Thursday, March 06, 2008

Would you undergo sterilisation for a gun?

In a land (Chambal valley) where mousatches and guns are the ultimate sign of virility, a dense district collector has come up with the idea of granting gun licenses to those men who volunteer to get sterilised. Shivpuri has over 11,000 licensed guns. Bhind has 19,000 while Morena has issued over 15,000 licences, says the linked report. When the region is already infested with guns, why does Manish Srivastva, the DC, have to add to a law and order problem? His job should be to take away the guns and not give out more. Isn't the state, as Max Weber defined it, supposed to wield the monopoly of legitimate violence? And the DC is giving out guns for what? Controlling population; when the best and safest way to do so is through education and informed participation. I won't even mention cases of inviduals who end up fathering or mothering children even after being sterilised at government camps. God save us from the law of the gun!

And if you thought this was bad, there's worse. Our august parliamentarians have proposed bills that disincentivise population growth. Measures suggested include disqualification of persons with more than one child from contesting elections (Population Control Bill 2000) and, believe it or not, rewarding bachelors and then punishing them if they marry (Bachelor’s Allowance Bill 2000).


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