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Reproductive StatesGlobal Perspectives on the Invention and Implementation of Population Policy$
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Rickie Solinger and Mie Nakachi

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199311071

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199311071.001.0001

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From Gandhi to Gandhi

From Gandhi to Gandhi

Contraceptive Technologies and Sexual Politics in Postcolonial India, 1947–1977

(p.124) 4 From Gandhi to Gandhi
Reproductive States

Sanjam Ahluwalia

Daksha Parmar

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the history of contraceptive technologies adopted by the postcolonial Indian state between 1947 and 1977. The chapter focuses upon three birth control methods, namely, rhythm method, intrauterine device, and sterilization. “Overpopulation” was the dominant discourse guiding the Indian state to intervene in the intimate domain of its citizens, hoping to transform their reproductive practices. Even as the Indian state sought to control population, concerns of class, caste, community, and gender guided its policies. The global population control lobby supported the Indian state. For instance, the Population Council and Ford Foundation provided personnel, technology, and financial support to carry out population control initiatives within India. The Indian state and its global allies relentlessly pursued population control directives, compromising the contraceptive needs and concerns of Indian subaltern groups. This focus of the state and its global allies fostered an atmosphere of fear and suspicion about India’s family-planning initiatives.

Keywords:   India, contraception, rhythm method, IUD, National Emergency, sterilization, Indira Gandhi, sexuality, Population Council, Ford Foundation

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