We are over a billion now
Ranking of India
In population, India is the second-largest country in the world. The population of our country is above 1 billion. The population of our country is increasing at an alarming rate. We add the entire population of Australia every year to our population. We have reached a stage of population explosion.
Illiteracy and Marriageable ages
There are various factors behind this sorry state of affairs. Most important among them is illiteracy. The government has fixed the minimum marriageable age for a boy as 21 years and a girl as 18 years. But in states like Bihar, Orissa, Rajasthan, etc. people never bother about this. Hence, child marriages are still common. Child marriage is a great factor in the rapid growth of the population in India.
The other factor is that the illiterate people think that by adding more members to their families they will get more earning hands.
Lack of recreational facilities
Being too poor many people have not still got the approach to T.V., etc. for entertainment and instructive purposes. So, these poor people find recreation only in sexual indulgence. This also leads to an increase in population.
Reduction in rate of mortality
Another factor is the reduction in the death rate. The progress in medical science has also reduced the death rate. It is supposed that in the coming days, the death rate will be reduced further due to the eradication of epidemics like plague, malaria, cholera etc.
Superstition and Ignorance of family planning devices and schemes
The other main factor, which is responsible for the increase in population is ignorance and superstitions of the people, in particular of those who live in villages and in poor states. They do not believe in applying the family planning methods and think that the children are gifts from God.
All progress nullified by the population explosion
To our great surprise, India is an important producer of milk, vegetables, fruit, wheat, and rice but we are unable to export on a large scale these items that could earn a lot of foreign exchange for our country. It is because we are too many in number to spare these items.
Hence population is one of the most horrible problems in India. The Government has taken a number of steps in this direction to tackle this problem. The family planning devices are given free of cost in the government hospitals and dispensaries. The government is trying its best to give at least the primary education to all. So that every citizen can understand his responsibilities and rights towards the country.
Amartya Sen’s view and alarming bells
Prof. Amartya Sen has, however, stated that there is nothing to get alarmed about. His argument is that if our population has greatly increased, our food production has also increased and that not in a less impressive way. But, unfortunately, in spite of bumper crops certain alarming bells are there due to the lowering water table, decrease in per acre yield at places, inadequate uptake of grains by the poor for economic reasons and consequence, rotting of surplus stock (which may induce the farmers or government to become negligent in the matter of food production), the rising costs of production due to increase in prices of diesel, fertilizers, pesticides, etc. for several reasons.
There is no denying the fact that although millions of births have been averted in India through the family planning programme, yet the programme has gone away and we have not been able to achieve the desired results. It should be remembered that Sanjay Gandhi’s method of forced sterilization is not the answer. The only answer is bringing about an awakening among people, the poor people in particular, on a large scale through the spread of education and mass media programmes.