UP Population Control Bill: VHP objects to proposed one-child norm, cites China’s example

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Updated: July 12, 2021 3:20 PM

The Yogi Adityanath government on Saturday placed a draft of the proposed Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilisation and Welfare) Bill, 2021 in public domain inviting suggestions till July 19.

yogi adityanath photoThe state Law Commission on Saturday placed a draft of the proposed Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilisation and Welfare) Bill, 2021 in public domain inviting suggestions till July 19. (Photo source: IE)

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has taken exception to the one-child norm proposed under the draft population control bill by the Yogi Adityanath government, saying it goes beyond its stated objectives of stabilising the population and promoting a two-child norm. In its submissions to the state Law Commission, a copy of which was shared on its Twitter handle, the VHP said, “The preamble of Bill states that this is a Bill (i) inter alia to stabilize the population and (ii) promotion of two-child norm. VHP agrees with both objectives. However, Section 5, 6(2) and 7 of the Bill, which incentivise the public servants and others to have only one child in the family go well beyond the said objectives.”

The state Law Commission on Saturday placed a draft of the proposed Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilisation and Welfare) Bill, 2021 in public domain inviting suggestions till July 19. The draft bill, among other provisions, seeks to incentivise couples who follow the two-child policy. It also proposes measures to exclude people with over two children from availing benefits under various schemes, including subsidies, as well as bar such people from availing government jobs.

The VHP, in its submissions to the state Law Commission, said that any government policy aiming at an average of less than two children per woman leads to a contraction of population with several adverse social and economic consequences.

Citing the example of China’s one-child policy, the VHP said, “In China, which adopted the one-child policy, it was referred to as the 1-2-4 phenomenon. To get over it, China had to relax its one-child policy for patients who were themselves single children of their parents. It is said that in China, the one-child policy was never applied to more than half of the prospective parents. Within about three decades, it had to be completely withdrawn.”

The VHP further argued that in a contracting population, the ratio between the working-age and dependent population gets disrupted, adding that “in extreme cases, the one-child policy would lead to a situation where there is only one working-age adult to look after 2 parents and 4 grandparents”.

It also said that single children “are known to be socially less accommodative” since they do not learn to share with their siblings and are over-indulged and pampered by their parents. “This has been referred to as the Little Emperor syndrome,” the VHP said.

The right-wing outfit also warned that the one-child norm could lead to furthering the imbalance between different communities “because they are known to respond differently to the incentives and disincentives related to family planning and contraception”.

“The TFR of Hindus has declined far below the replacement rate of 2.1, but that of Muslims is 3.16 in Assam and 2.33 in Kerala. In these states, one of the communities has thus entered the contraction phase while the other is still expanding. UP should avoid getting into that situation,” the VHP argued in its statement.

In its final submissions to the Law Commission, the VHP suggested that the policy be tailored to redress such an imbalance, failing which the one-child policy may end up doing the exact opposite.

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