With over one billion people, India is the second most populous country in the world. At the rate they’re currently growing, in fifty short years, India’s population will surpass China and become numero uno. The government is fiercely working to try to curb the population boom and save an already struggling nation. A recent CNN article  outlined the latest bright idea politicians have come up with to prevent unplanned pregnancies: “Bring electricity to every Indian village so that people would watch television until late at night and therefore be too tired to make babies.” Yup, you heard it right; apparently, more TV equals less sex.
I have lived in India and worked in the slum communities over there; I am keenly aware of the resource strain overpopulation creates. I also know that China’s one-child policy is not the most effective (or humane) approach to population control. However, for a nation that’s edging to be a global superpower to say that giving people electricity to watch more TV is an effective governmental policy to control baby making is just ludicrous. How about education? Or condoms, perhaps? Or how about first ensuring every home in India has running water and a proper drainage system before tackling the need for a nightly dose of Bollywood entertainment?
It angers and saddens me that a headline like this shows up on a global news site. First of all, I’ll bet my left kidney (and throw the right one in, too, for that matter) that this policy will never get passed. Second of all, being an Indian myself, it’s just embarrassing. If people want to hump, they’re going to hump. It’s an animal instinct—we like to get it on. Before pumping money into tiring people out so they don’t have the energy to do the dirty, a lesson in birth control really should be the first step.
Omar Mohammed, an over-eighty-year-old man (who admittedly has never heard of the concept of population control) has twenty-four children. Even Omar sees through this shoddily thought-out plan; “After watching TV,” he says, “when we look at scintillating things, we will probably want to make more children.” Amen, Omar! Watching half-naked Bollywood men and woman would make me want to do the monkey dance all night long, too.
India, I have one thing to say to you—that’s messed up.
In the world of Web 2.0, the onslaught of news, personal stories, and random information we hear throughout the day can leave us in a state of shock. That’s Messed Up is a series dedicated to the various things we find and have no other words to say but, “That’s Messed Up.” If you come across anything that makes you want to utter those same words, please send it in care of the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org .