MAHMOOD MAMDANI THE MYTH OF POPULATION CONTROL:
FAMILY, CASTE AND GLASS IN AN INDIAN VILLAGE, Monthly
Review Press, New York/London, $ 2.651^ 1.30, pp 173.
V JAGANNATHA PANIGKER, CRUCIFIXION OF THE UNBORN:
UNDERPOPULATED INDIA, Sivaji Publications, Trivandrum-3, Rs20/$7, pp 152.
APOLOGISTS of British rule in India made overpopulation an excuse for the poverty of the masses. The nationalist opinion did not agree with it fully. Immediately after independence, however, the new government veered round to the old British pos tion. In 1952, the First Five Year Plan highlighted the need for reducing the rate of population growth for economic development. Since then, the official policy has been to make the knowledge and application of Krth control, euphemistically called family planning, universal.
Affluent nations hailed it as a bold step, worthy of emulation by other developing nations. The Rockefeller Foundation, to which the American scholars had already sold the idea of overpopulation in the cast, generously offered to help government to determine the effective uses of a recognized method of contraception in limiting numbers of people when applied to whole population of rural (village) communities in a populated area; to determine the effect of a programme of family planning when offered to all members of a village; and to determine the effect of population control on health and social status. The Government of India gratefully accepted the offer. Seven villages in the district of Ludhiana in Punjab were selected for the experiment and the control area demarcated. The results of the experiments were published in 1971 under the title Khanna Study: Population Problems in the Rural Punjab,
The Khanna Study is the result of six years of field work costing about a million dollars. It had two exploratory investigations, a pilot study and a four-year-long definitive studv. The exploratory investigations started in June 1954 and the four years5 intensive work of education and persuasion was completed in 1960. In 1969 a follow-up study was made