The union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is bubbling with unexplored ideas to control population growth. His suggestion to postpone the marriage age and encourage television viewing in rural areas to control frequents sex are laughable. Hope he won’t push the nation to the western lifestyles which is regretting now.
The Times of India writes (18 July 2009)
Going by what Ghulam Nabi Azad said on World Population Day, the idiot box isn’t idiotic at all. If the rates of reproduction of TV sets head
north courtesy village electrification, human reproductive rates could head south. For, amorous couples would watch late-night shows instead of making babies. That’s what you call an idea pregnant with possibilities. Power in every rural household may breed couch potatoes with suppressed libidos, but look at the bigger picture on the small screen. A one-billion-strong nation can avoid a population explosion. Poverty, inflation and crime can be vanquished. Why, as Azad suggests, Naxalites can be bloodlessly routed. Who could conceivably hope to sell misguided revolution to swelling rural masses of nocturnal TV addicts, late bloom of our healthy consumerism?
India’s health and family welfare minister wasn’t kidding when he said TV could reduce “80 per cent of population growth”. Indeed, think of what could be achieved by busting potential baby booms through a profitable public-private partnership. When duly incentivised idiot box sales soar in a fast-electrified countryside where demand is buoyant, precipitous population decline would spur GDP growth, much to fast-growing China’s chagrin. Plus we’d score over China’s coercive one-child policy pushers. Our family planning mission would be infinitely superior, promoting voluntary use of televisual contraceptives. In any case, international research says TV’s good for rural women, saas-bahu rona-dhona notwithstanding. Those with cable access have been found to resist spousal pressure to keep trying till they produce a male child. Admit it: Azad makes more horse sense by the minute.
The minister also wants people “awarded” for marrying late and putting off changing diapers till 30-31 years, a grand old age compared to India’s early-stork norm. Accordingly, he publicly awarded a 12-year-old said to have refused wedlock. That’ll win Azad a huge fan in Sharad Yadav. The JD(U) leader wants the hit TV soap ‘Balika Vadhu’ banned for its ‘unconstitutional’ theme of child marriage. Contrary to what it seems, however, creative artistes have escaped lightly. Of all the ‘unconstitutional’ things treason, murder, arson, dacoity, human trafficking routinely depicted on screen, Yadav wants artistic licence denied only to portrayers of toon betrothals.
Equally motivated by child welfare, Maharashtra authorities sometime ago wanted kiddies out of TV shows infringing child labour laws. Well, tiny tots may soon find themselves unemployed anyway. If TV viewers’ patriotism gets fired by Azad’s birth control brainwave, they might want more adult fare than ‘Chak De Bachche’ to compensate for night-time celibacy. Talking of entertainment suited to people of consenting age, the irrepressible Rakhi Sawant might be asked to do her bit for the country. She’s providentially in the middle of an interminable reality-TV swayamvar. The agonising suspense of who’ll win the finicky lady in the marriage sweepstakes is enough to make TV viewers forget about their procreative urges.