Should India implement a child limit? Analyse and suggest if One-Child Policy would be effective for population control in India?

In both countries, skewed sex ratios caused by sex selective abortions have led to a range of social problems, including forced marriages and human trafficking. Both countries are struggling with the legacy of harsh population policies, and stricter population controls in India could have disastrous consequences for women and minority communities. The Indian population is increasing exponentially and will continue to multiply in the coming years. This is the higher ratio of people of married age who will give birth to children.

Four Indian states with large Muslim populations have already passed versions of a “two-child policy.” What’s more, built into many of these policies are incentives for families to have just one child. Despite declining birth rates, some politicians have advocated for the adoption of something like China’s former one-child policy in northern states with large Muslim populations. These calls have less to do with demographic reality and more to do with majoritarian Hindu nationalist concerns around Muslim and “lower-caste” fertility.

What is the one-child policy?

She wants to start preparing for her son’s marriage — a costly endeavor as rural families expect the husband to provide a material guarantee for any future wife. „The policy was wrong and what we did with Chen was right,” says a neighbor of Chen, the lawyer who sued the city of Linyi. The man wants to remain unnamed because he believes he could be harassed again for speaking of that time. But the Chinese government punished Chen for his activism by imprisoning him, then trapping him for nearly three years in his home, in a village just outside Linyi.

  • A final criticism of two-child policies in India is that the laws violate women’s rights.
  • Recently, the Rajya Sabha introduced a private member’s bill on enacting a two-child policy in India.
  • The “one-child policy” – limiting births per couple through coercive measures – was implemented in the early 1980s, and fertility dropped dramatically.
  • In China, the government found that once fertility rates dropped, they were faced with an ageing population.
  • The issue grabbed headlines earlier this month when the government responded to public-interest litigation (PIL) filed by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay.
  • Among the urban, upper income, educated middle class, it is no longer unusual to find families stopping at one child, even when this child is a girl.

Urban, middle-class couples face mounting financial pressure, including the cost of raising children and of caring for the elderly. While the government has encouraged “high quality” urban women to give birth, rural and minority women are still discouraged from having more children. While the government has encouraged „high quality” urban women to give birth, rural and minority women are still discouraged from having more children. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, infant mortality dropped significantly. The „one-child policy”—limiting births per couple through coercive measures—was implemented in the early 1980s, and fertility dropped dramatically.

Behind the ‘China Miracle’ Is a Ticking Demographic Time Bomb

Part of the reason she demurred when first speaking to NPR was because of how dearly her family fought for his birth. „I really feel happy. Even if I had to go to prison and endure beatings, in the end, these children were able to survive. They must be in middle school or high school by now.” „The doctors would inject poison directly into the baby’s skull to kill it,” Chen says, drawing on recordings he made of interviews with hundreds of women and their families in Linyi. „Other doctors would artificially induce labor. But some babies were alive when they were born and began crying. The doctors strangled or drowned those babies.” „I had already had two children but my heart just did not feel right,” says the woman, now in her 50s, who works part time in a canning factory.

India states considering two-child policy and incentives for sterilisation

Officials argued that the rule was necessary for the nation’s economic prosperity and long-term development. Some demographers in China argue that instituting birth limits was necessary for keeping birth rates low. But Stuart Gietel-Basten, a demographer at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, cautions there is no definitive answer. „There is only one China and there is only one one-child policy, so it is kind of impossible to say the real effect of that was [of the policy],” he says. While the country has not yet adopted China’s now-overturned policy of fining couples for having more than two children, these statewide proposals are an attempt to control its fast-increasing population numbers. India is currently expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country by 2027, per a 2019 UN report.

Thus, job opportunities would not be created for more people to be employed. With the decrease in population, competition among citizens was lowered and unemployment was alleviated (Potts). Some critics also claim that two-child policies are a way to discriminate against Muslims. Since Muslims are more likely to have more than two children, they are also more likely to be barred from office. Muslim fertility rates are somewhat higher than Hindu fertility rates in India, which has created exaggerated fears that Muslims will take over the country. Some believe that the RSS wants to limit family sizes to preserve the current ratio of Hindus to Muslims in India.

What’s more, built into many of these policies are incentives for families to have just one child. And in 2021, a senior government minister proposed a national “one-child” policy. The projected unemployment will increase from 17.7 million in 2016 to 17.8 million in 2017, and it will continue to increase till 18 million in 2018 (United Nations). With reference to China’s one child policy, the plan of birth control could reduce unemployment. The fall in birth rate offers a demographic dividend, as the economically productive proportion of the population grows more rapidly than the general population. Without the rapid decrease in fertility, China’s economy would not have grown by 7-8% in a year (Potts).

Calls for ‘one-child policy’ in India a bad idea

The country’s fertility rate and birth rate both decreased after 1980; the Chinese government estimated that some 400 million births had been prevented. Because sons were generally favoured over daughters, the sex ratio in China became skewed toward men, and there was a rise in the number of abortions of female fetuses along with an increase in the number of female babies killed or placed in orphanages. China will for the first time allow couples to have a third child in a further relaxation of family planning rules five years after a “two-child policy” largely failed to boost birth rates. Four Indian states with large Muslim populations have already passed versions of a “two-child policy”.

One night, family planning officials approached her husband, intending to pressure him and his wife into ending the pregnancy. He used a pickax to drive them off and was imprisoned for that for half a year. And in May, after a new census showed the birth rate had slowed, China raised the cap to three children. At the non-profit, Population Foundation of India (PFI), executive director, Poonam Muttreja, finds strong links between a woman’s education levels and employment status and preferred family size. “Women with less education and less wealth tend to choose to have more than two children.

As too many births links to economic and cultural backwardness, population in India should be controlled to combat poverty. “It was scrapped in 2015 when the government allowed its people to have two children. But it has left behind a painful legacy – forced sterilisations, abortions, abandonment of girl children, plunging birth rates, skewed sex ratios, a rapidly ageing population and a shrinking https://1investing.in/ workforce,” Kumari said. The program was intended to be applied universally, although exceptions were made—e.g., parents within some ethnic minority groups or those whose firstborn was handicapped were allowed to have more than one child. In addition, enforcement of the policy was somewhat uneven over time, generally being strongest in cities and more lenient in the countryside.

The policy was enacted to address the growth rate of the country’s population, which the government viewed as being too rapid. It was enforced by a variety of methods, including financial incentives for families in compliance, contraceptives, forced sterilizations, and forced abortions. After the one-child policy ended in 2016, China’s birth and fertility rates remained low, leaving the country with a population that was aging rapidly and a workforce that was shrinking.

“Government campaigns, involvement of the development sector and community leaders can inculcate behavioural change through inclusive measures,” Mishra added. India’s burgeoning population, Upadhyay said in his plea, was the cause of corruption, had spurred a rise in crimes and pollution and had led to a dearth of resources and jobs. The Minister also ruled out that there is a higher growth in Muslim population in the country as is being projected by a section of BJP and RSS and also denied any large scale conversions. As early as March 2022, reports circulated on Chinese social media that India’s population had already surpassed China’s, though this was later dispelled by experts. In other words, the trend in India is towards smaller families already.

Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research, a New Delhi-based think tank, said if the BJP-led government did eventually implement a two-child policy, it would be another step by the government toward infringing on individual freedoms. Complementing this increased sense of competition is the growing public recognition of the poor quality of education provided by a wide range of educational institutions. When barely 50 per cent of enrolled children are able to read (Pratham 2005), it is not surprising that parents seek alternatives to government schools.

These calls have less to do with demographic reality, and more to do with majoritarian Hindu nationalist concerns around Muslim and “lower-caste” fertility. Four Indian states with large Muslim populations have already passed versions of a „two-child policy”. What’s more, built into many of these policies are incentives for families to have just one child. And in 2021, a senior government minister proposed a national „one-child” policy.

On World Population Day on July 11, India proposed a series of fresh population control measures reminiscent of China’s two-child policy. In both countries, skewed sex ratios caused by sex-selective abortions have led to a range of social problems, including forced marriages and human trafficking. Like Assam, many other Indian states have also imposed a two-child policy, which deprives citizens with more than two children of basic rights such as running in political elections, accessing bank loans and receiving free rations, among others. Such regulations have gained traction throughout the country since the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) assumed power in 2014, although the national government has not yet enacted such a law. What all this suggests is that this very low fertility is largely an expression of the same (although stronger) motives for fertility decline in general.

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