Recommendation of Iyer headed commission rejected

The Commission recommended that Kerala should step in with legal measures to implement small-family norm.

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Law Minister KM Mani has rejected the recommendation by the Commission headed by eminent jurist VR Krishna Iyer to the government that the state should step in with legal measures to implement small-family norm for the better future of the country.

The recommendation to legally restrict the number of children in a family could not be accepted in a democratic country like India, Mani said at a function organised by his Kerala Congress (M) party here last evening.

A key partner in the Congress-led UDF, KC(M) is a force to reckon with in the Christian heartland of Central Travancore in the state.

"Ours is not a dictatorial system. We cannot impose small family norm by means of legislation. Self-control is the ideal method for family planning," Mani said.

The recommendation was not legally sound and restricting the number of children in a family could harm the nation whose biggest asset was its human resource, Mani said.

The Commission on "Rights and Welfare of Women and Child" had last month submitted its report to the government recommending a two child norm with cash incentives for women from BPL category who marry after the age of 19 and have their first child only after they attain 20 years.

It had also recommended strong measures to check population growth in Kerala.

The Catholic Church and many Muslim outfits have taken serious objection to Iyer`s suggestion holding it morally, legally and religiously flawed.

Syro Malabar Church, the most influential Catholic group in Kerala, has launched a campaign for larger families with more children.

The Pro Life Commission of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council, which has members prelates from other Catholic rites like Latin and Syro Malankara, has also come out openly against enforcement of small-family norm through legal and coercive methods.

PTI

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