The 80 percent solution to India’s population growth

Azad I've been a little concerned about India's fast-growing population, now at 1.2 billion, but I recently came across an article that has put me at ease. The article, from the London Times, describes Ghulam Nabi Azad's plan to curb population growth. Azad is the new Health and Family Welfare Minister.

“If there is electricity in every village, then people will watch TV till late at night and then fall asleep. They won’t get a chance to produce children,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said. “When there is no electricity there is nothing else to do but produce babies.” [Link]

Yes, that's what we do in my household whenever there's a power outage. Other people search for candles, I search for condoms.

Actually, I never use them, which may explain why I have three children. I'd have a lot more, but the power doesn't go out that much.

“Don’t think that I am saying this in a lighter vein,” Azad added. “I am serious. TV will have a great impact. It’s a great medium to tackle the problem . . . 80 percent of population growth can be reduced through TV.” [Link]

What about the other 20 percent? Well, that can probably be reduced through the Internet.

The minister called on India’s television channels to provide high-quality
programmes, arguing that enticing content would offer alternative late-night

Yes, it's important to have entertaining shows at night, especially on weekends. I mean, if it wasn't for Saturday Night Live, I'd probably have 12 children.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. I cannot believe that a minister of his responsibility would rip off a stand up comedian’s line!!! This was on a stand up competition on a Hindi TV channel. Now we know why he thinks TV is influential!

  2. I really cracked up reading this. Great post!
    Your humor is subtle yet sarcastic and drives home the point. Excellent!!

  3. I was born in 1974, and therefore I had the good fortune to enjoy the best decade of all time, the 80’s, were great and talk about them makes me homesick, living the 80s.
    Kathleen T. Ryan
    Lane Tecumsah 3209
    Cedar Rapids, IA 52 401

  4. Martha C says:

    what a moron! has this so-called health minister tried this “method” himself? Indians need to revolt against this kind of idiocy!

  5. TV is no cure for India’s population woes and the minister knows it very well, he is only trying to skirt the most important issue (after all he is a politician). No govt. or private effort will be able to reduce the population growth. Only nature will ultimately tackle the problem in its own ways, as exhaustion of resources will make life unsustainable (we probably are close to that although not able to see the writing on the wall).

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