Apart from China, what other country has been brutal in imposing methods of population control? Are there any?

J. B. Mississauga

Yes. Almost 20 years ago (April, 1977), public outrage against India’s forced-sterilization campaign caused the collapse of Indira’s Gandhi’s government. It is important to note that International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), in its own magazine People, admitted the “crude imposition” of sterilization, and blamed Mrs. Gandhi’s son, Sanjay, both for the fall of the government and for the backlash against all population measurers. One Indian demographer, Professor Ashish Bose of Delhi, described Sanjay’s efforts as “a combination of coercion, cruelty, corruption, and crooked figures.” The backlash became known as the “Sanjay Effect” (People, Vol. 5, No. 3, 1978).

According to the IPPF, “persuasion began to shade into coercion” between April 19750-76, and resulted in 2,400,000 sterilizations. From April 1976 to April 1977 (the date of the election), the number of sterilizations rose to 8,000,000. After the election from April 1977 to the following year, the number dropped to 800,000.

The statistics of vasectomies in Uttar Pradesh, a state of almost 100 million people, are perhaps more telling of the effects of “coercion, cruelty, corruption…” and the later Sanjay Effect.

1974 – 1975 23,000

1975 – 1976 54,000 “persuasion to coercion”

1976 – 1977 698,000 “compulsion”

1977 – 1978 12,000 after the election – the Sanjay Effect.

Compulsion in the sterilization campaign also extended to doctors. The new Minister of Health, following the election, was Naj Narain. In an interview, he is quoted as saying, “When I was in Varanasi (Benares) a man went to the camp to be sterilized. The doctor refused and was punished.” (People, op cit. p.11)

IPPF devoted two of the four quarterly issues of People to the Sanjay Effect. What is chilling about the articles is that there was no concern about the harm done to human done to human beings, the only problems seemed to be how to contain the damage to the population control problem.