Friday, 9 December 2011

India offers rewards for sterilisation

The Indian state of Rajasthan is offering incentives for sterilisation. With a population of 68 million, the authorities feel the need to curb the birth-rate. Now obviously they are not doing so from strictly antinatal motives, but the report is interesting and relevant insofar as it illustrates how non-birthing could be made more popular by offering rewards:

(Apologies for having to cut and paste; I don't appear to be able embed links on this blog.)

When I first saw the report it was followed by an interview with a critic of the scheme who complained that it was flawed because a) women over 45 were being sterilised and were abusing the offer and b) people weren't getting "enough information" about the scheme. As for a, women appear to be giving birth at later and later ages these days, so that fails and b was just a desperate non-argument from someone horrified by the fact that a minority of people do actually choose to cut off their reproductive capacities.

Incidentally, I mailed the feature to David Benatar, who replied saying that the scheme seemed like "a sensible idea".


  1. Karl,

    I tend to lean on Estnihil's side when it comes to "forced sterilisation". Now I'm not making a "philanthropic antinatalist" point, but a "environmental antinatalist / economy antinatalist" kind of point, so take this with some salt. But indeed, the population situation in India is too grave (although 45+ women don't commonly deliver here). "Carrots" may not be enough, and may prove too expensive. It's time for "sticks". But I must say, that Rajasthan the State possibly doesn't have such a big population pressure as the rest of the nation (especially UP, Bihar), and in the State level, "carrots" could still be fine. They are also less objectionable and more moral.

  2. Hi, Srikant. I was hoping you'd comment, being our man in India:-) Yes, am coming around more and more to the viewpoint that (theoretically, at least) there is a strong case to be made for forced sterilisation. I can't really see it ever happening, though. After all, as long as the wealthy dominate the earth, they will need poor people to breed in order to produce slaves who will bake their bread, man the sewers, clean their apartments and so on. At the end of the day it's the oligarchic plutocracy that run the horrible show.....