Eugenics is alive and well in India. This is why you can never give a government the right and duty to sterilize a population. Bureaucracies will always become corrupt in order to meet goals, make money, and expand budgets. Such policies will always boil down to unspeakable horror. We have seen the results of such policies in Nazi Germany. Just because Nazi policies developed into a horror quickly, it does not mean that other countries will not develop the same horrors. America was even guilty of the same practices at one time, but America needed a large population in order to gain our current position in the world. In this new age of sustainability being spoken of constantly we need to be alert to and wary of any plans that call for various types of population control. Those with the power do not need us in such large numbers anymore. The U.N. sees massive population reductions to come between 2015 and 2050. What do they know, plan or have scheduled to permit in the near future?
The BJP might not be agreeing with its opposition party Congress on most of the issues, but it has been emulating the grand old party’s idea of forced birth control, carried out during the days of Emergency, in Madhya Pradesh more than three decades later.
The Emergency of 1975 was considered a dark period in India’s history when, apart from other atrocities, men were forcefully sterilised. The bizarre plan of population control was the brainchild of late Sanjay Gandhi.
Now, in 2012, the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh, headed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, seems to have taken a leaf out of the repressive regime’s book.
As the government officials have been resorting to threats, bribes or blackmailing, nothing seems to be off limits as men and women are summarily sterilised in an effort to meet the state’s annual targets. The state’s family planning seems to have gone horribly wrong. Headlines Today investigated MP’s medical horror.
Sterilisation by force
In the race to meet its target and deadline, even elderly men — as old as 80 and 98 — were not spared and were compelled to undergo vasectomy.
Ramchandra Bihari Namdev, one of the victims of forced vasectomy, said, “The patwari gave us notice that if we don’t get sterilised, our name would be deleted from the BPL list.”
“I was asked to present myself at the Tehsil office within three days after which I was operated upon,” alleged another victim Pancham Sethani.
The government official facing the allegations, however, categorically denied the charge.
While these men got to live the life they wanted till a ripe old age, 24-year-old Jamuna Kori of Sidhi district was not so lucky. One day, he was just picked up from a road by two men, sterilised and left on the highway again.
Jamuna’s mother Ramvati Kori alleged, “They took him away and threw him on the bypass.”
There was allegedly no consent sought or no family planning scheme benefits given. Now just the stitches on his body are the evidence of his ordeal.
The health officials were so desperate to meet the targets that they performed a vasectomy on 30-year-old mentally challenged Ramavtar taking advantage of his vulnerability, as he is an orphan. Anganwadi workers allegedly lured Ramavtar to the district hospital for forcible family planning.
When 25-year-old Raju took his two-year-old son, who urgently needed anti-rabies shot, to a government hospital in Bhopal, little did he know that he too would be compelled to undergo vasectomy.
A migrant labourer, Raju had no money or a BPL card for the injection. Pouncing at the opportunity, doctors at JP Hospital were ready with a solution.
“Madam told me that if I undergo the operation (vasectomy), she will give the injection to my son. She said that if I go to a private hospital it will cost me Rs.900,” Raju said.
However, the hospital authorities said all they gave Raju was “information” on the benefits of going under the knife.
JP Hospital CMO Pankaj Shukla said, “We are not like China. We do not force sterilisation. We just gave him information regarding medical schemes that he could avail.”
Another woman Suman Bai, 50, can barely walk now as the pain of her sterilisation procedure still dogs her.
“They offered me Rs.5,000. They gave me something to drink and I fell unconscious. When I woke up I realised they had operated on me. I want an enquiry,” the victim said.
Despite undeniable proof, state authorities and BJP leaders maintained that the procedure was purely voluntary.
Voices against forced sterilisation
As the matter has become a hot issue in the state, the Opposition has now decided to raise it in the assembly. Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh said, “We will raise this issue in assembly.”
The state government’s sterilisation scheme has drawn flak from not just the Opposition, but also from health workers and NGOs. While population control has been a big concern for the state government, there is no way that the government can justify use of force to enforce it.
Human rights activists have also been up in arms against the forced sterilisation in the state. They took up the issue in a big way after a woman died following a medical procedure for her sterilisation was forcibly conducted on her.
The intention of MP government’s family control scheme might be noble, but its implementation has really been problematic. From coercion to downright blackmail, government functionaries have been trying all means to meet their targets even at the cost of ruining lives.