Azad's population control mantra: Watch late night TV

Focus on delayed marriage and suitable gap between two children

Azad's population control mantra: Watch late night TV


 Addressing a World Population Day function here on Saturday, Azad suggested—rather jokingly—providing electricity to villages so that the people watch television till late night without producing babies.

“If there is electricity in every village, people will watch TV till late night and then fall asleep. They won’t get a chance to produce children. When there is no electricity, there is nothing else to do but produce babies,” the Union health minister said.

Thakur’s comment

Almost eight years ago, Thakur—health minister in the NDA government—made a similar comment in the Rajya Sabha, attracting criticism from the Congress, the then principal Opposition party. Thakur—a qualified medical researcher of repute—wanted entertainment to be part of the population strategy.

The health minister in UPA-II appears to have the same tactic in the back of his mind. Incidentally, both Thakur and Azad backed up their arguments with hearsay stories of a population boom abroad during a sustained spell of load shedding. On a more serious note, Azad said delayed marriage and suitable gap between two children should be highlighted as the possible solution for the growing population. After giving away prizes to rural couples who married after 18 years of age, he said only those wedded after 30-31 years should be awarded for delaying population growth.

Asked if he proposed raising the age of marriage to 30, Azad clarified he was only referring to the awards. The growth in population is the root cause for several national problems including poverty, unemployment, price rise and the deterioration of law and order. Many societal problems like Naxalism, were a reflection of this mismatch between population and resources, he said. With 2.5 per cent of the global land mass, India houses about 17 per cent of the world’s population. Azad also made it clear that coercion  was not acceptable for promoting family planning, and that there was a need for the universal acceptance of small family norms.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry