For over three decades, until recently, Chinese couples have been limited to producing only one child. The law was introduced in 1980 to arrest the exponential population growth.
Previous communist regimes motivated people to produce more than one child in order to meet the demand for labour force, but it went out of hand. By 1950, Chinese population was growing at almost 2 percent every year. It had become unsustainable. The decision to restrict child birth was the only answer, and it is now beginning to show its effect.
In 2050, India’s population is projected to be 1.69 billion. China’s will be 1.31 billion.
Should Narendra Modi enforce a one-child policy to stem the uncontrollable rise in population? A futurist and statesman Prime Minister will have the conviction to see it through. There would be resistance, but a confident leader would visualize the end goal – a healthy, secure, and happy society – and gain his strength from there.
The Prime Minister, if he follows up on his promises, has every chance for a second term. That gives him 10 years, quite enough to experiment and study the advantages and pitfalls of a one-child policy.
Between 2001 and 2011, India added 181 million people to the world population, a number quite close to the population of Brazil! At this rate, India will soon explode. We cannot leave it to the wisdom of the people. A couple interested in a boy will not stop after the first-born is a girl. They will try again, and again, and again, till they get what they want. By then, the family would have had 6 to 7 children. Left unattended and cared for, these children do not become responsible members of society, but take to crime in their growing years.
Lalu Yadav could manage 10 children because he had the financial and the political might. His children are settled in life. Ordinary, middle-class people cannot afford to have many children, but they do.
Over 76 percent of India’s population survives with approximately 2 dollars per day. Population has grown more among the poor socio-economic strata of our society.
In terms of infrastructure development, India is lagging far behind, compared to the East Asian countries. In terms of soft to hard infrastructure, spanning education, healthcare, roads and general development, India is already under great strain, with the swelling population giving rise to hunger, joblessness and crime.
If the Modi Government considers the prospect of a one-child policy, India could be a power equal to the USA by 2050! A society with an insanely large population can never be a developed society, it can never shine. It is widely believed in the international community that the US Government funds health aid to only those countries that have made abortion illegal. The US believes, as do we, that a society with an overblown population will never prosper, can never prosper.
The one-child policy in China was widely criticized, but the Government refused to succumb to pressure and held its ground. It’s only now that the People’s Democratic Republic of China is considering granting permission for two children.
Desperate situation requires desperate measures. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a prosperous India can never be realised under the present situation. Even if India successfully feeds its burgeoning population, its growth may not be ecologically sustainable. The global demand for water by 2050 will be more than 50 percent of what it was in 2000. Food demand is also rising. It is not surprising then that there are international disputes related to water on the rise in Indian States, requiring Supreme Court intervention.
The big question that Narendra Modi must ponder over is this: How will India provide its 1.7 billion people with their basic, minimum demands?