Of Loopholes and Twins

People can find loopholes in almost any law, and it is interesting to read about the creative ways in which they do so!

China’s one-child policy is well-known. This rule was introduced in the 1970s and there are only a few exceptions. The rule is relaxed if both parents are only children, and in some other cases in rural areas.

But for the most part, the one child policy forbids urban couples from having more than one child.

So it was amusing to read about the recently held annual Twins’ Cultural Festival, the sixth of its kind to be held in Beijing.

Some 500 sets of twins, triplets, etc. attended the festival.

“State run Xinhua News agency quoted local media from several regions in China as saying that the birth rate of twins recorded in several hospitals had risen in recent years.Apparently, some Chinese couples have turned to fertility drugs to try to “beat the system“.

Middle-aged twin Yuan Dali said “If you have twins it’s not against the (one child) policy and you still get the benefits, plus the child will have a companion. It’s great for a child’s development. People should know what it’s like to have siblings.”

This reminds us of Sanjay Gandhi’s compulsory sterilization programme.During the infamous Emergency of 1975-77, declared by the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, “Sanjay publicly initiated a widespread family planning program to limit population growth“.

But this resulted in government officials and police officers forcibly performing vasectomies in order to meet quotas and in some cases, sterilizing women as well. Officially, men with two children or more had to submit to sterilization, but many unmarried young men, political opponents and ignorant, poor men were also believed to have been sterilized.”

It is thought that this created a long-lasting opposition to family planning in the minds of the general public, and made it difficult to implement family planning programmes later on.

Just goes to show- compulsion is never effective in the long run!



  1. Yes, there are always loopholes and people generally do find them.. As for forced family contraception- that must be one of the most disastrous schemes in Indian history.. Compulsion never works..


  2. Enforcement doesnt get us anything for sustained periods of time ! never. Contraception is an example ! Inappropriate perhaps. But still is an example ! 🙂


  3. Yes Sanjay Gandhi's nasbandi not only led to the defeat of Indira Gandhi even in her own constituency but made Indians suspicious of any attempts by the govt to implement family planning.The ingenuity of Chinese couples to beat the system is also interesting!


  4. Sukku– Welcome to this blog!Yes, people generally start searching for loopholes as soon as a rule is made.Smitha– Sanjay Gandhi's scheme was not only disastrous, but an example of how something truly evil can happen when there is power without accountability.Kavi– Inappropriate? 🙂


  5. Vinodji– Yes, Sanjay Gandhi's scheme certainly did backfire on the Congress!Kanagu– Yes, people are frequently ingenious while breaking rules.:)


  6. Finding loopholes and breaking the law which is meant for your good only ccan be find here only.Dont know why family planning is to be told, why cant people think of it themselves…


  7. Interesting. I guess the Chinese have so many rules imposed on them ( and they have to necessarily follow them) that they found their own ingenious way to beat this particular rule without facing punishment!


  8. Renu– well, India is a country where a large percentage of the population is illiterate and where superstitions are still believed in the rural areas. So sometimes social awareness campaigns are required. Radha– Yes the Chinese would probably not be able to just not follow laws, (as we Indians often do) so they have to find loopholes!Chowlaji– Yes, a change in mindset (where possible) is much preferable to imposing laws.


  9. Chinese one-child policy is famous. Unlike us, they did not ignore/or go against the policy, but found out a loophole! Interesting.Even slum people here have realized the importance of education and know that if they have only one or two children, they can afford to send them to school, which will help their life better than their parents'. Sanjay's policy was a failure, because of the way he tried to implement it.


  10. Compulsion never works! You said it Manju. And if people are like me, then it will NEVER work! 😉 I hate to be compelled to do anything. Hehe…


  11. Sandhya– Yes, most couples do know that it is easier to bring up children well when there are only one or two.And even in those communities where there is religious/ social opposition to contraception, it is probably better to persuade, not force.Shail– I can very well believe that it would not be possible to compel you to do anything! 🙂


  12. sandhya, i have a friend – the one child policy. she said that there are penalties if one did not follow. and still some break the law and they do not mind paying the penalties, but that is a small percentage


  13. Sometimes I think a law cannot be a law unless it has a loophole.And we are very good at that in India. And now in Pakistan. The Pak police make a big thing of arresting Hafiz Syed, the 26/11 mastermind, take him to court and then the judge frees him saying he doesnt head a banned terrorist organization. And everyone forgets the older name of his organization. Loopholes of the mind ? And the police didnt know it when they filed the case ? Sometimes I think we bore holes when no loopholes exist.


  14. When it comes to rules some are like our children 🙂 nd did Sanjay himself follow the rule? maybe a no child policy is to be made compulsary for all politicians.. will solve a lot of the problems that our country is facing 🙂


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