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Archives > 8. Discuss family and birth control.

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message 1: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 3833 comments Mod
The government's birth control program is enforced with violence and cruelty, with sterilization quotas and forced vasectomies. But is birth control policy in itself a bad thing? Dina tells Om, for example, "Two children only. At the most, three. Haven't you been listening to the family planning people?" [p. 466]. How might family planning be implemented in a humane fashion?

After Dina's father dies, her family life is blighted until she marries Rustom. In later years, she chooses to withdraw from her natural family; it is not until her year with the tailors and Maneck that she again comes to know what a family might be. What constitutes a family? What other examples of unconventional "families" do you find in the novel?


message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna Fennell | 107 comments When Om and Ishvar are picked up and forced to have a vasectomy, they encounter a woman who is happy to have her tubes tied. She states that she has five kids and does not want any more but her husband keeps forcing her. I think a humane fashion is education -- providing people with all the information on ways to family plan and the benefits of it. Then, you let each individual make the decision for him or herself. That is the human method.

A family is a group of people who take care of each other and do what is best for the entire group. I definitely saw Beggarmaster and all of his beggars as a family. He provided protection, food, shelter, clothing, etc. for his beggars. He also seemed rather philosophical about the arrangement. I also saw moneyman and his monkeys to be a family. The dog on the other hand was like a lower class citizen in that family.


message 3: by Book (last edited Mar 13, 2016 08:07AM) (new)

Book Wormy | 1822 comments Mod
Family is a group of people who care deeply about each other. In the beginning it was the tailors living with the man who was training them and his family, later it was the group living in Dina's flat.

Humane family planning is giving people a choice and the options like condoms and birth control pills, forcing operations on people is not humane even if it will help control populations.

I would also say removing the stigma of girl children would have helped as families had multiple children just to get a son, perhaps of there was no stigma with daughters they would have stopped at 2.


message 4: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 3833 comments Mod
I remember this time period in India when birth control was being pushed by the rest of the world. In fact, birth control was a big deal all over the world. No matter where you lived, you should have only 1.5 children. To read this story and how it was so misused is so sad.


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