Periyar on Birth Control
The Government of India thought of Family Planning as a means to control population growth in 1960s and wanted to implement it seriously only in 1970s. Yet the population growth is not contained with in the required level in most of the States in North India. Tamil Nadu stood foremost in limiting the population growth even before the government took serious measures. This became possible because Periyar and the followers of Self-respect Movement and Dravidian movement, which he founded in 1925 and 1944 respectively, spoke about family planning even from 1930s. In every Self-respect marriage they conducted, the need for birth control formed an essential part of their talk.
Periyar had to dispel first the blind belief that children are born due to the grace of god. He spoke about the under-nourished, poorly clothed and illiterate boys and girls due to the low income of their parents. Periyar used to ask: If god grants children really, should he not provide a cow to give them milk? Should he not provide some land to grow food to feed them, and enough means to bring them up with sufficient clothing, proper education and other essential facilities? If god grants only children and not the means for their proper growth, is he not an irresponsible one? Such arguments by Periyar convinced even simple folk of their responsibility to limit the number of children and to bring them up properly.