oppn parties Controlling Population Is Important But Is At Odds With The Delimitation Exercise

News Snippets

  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
  • The Bihar assembly passes a resolution to stick to the old NPR form, making it the first NDA state to do so
  • Arms deal for advanced helicopters, worth $3bn, signed with the US, but the trade deal remains elusive
  • Trump says he has a good equation with Pak PM Imran Khan and assures India that Pakistan is working to reduce cross border terrorism
  • Trump once again offers to mediate in the Kashmir issue
  • Trump says it is up to India to decide on the CAA
  • US President Donald Trump says PM Modi wants religious freedom for all
  • US President Donald Trump lands in Ahmedabad, received at the airport by Prime Minister Modi
  • US President Donald Trump to land in India today
Continuing violence in Delhi takes the sheen off the visit by US President Donald Trump
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Controlling Population Is Important But Is At Odds With The Delimitation Exercise

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

It was very good on part of Prime Minister Modi to highlight the perils of population explosion in his Independence Day address to the nation. He was the first Prime Minister in decades to talk about the fact that the Indian population is still expanding at a much faster rate than is desirable. This was something most governments had forgotten after the 'hum do hamare do' movement, although Sanjay Gandhi had gained notoriety with his forced sterilization scheme to control population during the dreaded Emergency.   

India's land mass is too small to support its population. India has just 3.287 million square kilometers of land mass and its population stands at 1.370 billion people. China has more people at 1.420 billion but its land mass at 9.597 million square kilometers is almost three times that of India. The US, on the other hand, has a population of just 327 million people who live on 9.834 million square kilometers. This makes India the most overcrowded place on earth. This leads to too many complications with unremunerative agricultural land holdings, crowded towns and cities, squalor, too many people to feed and growth that always looks miniscule when compared to the number of mouth to feed. It also puts groaning pressure on all public utilities and the health and education system.

People who do not plan their families are often unable to bring up their children in the desired manner as they have limited resources. With the cost of bringing up a child going up substantially and increasing by leaps and bounds every year, it is impossible for middle class families to provide the best of health care, food and nourishment and education to more than one or two children. Modi was spot on when he said that "if the population is not educated, not healthy then neither the home nor the country can be happy". He also said that "in our society, there is a section which is very well aware of the consequences of uncontrolled population growth. They deserve our accolades and respect." He added that "not only do they contribute to the welfare of their family but also to the good of the nation. People who have played this huge role need to be honoured, and by setting them as examples we need to inspire the segment of society still not thinking on these lines." The Prime Minister promised schemes from both the Centre and the states to control population and incentivize those with small families.

But there is a genuine concern which needs to be addressed before drawing up schemes to control the population. Why should states that perform exceedingly well on controlling population growth suffer in the delimitation exercise? Rewarding states who do little to control population (read UP and Bihar) with greater political power by adding Lok Sabha seats in their tally during delimitation is something that is at odds with any population control policy. It penalizes states that have population growth below the national average and much below that of UP and Bihar. For any population control scheme to succeed hereafter, the concerns of these well-performing states need to be addressed otherwise the fear of reduction of political power through reduced representation in the Lok Sabha will make them contribute half-heartedly to the initiative.

pic courtesy: dailypioneer.com