Why the 2019 ‘Population Regulation Bill’ Has Dangerous Consequences for India -Nayantara Sheoran Appleton

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published Published on Jul 18, 2020   modified Modified on Jul 20, 2020


In July 2019, a ‘Population Regulation Bill‘ was put forward in Parliament, calling for action against people with more than two living children. The private member’s Bill was introduced by MP Rakesh Sinha, a founding member of India Policy Foundation, an RSS-affiliated non-profit think tank. While the Bill is still pending, 11 months earlier, 125 MPs had written to the president  in August 2018 asking for the implementation of a two-child norm.

Previous governments have trained a focus on population as a problem for development as well; most people who grew up in the 1980s might remember the ‘hum do, hamare do‘ advertising campaigns. This new Bill is different because it has the potential to systematically alter India’s social fabric itself.

If passed, the Bill will render ordinary the otherwise extraordinary position of systemic exclusion. It will allow the government to stand aside as children and their parents die – for lack of food, healthcare or other protections. The proposed Bill states that people with more than two children will receive fewer government services (as decided by states). This includes money and limited  benefits under the public distribution system, even for those at the bottom of India’s socio-economic strata. It also proposes that those with more than two children be disqualified from standing for elections to public office. New government employees will have to agree to not have more than two children. The Bill privileges access to public education, healthcare facilities and insurance to families with fewer than two children.

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TheWire.in, 18 July, 2020, https://science.thewire.in/health/india-2019-population-regulation-bill-marginalisation-womens-rights/?fbclid=IwAR1iXINwyHmztB81us2E05unjwT9mQw_kjmGuhTghahZCnqom4dMHjPsjPg

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