Those hundreds of our countrymen and women who had lost all or some of their children in the tsunami disaster may be contributing to “economic develoment” and, what is more, earned a right to represent the people in elected bodies from panchayats to the Parliament, since now they have no or less than three children, going by the agenda that a section of the middle classes (and perhaps industrialists) and the Far Right are planning to impose on the country.
Already in Haryana (and perhaps in a couple of more States), people with more than two children are barred from contesting elections to local bodies. Narendra Modi of the Gujarat pogrom fame has said (at a press conference at the India International Trade Fair) in New Delhi on November 19, 2004, that his government favours imposing a restriction similar to that in Haryana (perhaps covering all elected bodies), declaring that “without population control, there can be no economic progress”. What is more alarming is that a “pillar” of democracy, the Supreme Court, has upheld the Haryana law, while another “pillar”, the press and other media, is endorsing this anti-democratic, elitist and draconian ideology and outlook overtly and covertly.
Perhaps, it is not accidental or out of idiosynctratic behaviour that a youth, asked by a newspaper reporter in Chennai on his reaction to The tsunami tragedy, is reported (in the press) to have said that he welcomed it because it would help reduce the country’s population.
When Fascism creeps in, it is incumbent on democratic and progressive forces to fight it with determination. The question is will the incumbency ever prevail over indifference?