Social Scientist. v 2, no. 24 (July 1974) p. 3.

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Family Planning in a Village in Tamil Nadu

The Ideology of Population Control

AFTER a period of indifference or reserve, the Government of India launched a massive Family Planning Programme in 1960-61.1 The Government's change of attitude towards the population problem seems to have been brought about partly through foreign, and mainly American, pressure.

The ideology of population control can be labelled neo-malthusian, since its basic tenet is that population tends to grow faster than the economic resources by which it subsists. Neo-malthusians have elaborated this ideology into a complete world-view capable of explaining both the genesis of underdevelopment and its persistence in spite of massive development efforts.

The ideology of population control is shared by the ruling classes in India and by those in the West. Two leading Tamil Nadu social scientists, K K Pillay and C M Abraham of the University of Madras quote Roben Me Namara in their exposition of the population problems of India and of the world as a whole :

(The population problem is) by half a dozen criteria, the most delicate and difficult issue of our era—perhaps of any era in history. It is overlaid with emotion. It is controversial. It is subtle. Above

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