One child tragedyIt is something that I had read in text-books when I was in high-school. It is something I've constant read about in newspapers. I felt at that time that it was a fantastic idea that we in India couldn't implement due to lack of political will. But, I had not known about the social consequences.
Yeah, I'm talking about China's one-child norm. A Washington Post article set me thinking. As I ponder more and more, I start thinking about the horror that it must be wreaking on the basic social fabric of a country.
Imagine being born in a family without siblings to fight and share, without having uncles or aunts, and hence no cousins, being spoilt by parents and grand-parents because you are the only one ... Imagine the plight of the aged, when their only child is so busy with career that (s)he neglects the parents ... What a family ! What a society !
If the next time, someone tells me that China is a role-model because they can get their decisions implemented (like their Three-Gorges dam), then they are callous about the ones with no voice. It is humanly impossible for a single person at the top to be so all-knowing that he can foresee all the consequences and then decide. For instance, I don't know the truth about the Narmada Dam, but all I can say is that the controversy itself proves that we are a functioning democracy and while we are definitely the most chaotic, anarchist society full of "Argumentative Indians" (as Amartya Sen puts it), we still have something called a society - that is no mean achievement. If that is the cost of prosperity and wealth, I'd prefer such an India though backward, against a prosperous China.
Score 1 for democracy.