Chandrababu’s Call for More Population May Lead to Disaster; Needs Debate
The National President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad Praveen Togadia has maintained that the Government should take steps for birth control and ensure that persons, who have more than two children are made ineligible for the benefits of welfare schemes and for Government jobs.
Speaking at a meeting at Khammam, the VHP leader stressed that due to increasing population, people are unable to get benefits of welfare schemes and Government jobs and hence the Government should take firm steps to control population and see that all people got justice. This stance of the VHP could be stated as a departure from its earlier stand that there was need for increased Hindu population.
As a matter of fact, Family Welfare programs are being implemented for several years now in many of the States in the Country, including the united Andhra Pradesh, and some Laws were also made in many States making people with more than two children ineligible to contest elections and so on. In spite of birth control measures, the Country’s population was going up year after year and India now is the Second largest populated country, next only to China.
While there has been a general consensus in favour of birth control and family planning measures in the country, curiously enough Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu is stating of late that there was need for increasing the population in the State and he was giving a call to the people not to adopt family planning methods. At a meeting at Amaravathi recently, Naidu reiterated his call to the people of that State not to observe family planning methods and produce more children. He came out with a theory that if the family planning methods are continued, there would be no youth in the State after 50 years, as has happened in Japan. This argument appears to be not convincing. Though the number of aged people is going up steeply in the State and the country, the process of births is continuing as ever and hence the fear that there would be lack of youth force after 50 years is not real. On an earlier occasion, Naidu said robots were being pressed into service as there was lack of manpower. It would be better for him to know that robots were coming in not because of lack of manpower, and there was absolutely no need for robots in countries like India.
The facts that lakhs of young boys and girls are unemployed in the State (and crores in the country); that not less than one-third of the State’s population, including youth, are facing the problems of poverty, hunger and malnutrition in spite of several welfare measures; and a large number of educated youth are leaving the State for want of proper jobs; should not be forgotten while pleading for increased population and not observing birth control. Chandrababu might also not aware of the famous ‘Malthusian theory of population’ on the dangers of population explosion.
Also, farmers, weavers and other economically weaker sections are committing suicide because of poverty, hunger, etc., and these include youngsters. If only the suicides and forcible deaths of these youngsters are stopped and all the people are provided with nutritious food, the birth rate would continue and would be no situation wherein there would be dearth of youth force in the State. In addition, the Government would do better to take proper care of the tribal population in the State, which is considerable, and improve their living standards.
Economists are also suggesting there is need to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, so that there would be no social unrest. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that India is sitting on a social inequality time bomb since the rich is getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and this is bound to result in social unrest and political instability.
Coming back to Andhra Pradesh, it is better for the powers-that-be to take note of the fact that there is poverty in almost every district, and beggars are seen at every important places of worship, roadsides, hotels, tourist spots and in every village, town and city, including Chittoor district from where Chandrababu Naidu hails. Instead of talking about increased population, the Chief Minister would do well to attend to these problems on a war-footing and improve the living standards of the people so that there would be no danger of dearth of youth force in future. There is a view that Chandrababu’s call to the people to beget more children might lead to disastrous consequences and there is need for a full length debate on it.