Faculty Publications

Title

Family Planning: India’s Achilles’ Heel?

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Asian and African Studies

Volume

22

Issue

3-4

First Page

218

Last Page

231

Abstract

Before the advent of Indira Gandhi as the prime minister of India, the central government made little systematic effort at family planning. It provided financial aid to the states which were mainly responsible for developing health and family planning services. It was at Indira Gandhi’s initiative that a department of family planning was established at the national level. Besides encouraging subsidized sale of condoms, the new department emphasized sterilization. Nevertheless, Indira Gandhi failed to provide constant and dynamic leadership for population control policies. It was under the leadership of her son, Sanjay, during the Emergency that vigorous family planning policy was formulated and rigorously enforced. Use of coercion in controlling the size of the family was, however, one of the most unpopular aspects of Indira Gandhi’s rule, and resulted in her 1977 electoral defeat. The post-Emergency Government of Indira Gandhi was consequently unable to mobilize an effective family planning campaign. © 1987, BRILL. All rights reserved.

Original Publication Date

1-1-1987

DOI of published version

10.1163/156852187X00386

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