The Rockefeller Foundation, the Population Council, and Indian Population Control

Jan 01, 2010 | by
  • Description

In the second half of the twentieth century, 'overpopulation' became a key area of concern for a number of government and non-government organizations across the globe, and family planning aid was mobilized to meet the challenge of population growth by lowering the birth rate. Whilst concern surrounded population growth across the developing world, India held pride of place within global overpopulation discourse, bestowed by both foreign and Indian observers alike with the dubious honor of being 'the quintessentially overpopulated country' or the 'locus classicus of the Malthusian dilemma.' The newly independent Government of India became a pioneer in population control policy, launching the world's first government-sponsored family planning program in 1952. The Indian family planning program was expanded and intensified throughout the 1960s, and reached an infamous peak during Indira Gandhi's period of Emergency rule in 1975-77, when mass sterilization camps were teamed with increased incentives for vasectomies and tubectomies, and penalties for those who failed to limit the size of their families.