Saturday, December 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Why do we produce children?

Dr M.S. Bajwa has invited all political parties to work out a “common agenda for population control.” “Why do we produce children?” This question was put to a group of 40 farmers in the 1960s. Almost all of them replied that since they had got married, children had to come. The act of producing children was admittedly an unplanned and purposeless activity. If a married girl failed to get pregnant within a year of her marriage, her fertility came to be openly questioned and she came to be harassed no end.

“Why the next child”? The question was easily answered by a person who had a girl-child only. Others talked about lack of companionship for the only child, the fear of premature death etc. The situation was not much different at the end of the century, nor is it very different today.

A city dweller would not know that children are produced by communities and castes to build up majorities in villages with a view to ensuring better social security to the particular community/caste. People below the poverty line and others who have lived on manual labour for generations produce children because they would like to have as many earning hands as possible. They also put their children to work as early as possible. This is the genesis of child labour. This class is also responsible for the multiplication of undesirable genetic material which leads to what Dr Bajwa describes as “the ever-increasing percentage of ineffective population.” (Class distinctions are not 100 per cent non-sense).

The educated middle class has largely adopted the two-child, and even one-child norm. They strive to provide the best possible nutrition and education to their children. That they consider chocolate and potato chips to be a better food than the wheat chapatti and cola to be a better drink than milk is a different story. The net result is that India is getting over-populated, and with the genetically and physically weaker and poorer populations at that.


What is the way out? It lies in reminding the Indian population that truth and bliss constitute the purpose of human life. With this end in mind, the first quarter of life has been earmarked for the acquisition of knowledge, and that when he or she enters the next stage of life, the householder stage, his/ her aim should be acquisition of wealth, fame and pleasure, not children. A child should be produced only when the couple is ready for it and if it adds pleasure, not misery and want to their lives. This education needs to be imparted at the plus-2 and higher level. The students, both male and female, need to be told that they should marry when they are ready for it and after marriage acquire parenthood only if they want to and when they want to. It is now possible to plan, not only the number and the time at which to have children, but also the type of children a couple would like to have. The way to it lies in the proper selection of mate for marriage.

That politicians will take any step in the direction is a vain thought. People who do not hesitate to arrange mass migrations to towns and cities just to win elections, cannot be expected to do it. They bring in labourers and other unlettered populations because they know the educated people might vote against them. A reduction in the politician-population is, as a matter of fact, necessary if India is ever to deal effectively with the population problem. There are just too many ministers and MLAs in the states and all our resources are spent on keeping them in good humour. Where is the money for educating young boys and girls and giving them a good start in life?

L.R. SHARMA, Jalandhar

S.D. High School

I am interested in locating Sanatan Dharam High School. This school was located in Lahore before partition.

I graduated from this school in 1938. I remember how hard it was for my father to pay tuition for the high school as my older brother and younger brother were also students at the same time. With an income of Rs 45 per month, my father could not pay tuition. The school allowed us to pay only half fee as three members of the same family were in school. I would like to pay back to the school for their kindness, without which I would have no education.



No civic amenities

Municipal administration has totally failed in Haryana. The elected municipal councils have miserably failed to perform their primary responsibilities. The state government is doing nothing to streamline the functioning of the municipalities. There has been a four-fold increase in house tax this year but no corresponding improvement in civic amenities. In the cities of Haryana, there is no check on haphazard construction activities and unauthorised encroachments. There are no open spaces, no green lands, no parking space for an increasing number of vehicles, no garbage collection and disposal system, no dumping grounds outside the city areas, no proper drainage and sewerage system.

Is this not true in Haryana?

“Sarkar aap ke dwar, nagar palika aap se dur”.



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