2017 to 2018
Of Mythical Families in Mythical Cities: Small Family Propaganda and the City in India, 1954-77
How did the small family become the normative modern family in India? This project questions how ideas of birth control, and positive eugenics were circulated within the statist vocabulary of economic development and modernization. Several transnational actors like the Ford Foundation, the Rockefellers, Planned Parenthood and the Population Council invested in projects instilling community participation and self-development across India, which were small in scale, with two or three village clusters or townships and focussed towards enabling erstwhile subjects of empire to become citizens. I believe that the advocacy of the small family norm was a product of several such pilot studies that involved ‘experts’ in fields like statistics, media messaging, documentary films, public health and urban planning. I ask how these tools of modernization overlap with the small family norm in Delhi in a way that it becomes the unit of governance within the city in India.
Read more about Aprajita's work here.