E.g. Gowdas refused to take anti-TB BCG since it was rumored that BCG stood for “birth control government”! In 1975, Indira Gandhi imposed emergency rule, which suspended democratic citizen rights and empowered her with new powers of persuasion. Coercion, cruelty and corruption went rampant with rural masses denied rural credit without “nasabandhi” * certificate! Parents of more than 3 children were refused school admission, prisoners were not given parole and employees didn’t get paid without going under knife. There were reported scenes of people being dragged into sterilization clinics after being rounded up like sheep. The emergency era saw 8 million Indians getting sterilized which was less than moderate success. Immediately after in 1977, Indira Gandhi was tossed out of power indicating dislike of masses towards power, persuasion games on seemingly private affairs of people. Janata party, which came to power eventually renamed program from “family planning” to “family welfare” to avoid stigma.
Word of caution – I am not suggesting that unhindered growth in population is way for economic growth. To keep our wits in mid path - our natural resources are no bottomless pool. A billion people may offer us huge human capital but will have detrimental burden on our environment, food and resources.
Economists found it difficult to explain why only
Whats to come in my next blog (on top of my mind)?
- Differences in how
- How democracy is key differentiator in giving
Looking back at Indian situation, the “pigs have already passed through the python”… there is more to look ahead than backwards in Indian politics. The UPA government is in full power at center with dependable and eminent set of people handling top ministries. The prime minister has already started pet policy initiatives giving technocrats few responsible and decision making positions in administration. Lets wish they bring their hands together to “roll up red tape and roll out red carpet” for developmental initiatives and inclusive policies.
For those who are interested on topics of public policy and reforms, there are very informative books by today’s politicians’ viz. P.Chidambaram, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Shashi Taroor, Veerappa Moily. Those also interested in visionary thoughts can read books from Narayana Murthy (collection of his speeches), Essential Gandhi, Ramachandra Guha (
My data sources are various books, Wikipedia and Google.
 * In 1960
 * Refer book “Essential Gandhi” which is an anthology of his writings.
 * Nasabandhi is Hindi colloquial word for sterilization
 * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green
 Theory of David bloom http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bloom