Should the state criminalize “over reproductive” citizens?

Kerala is enacting laws making it punishable to have more than two children. I shared it, thinking that it was not a good idea for a democracy to arbitrarily limit the number of children a couple can have. That too to a number frequently exceeded, so it wasn’t even like dealing with rare instances.

Didn’t make sense to me that someone can decide a number “2” and that is the most children anyone in the state can have. Ok, if this was China… different matter – different kind of government too.
It apparently caught the attention of many people on my TL and an interesting discussion ensued, examining the pros and cons of such a rule.
Warning: Sometimes, it may be difficult to understand which tweet is being replied to, but this is their exact order, which helps keep things clearer rather than me trying to reorganize sequence and confuse matters further. The discussion is fairly clear as it is, I think.
Kidding you not! Now, third child can land you in jail in Kerala http://t.co/nrb55hrQ
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
Hehe. Awesome. RT @Vidyut: Kidding you not! Now, third child can land you in jail in Kerala http://t.co/aaVLnwv6
gorakhargosh
September 25, 2011
Finally, “what an idea, Sirji!” RT @PunditComment @VidyutKidding you not! Now, third child can land you in jail in Kerala bit.ly/n3szqd
YearOfRat
September 25, 2011
Super RT @gorakhargosh: Hehe. Awesome. RT @Vidyut: Kidding you not! Now, third child can land you in jail in Kerala http://t.co/1q6OSGwN
peeteeonyou
September 25, 2011
Much needed measure. RT @Vidyut Kidding you not! Now, third child can land you in jail in Kerala http://t.co/hbtUA02p
doctoratlarge
September 25, 2011
RT @YearOfRat: Finally, “what an idea, Sirji!” RT @PunditComment @VidyutKidding you not! Now, third child can land you in jail in Kerala
acerbictongue
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge Jailing and fining goes against the very principle of libertarianism. But yes, withdrawing tax benefits does not. @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@KetPan @Vidyut Yes, but you can jail people if they act against a reasoned out policy which is in the national interest
doctoratlarge
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge @KetPan @Vidyut And where do you draw the line?
maheshnanda
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut COMMUNISTS . . true color . . .
kaileshrajdev
September 25, 2011
@maheshnanda @KetPan @Vidyut Difficult question to answer – but you’ll have to take it case by case
doctoratlarge
September 25, 2011
@KetPan Agree. It is one thing to not support/discourage, another is to criminalize/disallow reproduction @doctoratlarge
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut 🙂 any awards for NModi from Kerela Gov . . . and punishment for Lalu ? . .
kaileshrajdev
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut Even if the cost of the unbridled reproduction of another has to be borne by my pocket, as a taxpayer? @KetPan
doctoratlarge
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge Individual liberty demands that State not take away personal liberty at cost of national interest…. @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
WTF! RT @Vidyut: Kidding you not! Now, third child can land you in jail in Kerala http://t.co/Z7BD3xAf
somaiyahiral
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge …But the corollary of that, as you rightly pointed out is, that my interests by way of taxation not be compromised. @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge @KetPan @Vidyut Honestly believe self-realization rather than force is a better option, improbable as it might seem.
maheshnanda
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge Socialism/communism are evil. I should not have to pay from my pocket anything more than what government provides me. @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge @KetPan @Vidyut Demographics in any way have their own way of working out over the long term.
maheshnanda
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge The idea of ‘engineered redistribution of wealth’ is the one that goes most against libertarianism. @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@maheshnanda But, @doctoratlarge has a point when he says that the monetary cost of delayed realization must not be on others. @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@KetPan Huzoor .. Does individual liberty have limits Sir ? @doctoratlarge @Vidyut .. One man’s liberty can disturb another no ?
VenuSpeak
September 25, 2011
@maheshnanda Inconvenience & pain caused to those who’re born in midst of such demographic crisis are unjustified. @doctoratlarge @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
Step that shd hav been taken much earlier “@Vidyut: Kidding you not! Now, third child can land you in jail in Kerala http://t.co/pMGpk0dM
Indiankabootar
September 25, 2011
@KetPan @doctoratlarge @Vidyut That would be the model of a very selfish society, not one aspiring for greatness, China the obvious example.
maheshnanda
September 25, 2011
@maheshnanda China is the most communist of them all. 🙂 @doctoratlarge @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@KetPan @doctoratlarge @Vidyut Sati stopped more through social awareness rather than law, as well as untouchability to an extent for eg.
maheshnanda
September 25, 2011
@maheshnanda A man has the right to be selfish if he wants to but he does not have the right to another’s charity @KetPan @Vidyut
doctoratlarge
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge @KetPan @Vidyut Agree, but we all have a stake in d society we want to build and all have to contribute in some way or other
maheshnanda
September 25, 2011
@maheshnanda Everyone who makes a living by legitimate means eventually contributes to the society. @doctoratlarge @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge @KetPan @Vidyut Deep rooted societal changes need something more substantial than changes in laws, laws are meant to b broken
maheshnanda
September 25, 2011
@maheshnanda Great individuals make great nations. Confluence of rational self interests ensures welfare of most. @doctoratlarge @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@maheshnanda And yet, both State interference (criminalizing) did exist in curbing Sati and untouchability. @doctoratlarge @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut I demand the right to have 8 babies if i feel like it !
Anni_Pearl
September 25, 2011
@maheshnanda BTW, to clarify, I’m *against* criminalizing of producing more than 3 children. @doctoratlarge @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
I support it. As long as I’m not changing diapers :p RT @Anni_Pearl: @Vidyut I demand the right to have 8 babies if i feel like it !
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
@maheshnanda But I’m for withdrawal of subsidies to families that produce more than 2 (or even 1) children. @doctoratlarge @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@maheshnanda The only ethical issue here is: the ‘extra’ child must not suffer on account of choices made by parents. @doctoratlarge @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@maheshnanda Those who’re anyway not planning to have more than 2 children won’t complain. @doctoratlarge @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@maheshnanda But those planning more than 2 would’ve one more disincentive (though, that shouldn’t be imprisonment). @doctoratlarge @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge sure. We all tax the system in some way or the other and differently. That mother isn’t contributing to pollution @KetPan
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
@KetPan You’re right, it shouldn’t be imprisonment – made to watch ‘Mausam’ for three consecutive shows should be enuf @maheshnanda @Vidyut
doctoratlarge
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut She will, when her child grows up and starts consuming the nation’s resources @KetPan
doctoratlarge
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge have discouraging measures in place, but criminalizing reproduction is blatant violation of personal freedom. @KetPan
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut You could argue the same for driving above speeding limits @KetPan
doctoratlarge
September 25, 2011
That is a very, very good argument by @doctoratlarge! Will have to think a bit to (if at all) counter it. 😀 @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge By then, over reactive people may have destroyed the country already. we can’t punish someone on what will happen @KetPan
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge I think overspeeding is associated with knowledge of likelihood of more imminently killing/injuring someone else. @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@KetPan And more children without resources are associated with greater likelihood of poverty and consequent criminality @Vidyut
doctoratlarge
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge who gets arrested for driving over speeding limits? People pay fine, move on @KetPan
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
BTW, as @Vidyut might recall, I’ve questioned the very idea that reproduction falls in domain of ‘personal’ freedom… @doctoratlarge
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut …because the unborn child’s consent is never taken whether he wants to be born or not. 😀 @doctoratlarge
KetPan
September 25, 2011
Unanswerable! RT @KetPan @Vidyut …because the unborn child’s consent is never taken whether he wants to be born or not. 😀 @doctoratlarge
doctoratlarge
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge That is a sociological/economical perspective. But hard to make that a basis of policies in given framework. @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge Actually, that’s a very serious predicament I face in this regard. 🙂 @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge Uh… this is more like capping the number of cars you own. No one is arresting anyone on how they raise kids. @KetPan
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut As @KetPan has pointed out, children are not exactly comparable to cars.You have the right to produce only those you can provide for
doctoratlarge
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut A manufactured car can be simply kept in a garage, but State’s policies mandate that resources be expended on them… @doctoratlarge
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut …e.g., universal immunization, right to education, food guarantee bill, employment guarantee. @doctoratlarge
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge If it can be proved a particular kid cannot be raised by parents ‘effectively’ its production can be criminalized. @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge But in that case, government will have to withdraw all benefits extended to kids. @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@KetPan lol. Yes, I do. future panic. 😀 @doctoratlarge
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
@KetPan Sure, but that is what a country is about. Those will grow up into more tax payers because of all that investment. @doctoratlarge
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
@doctoratlarge Because every parents would be obviously be able to provide for varying number of kids. 🙂 @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut ‘Currency’, ‘money’ is an eyewash unless and until there are resources that stand for money in the market. @doctoratlarge
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@KetPan With the RTE, I don’t know if the government will be able to withdraw education. With free immunizations, the same. @doctoratlarge
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
@KetPan Trust me, kids are not the biggest money problem in our country. @doctoratlarge
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut Meaning, govt may have loads of money, but if there’s no electricity, no land, no fuel, this money makes no sense @doctoratlarge
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut I meant something else, which was elaborated on in the subsequent tweet. @doctoratlarge
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut My sis ‘made’ 3 lovely humans – none of us wd change that for anything!
Anni_Pearl
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut Actually, government can withdraw all such phoney ‘rights’ if ‘socialist’ is removed from the Preamble. @doctoratlarge
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@KetPan @Vidyut @doctoratlarge supporting someone else’s choices is a two way street, its not that the three kids or five dont contribute
Uberschizo
September 25, 2011
@Uberschizo To be honest, I find the ethical concerns in the issue toooooo complex. 🙂 @Vidyut @doctoratlarge
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut Actually, a year back, I was comparing stock market vs population of various countries. Seemed to be in sync @KetPan @doctoratlarge
Stupidosaur
September 25, 2011
Raging discussion on my TL about http://t.co/fSY3UNox between @KetPan @doctoratlarge @Uberschizo @maheshnanda Will archive. Your say?
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
@KetPan abbey, mera dialog? @Vidyut @doctoratlarge
Stupidosaur
September 25, 2011
@Stupidosaur Yeh tera dialog that? :O I somehow always had this predicament since long. 🙂 @Vidyut @doctoratlarge
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@KetPan that is the fun isint it? @Vidyut @doctoratlarge
Uberschizo
September 25, 2011
@KetPan But are they such a bad idea? @doctoratlarge
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
@KetPan O.O And I thought you kinda claimed to be most dedicated reader of my blog http://t.co/2jCFbITk @Vidyut @doctoratlarge
Stupidosaur
September 25, 2011
@Vidyut @KetPan @doctoratlarge for GOD sake let them play peacefully,we should not make the issue for economy-JUST SAY NO TO MNC & PAID VOTE
kumarthind
September 25, 2011
@Uberschizo The ‘process’ of meditating/debating is fun, but not the knowledge that it’s bound to be doomed. 🙂 @Vidyut @doctoratlarge
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@KetPan why doomed to failure? ideas challenged are ideas refined. @Vidyut @doctoratlarge
Uberschizo
September 25, 2011
@PunditComment why pursuade? what evidence is there to suggest that big families are bad? @Vidyut @KetPan @doctoratlarge @maheshnanda
Uberschizo
September 25, 2011
@PunditComment Is there a need at all? The govt already supports two. @KetPan @doctoratlarge @Uberschizo @maheshnanda
Vidyut
September 25, 2011
@Stupidosaur As you might notice I did not speak anything about the subject, but only that your post was emotional 🙂 @Vidyut @doctoratlarge
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@Uberschizo Because there are bound to be too many mutual contradictions in trying to formulate what’s ethical. @Vidyut @doctoratlarge
KetPan
September 25, 2011
@KetPan thats ok, if we shy away from contradictions, we are left poorer. @Vidyut @doctoratlarge
Uberschizo
September 25, 2011
@KetPan also, improving oneself is about learing to work with differences @Vidyut
Uberschizo
September 25, 2011
@Uberschizo I’m not saying that we must not debate (otherwise I wouldn’t have been), just that there is non-fun aspect as well. 🙂 @Vidyut
KetPan
September 25, 2011

 

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Vidyut
Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

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