On the Population Control Juggernaut
Mohan Rao
REPRODUCTIVE POLITICS AND THE MAKING OF MODERN INDIA by Mytheli Sreenivas Women Unlimited, New Delhi, 2021, 274 pp., 875.00
, volume , No January 2022, volume 46, No 1

Politically correct, influential people in policy making circles in the West do not talk any more of the yellow peril, or use phrases such as population explosion, or metaphors like the population bomb. At the same time, partly due to the very reach and influence of such doomsday demographic discourses emanating from the West in the past, and the modified ones today, the elites and the middle classes in much of the Third World remain convinced that the cause of social and economic problems in their own countries stem primarily, if not only, from population growth.

First World populationists now talk of the environment, refugees and women’s rights and of too-many-young men in Islamic countries, and in China, as a strategic threat to security as it apparently breeds terrorism, or in the case of China, violence against women and the aged. Indeed, they will exult in the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, in the name of women’s rights. The politics of oil and neo-imperialist strategic designs do not figure in this diversionary discourse.

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