Why the Population Control Law is now most urgent and essential in the National Interest?
India to have largest Muslim population by 2050, claims a report
Making population policy a part of the overall sustainable goal with immediate effect is the need of the hour, and our policymakers must act in national interest before the mess is created
Bharat is home to about 16 per cent of the total world population but possesses just 2.4 per cent of the entire land area of the world.
In 2050, India's population is projected to be 1.69 billion, which will be higher than estimated 1.31 billion in China in the same year. China, being a communist country, had opted for one child policy to control its population explosion which was severely criticised as against human dignity and rights. So in 2016, they moved to two child policy, under which perks of government subsidy and benefits will be given to the first two children of the family only. These measures have controlled China’s population by a possible 400 million people according to a report of East India Forum. Previously it has been adopted in Vietnam as well.
We, on the other side, are the world’s largest democracy. So instances are given against the coercive methods of Population control, but if we analyse the data, we would realise the seriousness of the problem. With a decennial increase in population equivalent to the total population of Canada, Australia, France and Germany we’re swimming in threatening dangers of Population Explosion.
Poverty, Corruption and Population
There is an intimate connection between Poverty, Corruption and Population. More the population, greater the strain on government budget as well as family budget. It adversely affects Primary Health Care Programmes carried out by the government and disrupts the medical services serving needs of the poor. A population explosion initiates a cascade of social, Economic and Political problems.
Our population can be roughly divided into three broad categories: Illiterate masses who are unaware of the dangerous consequences of a largely looming population. They are not even aware of various modes of family planning. And India being a 3rd world country, they are in large masses.
Secondly, the educated ones but believe that male child is a vital necessity to continue family lineage.
Too much for a single vehicle! The issue of having many children in the long run may prove to be demographic disaster overturning the benefits of demographic dividend
The third category includes elite urban masses which keep their family within limits, but that is a minuscule proportion.
Apart from these, there is another particular community which ardently believes- “Birth control is against their religion. A child is God's gift, and it's a sin to opt birth control measures.” They don't care about the quality of life and have no sense of social responsibility, making population control law imperative in the national interest. They lack a concomitant desire to promote social and economic welfare.
Bharat has the third largest Muslim population next to Indonesia and Pakistan. We’re home to 10 per cent of the world's Muslim community with 172 million Muslims (2011 census). There is a threat not only to the economic stability of our nation but also to social fabric due to the future disproportionate growth of Population.
The other communities, on the other hand, understand the simple logic that limited resources can be ideally shared when there are fewer members. They believe in giving their children quality life. So encouraging them to procreate more won’t help at all. In such a situation the feasible option left is a coherent approach to holding back the population explosion which we severely lack.
The disproportionately high population would be seriously baffling for our nation, leading to a high crime rate, tarnishing the social fabric, creating chaos in entire administration and thus cascading grave problems; burdening the government and our limited resources. So population control law becomes imperative in the national interest.
But only a single-minded coercive programme of population stabilisation for control of their fertility won't work in a democracy. We've seen that effective implementation during Emergency had backfired government. So along with the law, our education must be tailored to help masses to think independently about the benefits of a small family. Female education is also desirable for population control as empowered women can prove to be the guardian of family size and their health. Without female literacy, coercive measures of Population control will further undermine the status of women. Also, it might lead to female infanticide. So they need to participate in population stabilisation policy willingly.
The prime requirement for all this is a strong political will which our leaders are lacking for their selfish reasons of vote bank politics, enjoying commission in various tenders in schemes of mass welfare, creating chaos in administration and a brigade of needy people in so that they keep fulfilling their urge to feel important. They keep talking about perils of Population Explosion, but absolutely nothing has been done so far in this direction. This has been the case since always, irrespective of left and right governments.
Making population policy a part of the overall sustainable goal with immediate effect is the need of the hour, and our policymakers must act in national interest before the mess is created. Mere lip-servicing won't help.
(The writer is a columnist and well-known lawyer at Supreme Court of India)