Margaret Sanger’s Plans to Travel to India in the 1920s

The Margaret Sanger Papers
Last updated
Aug. 9, 2011, 5:41 p.m. (view history)

Sanger planned to travel to India ca. 1926, but did not do it. Get details on her plans and why fell through.

Suggests that they add a hyphen onto the name of the ABCL, making it Birth-control "because the two united convey one idea." Also notes, "I am glad you are doing real international propaganda work. We are really sorry you could not find time for India. I and Dr. P.D. Sastri would have [been?] glad to make your tour in India a grand success. God speed."

Was started in Delhi on Jan. 31, 1922 "through the single-handed efforts of Professor Gopalji of Delhi, who for more than a year "gave it an anxious thought before giving it a practical shape. The anxiety was perhaps the keenest at a time when Messrs J.O.P. Bland and Lothrop Stoddard were inviting the attention of devoted Birth-control workers to the Asiatic Population Problem at the First American Birth-control Conference, New York, 11-18 November, 1921." Says that the IBCS is "rapidly progressing . Its activity is directed in interviewing the cultured and the illiterate  for sounding their views and suggestions, arranging informal talks and formal lectures from time to time, distributing free leaflets and pamphlets in English and Indian languages, conducting a Birth-control Reference and Circulating Library, recommending book-sellers to encourage and push on the sale of Birth-control literature and above all meeting the real need of the people for practical information with the help of a few medical friends and through the courtesy of the Malthusian League, London, for kindly sending their Practical Birth-control leaflet to such as need it."

Asks every interested person to "do their mite" but acknowledges that "Oh! Ours is a huge task. It is an uphill struggle against superstition, ignorance, and false enlightenment. Of all places in the world, Birth-control is needed in India."

He saw her advertisement in Physical Culture and wants information on BC, has also contacted Marie Stopes. "In India there is no movement while I want to spread its propaganda here.

Wrote to her office to inquire when she is coming to India. He has finally gotten a job and is writing a journal on the side. Surprised to see that she wrote a foreword for Phadke's book "after I saw what it was like. " He reviewed it for Servant of India, which was difficult, because he is considered an expert and could not provide a "superficial" review and feared that if he told what he thought it would be attributed to rivalry. In the end he had to be honest about it and hopes that she is not upset that he was critical of a book that she wrote for.

Thanks her for her letter of April 30 which he got a few day ago.He asks her to enclose mention of the Indian Review of Birth Control in connection with her review of "the international status of Birth Control." Says she can modify it as she pleases. "I only wish you may kindly give me some more time in future for such work. It has given me great pleasure to write out these lines on India"

"If you could kindly give me some idea as to the date of your visit to India and the time you will be able to spend in this country, I shall be very glad to help you in drawing up your routine of lectures and engagements and offer other suggestions as well." He is happy to hear of the success of the 6INMBC, wishes he could have attended it, asks who is going to the next one in Geneva. Thanks her for the BCR which comes regularly.