Why are political thinkers unable to gather the courage to say that there should be birth control in this country? A fear, a dread. The public believes that children are gifts of God, so a politician who insists on birth control is not going to get their votes. Hence everyone may see the situation but they are all keeping quiet.
There should be compulsory birth control in India for at least thirty years. After all, what is the point of bringing children into the world whom you will neither be able to feed, nor clothe, for whom you cannot provide an education, and if they fall sick, you won’t be able to provide any medicine.
But the Mohammedan looks towards the Koran. Mohammed married nine women, so he gave every Mohammedan the right, the dignity, to marry at least four women. This is worth understanding. If a woman has nine husbands, there is no problem, because she will be able to give birth to only one child each year. But, if a man has nine women, there is a danger. He can produce nine children every year. And the Mohammedans insist that it is their religious law.
But Mohammed did not give a place to this edict in the Koran for any spiritual reason. Mohammed’s whole life passed carrying a naked sword in his hands. Naturally, the men used to die in wars and the women would remain. The natural balance was disturbed. There were four times more women than men, and if the rule of one man marrying one woman had continued, what was going to happen to the remaining three women? Education was out of question; they could not even raise their veils. These three women were bound to become prostitutes, so it was better that every man should be allowed the concession of marrying four women.
However, when you allow concessions, strange dangers arise.
Just this century, when India became independent, the Nizam of Hyderabad had five hundred wives – although the proportion of men to women in the world is equal. And when one man takes possession of five hundred women, what are the remaining four hundred and ninety-nine men, without women, going to do? Perversion is bound to spread. Immorality and corruption are bound to take root.
But don’t be too angry with the Nizam. The one who broke all records in the world is the perfect incarnation of godliness, Krishna. He had sixteen thousand women. And amongst these sixteen thousand women, only one, Rukmini, was his married wife. All others were the wives of other people. Any woman he liked was immediately taken to his palace. There is an English saying: “Might is right.” Krishna had the might. If he took some poor man’s wife, the man could not even say no. That woman might have had small children, might have had a husband or elderly people in the family. Those houses were left deserted, destroyed. Those houses became engulfed in darkness. And yet you go on calling Krishna a perfect incarnation of godliness – this man who didn’t even possess a simple humanity! Being a perfect incarnation is a far cry from this.
The first thing is: India has to become free of its past. Then, we can take new steps.