Written by Divija Vaish, a grade 12 student.
The Uttar Pradesh Law Commission recently released the draft of the proposed Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilisation, and Welfare) Bill, 2021. The bill promotes a two-child policy and it says that anyone violating this law would not be allowed the right to vote, one of India’s fundamental rights.
Not only that but they would also be denied the right to apply for government or be eligible to be granted subsidies under the government’s welfare schemes.
With an estimated population of 241 million (2021), Uttar Pradesh is India’s most populous state. This new bill, when passed, will bring down the state’s gross fertility rate from 2.7 to 2.1 approximately in the next five years, and to 1.9 in the next ten years. CM Yogi Adityanath said that “attempts would be made to ensure there is a population balance among various communities”.
Two BJP-ruled states, Assam and Karnataka are considering implementing a two-child policy.
At least 12 states had at some point in time implemented the two-child policy for government employees. The states included Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Uttarakhand.
However, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh later revoked the policy.
The opposition in UP has hit out at Yogi, saying that all of this is being done only for the sake of elections, and to distract people from the various failed missions of the Yogi government. Shaqfiqur Rahman Barq, the Samajwadi Party MP from Sambhal, stated that the government should simply put a ban on marriages if they are co concerned about rising population rates. “ A time will come when we will be very few. If there is a war, then from where will you bring people to fight?” Barq said.
The Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, said that merely framing a law is not going to do anything as far as the population is concerned, and stressed the importance of educating women about such issues.