Population explosion is turning out to be a huge crisis for the world’s resources and the adverse effects are already visible through many sources including depletion of land resources, depletion of ground water etc. In order to combat such issues and to keep a better future for the upcoming generations, governments over the world to take necessary measures to keep the population explosion in check.
One such measure had been taken up by the Assam Government and is soon to be implemented. The CM of Assam, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma has proposed to take up the two child policy in the state in order to keep the increasing population in check. However, he also stated that govt schemes, including loan waivers, will not be applicable to tea garden workers and the SC-ST community and that the benefits will be provided while taking population norms into account. The CM said that,”In the future, population norms will be taken into account as eligibility for govt benefits. Population policy has begun,” which means that one must follow the population policy of the state in the eventual future to avail government benefits.
The CM assumed office from the last month and has been advocating a two-child norm for using benefits under the government schemes. He also blamed the population explosion for illegal land encroachment and asked the minority communities to adopt proper family planning in order to control poverty and unemployment.
The Assam Government has already barred those with more than two children from government jobs and contesting in local elections. Now through this 2 child policy, the government aims to extend its two-child policy for availing benefits under specific schemes funded by the state. Sarma also criticised the opposition for targeting the size of his parents’ family as Sarma belongs to a family of five brothers. He said that, “There is no point in talking about what our parents did or other people did in the 1970s. The Opposition is saying these strange things and pushing us back to the 70s.” Recently Dr Sarma also came under flak from various sides owing to his comments about Muslim community. He said, “For their poverty to end, Muslim women need to be educated, population needs to be controlled. I appeal to them to work together with us. We are there for all of you, to support women’s education and reduce poverty. But poverty will never be reduced unless you control your population.” However despite criticisms, AIUDF MP Badaruddin Ajmal met him and expressed satisfaction at the importance being given to women’s education.
The policy highlights two key norms for the citizens of the state: Only candidates with two children or less will be eligible for government jobs; government servants shall strictly follow the two-child norm to serve as role models for society. Even though these are welcome steps for controlling the population of the state, it is yet to be seen if its effects reaches the farthest corners of the state and if they are followed.
Visuals by: Aslam Siddique
Article by Puhar Pallab Baruah, The North-Eastern Chronicle