One up from Hum Do, Hamare Do Ceiling on four kids

Tughlaqnesque proposal or a visionary move but it sure is one up from the ‘Hum Do, Hamare Do’ family planning slogan and perhaps this is where the ‘significance’ of the Ordinance passed by the State Cabinet on October 13, 2022 lies. Tough to say how this would have gone down with the people of Manipur but it has surely kicked up a lot of interest and it sort of went viral on the social media with many putting in their bits to make it ‘livelier.’ Given today’s reality, a family of six members, that is the parents and four children will still stand for a fairly large family especially so in the face of the huge responsibilities that parents have to face while bringing up their children. And bringing them up today means much more than just clothing and feeding the children but invariably means educating them and teaching them to be responsible members of society. And education, the formal education as understood in today’s world, is a costly affair and needs to be understood beyond the duty of admitting the children in a private school, which includes the monthly fees, the van or school bus fees, the tuition fees which involves dropping the children at the coaching centre of tutor’s residence, picking them up  etc. Take into account the special coaching classes needed for children to appear for NEET, JEE or go outside the State for further studies which involve the college fee, the hostel/mess fee and obviously the air travel expenses and multiply it with four/five kids and one can imagine the cost involved. Viewed from this angle, a small family is obviously a happy family but then again look at the representatives of the people in the Assembly, delimitation of Assembly Constituencies, the need to keep alive the tradition, culture and identity of a group of people and obviously the population strength of a community or a group of people becomes important. The Government may have taken this into account, but this still does not answer the question of why  there is the need to ask couples from not having more than four children. Moreover remember the world has moved on since the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and today a population is viewed as an indispensable resource. China may come as one such example, though it did have a strict one child policy some time back. That the Government appears determined with its four children policy may be gauged from the assertion that any couple having more than four children would be barred from availing Government schemes/assistance.
The interesting question is how effectively does the Government hope to stick to its stand. This question is important in the face of the recent admission that one primary reason for the Government to lift prohibition was that it could not be enforced effectively. So a State which could not effectively enforce prohibition during the thirty years period in which it was in force, does not exactly seem well placed to enforce a policy such as restricting the number of children that a couple may have. Moreover does the four children norm fall in line with the rights of the people as enshrined in the Constitution of the country ? This is where one may expect legal petitions from some sections of the public in the coming days. Or is there something more to the move of the BJP led Government to suggest restricting the number of children a couple may have ? This is a question which only the Government can answer, but will the decision of the Cabinet fall in the category of tough decisions that needed to be taken ? Not entirely popular but something needed for the development and betterment of the people ? Or is there something else ? These are all questions at the moment, but it is significant to note that the BJP led Government has taken some hard decisions in the recent past ranging from lifting prohibition to now toying with the idea of restricting the number of kids a couple may have.