20 June, 2021

What If 'Hum Do, Hamare Do' Had Worked?

For starters, the population of India today, based on crude birth and death rates, would have been 610 million. But, them, Sachin Tendulkar would not have happened...

T. Narayan
What If 'Hum Do, Hamare Do' Had Worked?
Four years after independence, India conceived a family planning policy but only its women delivered. Despite becoming the first country to adopt a national policy for limiting a great Indian proclivity, India is expected to overtake China in 2034. At the time of independence there were 345 million Indians. The world took 454 years to go from 345 million in 1310 AD to a billion; India took just 52 years.

It was not for want of trying to slow down. The Post & Telegraph Department made marriage greetings in attractive envelopes that curtly said, "For happy married life please be in touch with the Family Welfare Centre". In the late ’60s the government pleaded, "Two or Three Children...Then Stop". When the fertile ’60s ended, the campaign cancelled the kind option of the third child. "We Two Ours Two, Horn Ok Please," the highway trucks began to say. But all that came to nothing. It was mass media’s biggest failure in human history.

Though the birth rate has come down significantly and fewer Indians are dying without a fight, there are so many of us today that this...

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