Yet another World Population Day (July 11) has passed us by. Many eyebrows would be raised if I were to argue that our government should de-control population growth, just like how it decontrolled oil and gas prices.
But it is high time we actually considered launching a procreation drive.
We launched the population control programme decades ago to shape a ‘secure future’ for the country. The result: Thousands of nuclear families with one child each, children who don’t know the value of sharing.
It’s time we encouraged bigger families, with many children.
Before you start hurling stones at me for expressing such a ‘wayward’ view, try answer this question: Is population a menace?
A ‘yes’ means You and I are a menace. It means our presence is a threat not only to the country, but to the universe because we eat up the resources and contribute to the so-called global warming.
But are we really a menace?
Who would have replaced the ageing workforce had we not been born?
Who would have maintained the momentum of the country’s growth?
Our country is lucky because we were born irrespective of its anti-population growth drive.
Now the crucial question: Who will replace us and support the country when we become old, if the government goes ahead with the one child norm?
Recently, an Australian scientist said human beings would be extinct in the next 100 years because of over population and lack of natural resources to support it. But his argument doesn’t hold much water. The human race will never be extinct due to over population and its consequences. It will disappear from the face of the earth due to man’s aversion to have children and, perhaps, infertility.
Why look down upon population? It can never be a burden to any country.
If anything, it is an asset. It will never keep a country poor. Instead, a country with a robust workforce is a treasure trove for the world.
It is the workforce of India that brought about the IT revolution in the country. It is this workforce that made the world turn toward India to outsource jobs to it, thereby making the country rich.
Let me remind you of what Infosys cofounder and Unique Identification Authority of India chairman Nandan Nilekani writes in his book Imagining India: “The idea of population as an asset rather than a burden has especially gained currency with the rise of knowledge-based industries such as IT, telecommunications and biotechnology in the 1970s. In fact, the information economy is the culmination of what the Industrial Revolution started — it has placed human capital front and center as the main driver of productivity and growth.”
But this workforce needs to be maintained and improved. For this, we need to decontrol, not control, the population.
Also to be borne in mind are the consequences of China’s successful one-child policy. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it: “The suicide rate of women in childbearing years (generally between 15 and 34) has increased considerably since the policy was implemented, especially in smaller Chinese cities. This is believed to be due to pressure to produce a single child, as it is usually desired to have a male child.”
So let’s dismiss all thoughts of controlling our population and and learn instead to be proud of it.
After all, it is our people who will make our nation a super power.