Ghulam Nabi Azad says late-night TV will help slow India’s birth rate

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Daredevil, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Ghulam Nabi Azad says late-night TV will help slow India’s birth rate

    Television can dramatically reduce population growth, the Health and Family Welfare Minister said

    Rhys Blakely in Mumbai

    India intends to harness the passion-killing properties of late-night television to help to control a potentially catastrophic population explosion.

    Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Health and Family Welfare Minister, has called for the country to redouble its efforts to bring electricity to all of its huge rural population.

    The introduction of the electric light and television sets to those vast areas that still did not have them would discourage procreation, he argued.

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

    India’s population has trebled since independence in 1947 to about 1.2 billion after an agricultural revolution, which helped to banish famine, and developmental progress extended life expectancy. The country, whose population is growing by about 1.6 per cent a year, accounts for about 17 per cent of the world’s people but occupies less than 3 per cent of its land area.

    India’s population is expected to exceed that of China in the next 20 years and experts are warning of violent internal conflicts over resources unless urgent action is taken.

    With hardline policies such as China’s one-child-per-couple mandate ruled out as politically inexpedient in the world’s largest democracy, the question of how to cap the population explosion has encouraged lateral thinking. In the Shivpuri district of the central state of Madhya Pradesh, an area known for its machismo culture, authorities offer fast-tracked gun licences to men who have vasectomies.

    Mr Azad has also suggested incentives to encourage people to wait until they are in their 30s before marrying. Such a plan would shake up cultural norms in a country where child marriages, a key factor behind high birth rates, remain common.

    The minister called on India’s television channels to provide high-quality programmes, arguing that enticing content would offer alternative late-night entertainment.

    The UN warned last week that the number of people on the planet — at least 6.7 billion — would double in the next 40 years if growth rates remain unchecked. Singling out India, it said that population explosions risked exacerbating problems such as famine, disease and struggles over resources.

    “We are looking at tens of millions more mouths to feed, children to school and people to house in the countries that are least able to accommodate that,” a UN spokesman said.

    Professor Arvind Pandey, of the Indian Association for the Study of Population, agreed that television could help to slow population growth. “But it is the education and empowerment of women that is key,” he said.

    Cutting numbers

    Colombian men have been offered land in two towns on the Caribbean coast as an incentive for undergoing a vasectomy. The 2003 plan was sponsored by a film producer.

    Iranian vasectomy clinics were issued copies of a religious edict from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, confirming that vasectomies were compatible with Islam. The move was intended to slow Iran's birth rate.

    In the 1960s the Indian Government tried paying men small cash amounts if they would agree to a vasectomy. But doctors found that they would volunteer several times, for the income.

    Jonathan Swift, in his 1729 work A Modest Proposal, suggested feeding the children of poor Roman Catholic families to wealthy Protestant landowners to deal with Ireland’s unsustainable population growth. The satirical piece was attacked as barbaric.

    Source: Times Database
     
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  3. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Azad favours late marriages to curb population growth

    Azad favours late marriages to curb population growth

    TNN 12 July 2009, 12:37am IST
    NEW DELHI: After a long break, the government is talking family planning again. In what marks a change from the "population dividend" argument that replaced "parivar niyojan" of the 1970's, health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has suggested late marriages as a means of checking population growth.

    In a country where even now women in their mid-20s are seen to be getting "past" the marriageable age and where, in rural areas, girls in the age group of 16-18 getting married to boys in their early 20's is still very the norm, Azad's idea may sound somewhat radical.

    But the minister is quite serious and feels that late marriages may be the solution to contain India's teeming millions. At a function to commemorate the `World Population Day', where rural couples opting to marry after 18 and planning their families were awarded, Azad pointed out that they were merely following the law.

    "Only people who opt to marry at 30-31 should be awarded," he said according to an agency report though he quickly dismissed questions over whether he wanted the marriageable age to be raised to 30. He said he was talking in terms of awards as incentives to such couples.

    His concern over the fast growing population is a break from the view that growing urbanisation, prosperity and education would in themselves bring about smaller families. Clearly feeling that an evolutionary process would take too long, he said India's population was putting tremendous pressure on depleting natural resources.

    "Even countries like Australia, United States and the Middle East where people went in search of employment are turning Indians back to secure jobs for their own people," he warned. "This has been the trend over the last one year," he said.

    The rate of development of resources in India was far less than the spurt in population, he said asking the media, bureaucracy and the civil society to create more awareness among rural masses. "The fight in the future and at present is between haves and have nots. The Naxalite movement is a result of this," he went on to say.

    Azad said information about family planning as well as its importance should be imparted at the grassroots level. He found some support from former rural development minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh who said giving incentives to people opting for good family planning measures was the only option available. Apart from this, strict vigilance and monitoring was also needed, he said.

    Azad also gave away awards to some couples who had adopted good family planning measures in rural districts and a 12-year-old girl Rekha Kalindi, who had refused to be married off at such a young age.
     
  4. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    He's quite right about certain things.
     
  5. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Pak rains rockets, BSF retaliates - India - The Times of India

    Pak rains rockets, BSF retaliates
    Yudhvir Rana, TNN, 10 January 2010, 04:59am IST

    AMRITSAR/NEW DELHI: Panic swept through villages around Attari in Punjab early on Saturday after six rockets slammed in from across the border. No one was injured as the shells landed in open fields and a few rockets failed to explode.

    ‘‘Around midnight, six rockets were fired from the Pakistan side, of which two fell near the border outpost. We heard 2-3 explosions,’’ BSF IG Himmat Singh said.

    Two rockets fell on the Kahangarh post where 35 BSF personnel are deployed, but did not explode. The BSF retaliated with artillery and mortar fire.

    Two rockets each were found in Atalgarh and Modhay villages after the fog lifted. The rockets had exploded after hitting fields. One rocket hit the farm of Surjit Singh in Atalgarh, while in Modhay, one was found at the farm of Lakha Singh.

    Saturday’s attack near Attari in Punjab was the third such attack since Pakistan constructed additional fortified concrete bunkers and new observation towers close to the border in Punjab and J&K.

    Pakistan has reportedly built 19 new bunkers and 39 observation towers in the past seven months.

    While three rockets were fired on July 5 last year, five rockets fired by the Pakistani forces crashed into Modhay, Dhoneya Khurd, Rattan Kallan and Dalekey villages in September.

    ‘‘Shells have been sent for ballistic tests to find out their make. Initial examination indicates Chinese origin, but only the lab can authenticate it,’’ said a senior BSF official in New Delhi.In retaliation, BSF personnel fired machine guns and mortar shells, targeting Pakistan’s KS Wala BOP area.
     

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