We are the inhabitants of the second most populous country, however seventh largest in terms of area. Not a healthy equation. In terms of nominal GDP, our nation stands at eleventh position in the world, which further dips to 140th when we talk about nominal GDP per capita. Vital to note, as of 2011 we represented the world’s second largest labor force with over 486 million workers, however we rank 51st, 24th and 39th in terms of global competitiveness, banking sector and innovation respectively. As per the Planning Commission, 21 percent of the residents fall below the poverty line and the exact figure stands at 269.3 million. The most blatant of all is the citation by World Bank, which says that almost 49 percent of world’s underweight children, 34 percent of world’s stunted children and 46 percent of world’s wasted children live in India.
Worried to note the figures and facts? So am I; however our political leaders are least bothered. While counting his dubious achievements, our Finance Minister forgot to share these numbers, deliberately. Of all the figures mentioned above, you may note that our nation is though low on economic and basic necessity parameters; however in terms of population and labor force we supersede almost every other nation. Diversities of cultures, languages, and religions can definitely be felt proud of, our unjustifiably rising population is surely of no economic or social benefit. Rather, we are creating an environment wherein even fast recoveries and advancements in terms of economic viability would be offset by a slight increase in the number of members.
Can our nation afford the inflating population with limited resources, infrastructure, industrial growth and agricultural output? Definitely, no is the answer. What should then be done? One way of resolving this issue can be the expansion of our industries to absorb rising workforce, better agricultural output to ensure food for all, extension of police and armed forces for maintaining decorum and security, and enhanced educational facilities to make every child capable. This isn’t easy. Let’s look at the other side of the coin and try to come up with an alternative. Shouldn’t the groundless and unbearable population increase be curtailed with a view to serving the present inhabitants efficiently? Though extension of family and the nation is essential, there must be a check in place to ensure that we do not end up in a situation where a major section of our society would struggle to even arrange food for one time.
China has delivered an example which sooner or later has to be implemented in India too. ‘One child policy’, public relation campaigns, and easy access to contraception are accompanied with economic incentives as well as penalties. Incentives include priority access to better schools, healthcare, and housing for households who adhere to the policy; however those violating this are penalized with fines, loss of property, employment, and above all dignity. Surely, we can adopt the measures that suit our moral as well as social base. A committee can be entrusted with the responsibility to come up with an effective action plan that can be implemented to control population rise. Plus, general public shall also participate with suggestions and will since the outcomes of this measure would widely prosper every citizen. Let’s not run away from this concern as we have been doing since past many decades, rather take this as a challenge and deliver a better tomorrow that we and our children can be proud of.