3 min read.Updated: 12 Jul 2021, 08:09 PM ISTLivemint
UP's one-child policy norm in the draft proposal is likely to lead to furthering of the imbalance between different communities and contraction of the population as well
The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has written to the Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission, seeking removal of one-child norm from the draft of its Population Control Bill. In a two-page letter, the VHP said that it agreed with the objects of the Bill but certain sections need to be reconsidered as they go "beyond the said objects". The organisation said one-child policy norm in the draft proposal is likely to lead to furthering of the imbalance between different communities and contraction of the population as well.
"The preamble of the bill states that this is a bill, inter alia, to stabilise the population and promote the two-child norm. The Vishva Hindu Parishad agrees with both objects. However, 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," VHP's working president Alok Kumar said in the letter to the state Law Commission.
The VHP leader said the population in a society stabilises when the average number of children born to a woman in her reproductive life is marginally above two. This happens when the TFR is 2.1. At this level of TFR, on an average, there are two children born to replace the two parents and the additional 0.1 child provides for the possibility of some children dying before reaching the reproductive age and similar other wastage, he said.
"Therefore, we suggest the deletion of section 5, and the consequential sections 6(2) and 7 to avoid the contraction of the population as also the undesirable social and economic consequences of a one-child policy, and also the removal of the anomaly of rewarding or punishing the child instead of the parents," Kumar said.
One-child policy will lead to contracting of population and that would not be beneficial — socially and economically — beyond a certain point. Explaining this, the VHP leader said that in a contracting population, the ratio between the working-age population and the dependent population gets disrupted. There is a rise in the number of persons that each working age person has to take care of.
"In an extreme case, 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. In China, which adopted the one-child policy in 1980, it was called the 1-2-4 phenomena. To get over it, China had to relax its one-child policy for parents who were themselves single children of their parents," he said.
In the case of Uttar Pradesh, the VHP leader said, the one-child policy is likely to lead to furthering of the imbalance between different communities because they are known to respond differently to the incentives and disincentives related to family planning and contraception.
He further said that the imbalance has been growing in several states and becoming alarming in Assam and Kerala, where the overall growth of population has declined. "In both the states, 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," Kumar said.
The Uttar Pradesh government has put out a draft proposal of population control bills. In the bill, the state government seeks to bar anyone violating two-child policy from contesting local bodies polls, from applying for or getting promotion in government jobs, and receiving benefits of welfare schemes.
The draft also says that public servants who adopt the two-child norm will get two additional increments during the entire service, maternity or as the case may be, paternity leave of 12 months, with full salary and allowances and three per cent increase in the employer’s contribution fund under national pension scheme.
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