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Mahatma Gandhi: Birth control is criminal!

It is the fashion in some quarters nowadays for the young to discredit whatever may be said by old people. I am not prepared to say that there is absolutely no justification for this belief. But I warn the youth of all the countries against always discounting whatever old men or women may say for the mere fact that it is said by such persons.

Even as wisdom often comes from the mouths of babes, so does it often come from the mouths of old people. The golden rule is to test everything in the light of reason and experience, no matter from whom it comes.

I want to discuss the subject of birth control by contraceptives. It is dinned into one’s ears that gratification of the sex urge is a solemn obligation, like the obligation of discharging debts lawfully incurred, and that not to do so would involve the penalty of intellectual decay. This sex urge has been isolated from the desire for progeny, and it is said by protagonists of the use of contraceptives that conception is an accident to be prevented except when the parties desire to have children.

I venture to suggest that this is a most dangerous doctrine to preach anywhere, much more so in a country like India, where the middle-class male population has become imbecile through abuse of the creative function.

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