Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 12
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has taken exception to the one-child norm proposed in the draft population control Bill of the Uttar Pradesh government.
It has asked the UP Law Commission to “delete the one-child norm” and warned UP that it may lead to “imbalance among communities because they are known to respond differently to incentives and disincentives related to family planning and contraception”.
- Also read: Edit: Population control in UP
The right-wing organisation pointed to an “alarming growing imbalance” in states such as Assam and Kerala, “where the overall growth of population has declined”. “In both states, the Total Fertility Rate (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,” it said.
In a letter to the UP Law Commission, Alok Kumar, working president of the VHP, said: “In these states (Assam and Kerala), one of the communities has thus entered the contraction phase, while the other is still expanding. UP should avoid getting into that situation. The policy needs to be tailored to redress the imbalance otherwise one-child policy may end up doing the opposite.”
The letter also stated that the one-child norm went beyond the stated objectives of the UP Population (Control, Stabilisation and Welfare) Bill, 2021, of stabilising the population and promoting a two-child norm. “The preamble of the Bill states that this is a Bill (i) inter alia to stabilise the population and (ii) promotion of two-child norm and the VHP agrees with both objects.”
The VHP, however, raised objection to Sections 5, 6 (2) and 7 of the Bill, which “incentivise public servants and others to have only one child in the family go well beyond the said objects”. “We also notice that the Population Policy of Uttar Pradesh has an object to bring the TFR to 1.7 within a certain time limit. We suggest that Sections 5, 6(2) and 7 of the Bill as also the object of bringing the TFR to 1.7 needs reconsideration,” the VHP stated in the letter. “A two-child policy is considered desirable for achieving population stability. A policy aiming at an average of less than two children per woman leads to a contraction of the population over time. Such contraction has several negative social and economic consequences,” the VHP said.
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