Modi and the Bogey of 'Population Explosion' - By Sweta Dash - IAMC
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Modi and the Bogey of ‘Population Explosion’ – By Sweta Dash

In his recent Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, proclaimed that “population explosion” is a national challenge. “The time has now come that we should take such challenges head on,” he announced from the Red Fort.

Although this is not the first time that a narrative of overpopulation has been woven with such vigour, given the content and the timing of that speech, we have every reason to feel apprehensive about what it might forebode.… The national challenge of population explosion is thus nothing but a farce, and an effective distraction from the actual problems that require Government intervention and civil society attention.

In the Budget session of the Parliament this year, Rakesh Sinha, a Rajya Sabha member, brought out a private member’s bill for discussion in the Parliament – The Population Regulation Bill, 2019. The Bill advocates imposing serious punitive measures on those seen as violating the demands of population control, measures ranging from denial of financial benefits to ineligibility for elected offices and perhaps, most threateningly, discontinuation of food subsidies.…