Letters to the Editor: UP’s two-child norm is nothing but political gimmick

The new population control policy announced by the Uttar Pradesh government is making no sense in practical terms other than serving the BJP’s divisive agenda

By: Rajendra Dhodapkar
By: Rajendra Dhodapkar

NH Web Desk

The new population control policy announced by the Uttar Pradesh government is making no sense in practical terms other than serving the BJP’s divisive agenda. The insinuation is that Muslims bear more children and thus their population needs to be controlled lest they should outnumber the Hindus one day.

The available data belies this wrongful claim. The fertility rate is higher among backward Hindus than among the Muslims. Also, the Muslims’ ownership of wealth or positions of power is proportionately lower to their population. Secondly, the government data shows that the total fertility rate (TFR) or the average number of children born to a woman in her reproductive years, has been declining in Uttar Pradesh.

From 4.7 in the year 2000 it is now around 2.7. So perhaps no government intervention, especially by way of coercive measures such as depriving people of welfare schemes for bearing more than two children, is not at all needed. The new policy just months ahead of the state assembly election is nothing but political gimmick. –Prakash Tiwari, Basti

Chinese troops again violate Indian territory

The Chinese troops yet again trespassed into the Indian territory in Demchok in Ladakh on July 6, this time to protest against the celebrations of the Dalai Lama’s birthday in Indian villages. The PLA personnel, according to media reports, crossed the Indus to the Indian side to display banners and the Chinese flag.

The Indian army has refused to comment on the incident and the officials tried to downplay the entire incident by terming it as “part of the Chinese pin-prick tactics in the region”. One wonders what would have been our government’s reaction if Pakistani troops had crossed over to this side of LoC with their flags.

We cannot understand as to why our firebrand prime minister and the entire BJP-RSS brigade remain silent over China’s consistent provocation and intrusion. Why? Is it because threatening China and “Miya Jinping” in public rallies will not serve any political purpose of BJP-RSS? Or is it because China is too big for the selective patriotism of Hindutva brigade to take on? -Pratik Gautam, Hyderabad

Our new health minister’s veterinary connect
At a time when the densely-populated India is staring at the possible third wave of Covid, the PM has decided to change his health minister. He chose Mansukh Mandaviya for the job. How bright the new minister is and how efficiently can he handle the crucial health portfolio is yet to be seen.

However, a few things are notable. According to his profile on Wikipedia, Mandaviya did a certificate course in Veterinary Live Stock Inspector. This sounds interesting. Our previous Union Health Minister was a medical doctor who treated human beings. But the PM thought we, the people of India, deserved better. So he brought in Mandaviya, who hails from PM’s home state Gujarat. Meanwhile, the new minister has his task cut out. To begin with, he should accelerate the pace of vaccination that is slackening. And also brace up for a possible fresh wave of pandemic. -Ravi Sinha, Patna

Issues with Assam’s new beef policy

The right-wing parties and governments usually love to intrude the personal species of citizens and dictate how they should live, when they need to stay indoors, what they should wear and what they should eat. It is difficult for an ordinary person to fathom the wisdom and vision behind some of the provisions of Assam’s new cow protection bill. It says no meet would be sold in areas predominantly inhabited by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and other non-beef-eating communities or within a radius of 5 km of any temple, 'satra' or other religious institutions belonging to Hindu religion”.

Now, this is a clear infringement of some of the fundamental rights of citizens who want to eat meat or sell meat. How come a person’s right to not eating beef is more sanctimonious than another person’s right to eating it? Secondly, there may be dozens of temples and other religious places in a given 5 km radius of any place in India. So from which temple the distance will be calculated? Will it be aerial distance or distance by road? What if a new temple comes up near a beef shop? Will the beef shop have to shifted or the temple? –Abdul Hannan, Guwahati

More doubts over Rafale deal

French media reports say a French judge has been appointed to lead a "highly sensitive" judicial probe into charges of corruption, influence peddling, money laundering and favouritism in the ₹59,000 crore Rafale fighter aircraft deal with India, on the orders of France’s public prosecution services. Earlier, the French Anti-Corruption Agency had found that Dassault Aviation, the manufacturers, had paid €1.1 Million to a middleman after signing the contract, classifying it “Gifts to Clients.” It is disturbing this mammoth deal is now facing a judicial probe on foreign soil.

The doubts about the abrupt abandoning of the ongoing negotiations for the supply of 126 fighter jets, the subsequent order for only 36 planes, the increase in the price of a plane from ₹529 crore to ₹1670 crore, dropping HAL and choosing the newly formed Anil Ambani-led Reliance Company as the offset partner, ignoring the aspect of the technology transfer, the non-inclusion of the corruption clause in the contract and much more, have only strengthened after the recent developments. And the charges will continue to haunt those who inked the deal. -Haridasan Rajan, Kozhikode

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