Earlier this year, shocking reports out of Madhya Pradesh highlighted the history of forced sterilisation in India. The state government withdrew a circular that had been circulated to officials, directing them to identify staff members in the Health Mission who had failed to get any man sterilised in the previous fiscal year, that ends on March 31st. They were also ordered to persuade more men to get sterilised or would lose their salary and could be forced into retirement.
MP’s Health Minister Tulsi Silawat told the Press Trust of India (PTI) that the order was nullified as its language “wasn’t proper.” People were quick to jump onto the case, stating that such events harked back to the sterilisation drive that took place during the Emergency in the ’70s with Sanjay Gandhi at the helm.
The Sterilisation Emergency
India was the first nation to adopt family planning as official policy—it did so all the way back in 1952. Yet, the funds made available until the mid-1960s weren’t sufficient enough to bring about effective action. Most Indian women in 1965-66 accepted... see more