Oprah: So was Indira Gandhi right in trying to control the population?
Mohammed: Yes, of course she was right. Something had to be done with the population. But the way she went about it, the system that tried to promote this was corrupt. And the officials, all they want to do is make money out of this.
Oprah: So they were taking men and then ... sterilized.
Mohammed: Vasectomies. Yes.
Oprah: Did a lot of people volunteer?
Rohinton: No, it wasn't ever very popular. That's why they had to resort to this. Only 3,000 people in New Delhi were given vasectomies against their will. But if you look at the people who suffered from it, it's not a small number. We have to leave the accounting to one side, sacrifice our fondness for numbers, and look to the human cost.
Rohinton Mistry's gift to the reader
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