Before we even question the implementation of such a law in the country, it is extremely important that we first educate ourselves as to why the population is a serious issue at this point that demands a strict measure like this.
Why are we so crowded?
India is the second-largest population in the world after China. But are we crowded because we reproduce more or is it because we have been multiplying for over 10,000 years? It will be interesting for you to know that 12,000 years ago in 10,000 BC we were 100,000 in numbers and 6,000 years ago in 4000 BC, we were 1,000,000 in numbers. These were the times when many places in the world were not even graced by the human touch.
We grew at a steady increasing rate since then with some hiccups here and there. The population growth slowed down in the classical era up to 500 AD and later became mostly stagnant during the early medieval era up to 1000 AD. The population growth rate then increased in the late medieval era (during the Delhi Sultanate) from 1000 to 1500. As per the historical data, India’s population growth rate under the Mughal Empire (16th–18th centuries) was the highest than during any previous period in Indian history.
As per the 1951 census of India, which was the first census in India after partition, the population of the country was estimated to be 361 Million.
What happened after Partition?
Before partition, 390 Million people lived on the land of undivided India, making a population density of 90 people/Km2. After the partition, based on 1951 census of displaced persons, approx. 7 Million people went to Pakistan (both West and East) from India while approx. the same number of people moved to India from Pakistan (both West and East).
Based on the division of land and the movement of people in 1947, India happened to receive a population density of approx. 100/Km2 whereas Pakistan’s and Bangladesh’s combined population density was approx. 58/Km2. Was it fair?
So, What’s the problem now?
The world population and the population of certain developing countries are showing an exponential curve. India has grown from 548 Million in 1970 to 1324 Million in 2019, i.e. more than double in the last 50 years. If we continue to grow at this rate, we are going to be 1.69 billion in 2050. With the present situation, we have already started to experience water scarcity in some parts of the country. Moreover, if Humans occupy more land, there will be a decrease in the usage of agricultural land. Overly populated areas lead to degradation of land and resources, pollution, and detrimental living conditions.
Now, even if we put everything else, such as Global warming or pollution aside, food and water shortage is going to impact us in a big way. Can we live without food and water?
As it seems, we are already late in taking strict action. If we leave it like that and don’t do anything about it, the situation is only going to deepen. If we do something, we are not going to be in the best situation either; we will only be better than the worst.
Why we did not do anything earlier?
In the past, many governments worked on population control programs. With an intent to reinforce the message of family planning ‘Hum Do, Humare Do’ and ‘Chota Parivaar, Sukhi Parivaar’ in the late nineteenth century were very impactful in rural India. Despite these efforts, the population of India continued to grow at an alarming rate. India, in general, has always been on a progressive path. With time we have seen a substantial decrease and/or stagnation in the population growth of many religious communities in India. Islam is the only religion that has shown continuous population growth since independence.
Women empowerment, education and various awareness programs have helped in controlling population growth to a certain extent. However, until all communities and religious group work for a common goal in the national interest, no significant population control can be achieved. With the present situation, India cannot rely on non-definite measures, and a strict law is the need of the hour.
So, what should we do now?
The present Modi government is working on implementing a population control law. According to this law, no person shall procreate more than two living children after a period of one year from the commencement of this act. This act is way better than China’s one-child policy.
The significance of this act lies in implementing strictness among all religious groups and communities because until we all work against our orthodox or religion views for the benefit of the future, the results cannot be achieved.
Since the beginning, the Modi government has shown a futuristic approach towards implementing the policies and their foresightedness in this issue as well cannot be questioned.
This law is not important because we want to live happy, in fact, it is important because we want to survive. So, we must accept it with a full heart for the future survival of those two children in the families.
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