Uttar Pradesh: VHP opposes Yogi Adityanath’s Population Policy

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has raised serious questions over the draft of the population policy of Uttar Pradesh government. VHP, the sister concern of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) has written a letter to the law commission of UP raising objections on the certain clause of the population bill draft. The chief minister Yogi Adityanath had released the draft of population policy on Sunday.

While the executive president of VHP, Alok Kumar in his letter to law commission has welcomed the move to stabilize the population in UP, he has raised question over bringing down the fertility rate to 1.7 in a certain period. He said that in the section 5, 6 and 7 of the proposed bill, it has been said that those having one children would be given certain facilities by the state government. Kumar in his letter said that population in a society stabilizes when the average number of children born to a woman in her reproductive life is above two. This happens when the total fertility rate (TFR) of a woman is 2.1, which is also defined as the replacement rate. At this level of TFR, on the average two children are born to replace two parents. The VHP president has asked the law commission to reconsider this clause in the proposed bill.

Meanwhile the experts in the field of population control too have raised questions over the draft of the policy. The executive director of Population Foundation of India, Poonam Mutreja has said that no data anywhere in the country and outside claim that there is a population burst in UP. She said that TFR in India is going down with 3.4 in 1992-93 to 2.2 in 2015-16. The National Family Health Survey figures show that TFR of UP was 2.7 against 2.2 of all India level. She said that by 2025 the population growth in UP will match the national level without taking any step. According to her, any strict measure taken by the UP government will only have an adverse impact on the health of women in the state.

However, the main opposition parties in UP such, as Samajwadi, Bahujan Samaj Party and congress have not given any reaction on the population policy.

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