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Population explosion, changing demography and Taxpayers’ concern

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Dr Bipin B Verma
Dr Bipin B Verma
The author is a retired professor of NIT Rourkela. He follows a nationalistic approach in life. His area of interest is “sustainable rural development”. Email: [email protected]

Abstract: Population explosion is a national concern and needs a proper and sincere attempt to curb it. At the same time “population imbalance” should not be allowed to happen. It is worth noting that we require a healthy, educated, skilled, and nationalistic population for the development of the nation. Taxpayers’ concerns about population explosion also deserve immediate attention.

World Population Day is an annual event celebrated every year on 11 July. The event strives to raise awareness of global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989 [1]. It is celebrated all over the world, including in India. Articles are written, and seminars are organized on this occasion on the issue of population pressure on the globe. But nothing fruitful happens on the ground, and people forget the issue and postpone it to the coming years.

It has been happening for the last several decades. In less than 70 years, the population of India exploded from 40.99 Cr. in 1955 to 140.08 Cr. in 2022 [2]. At the same time, the demographic alteration and many known and unknown problems grew [3]. However, society and the political system keep postponing the solution deliberately.

CM Yogi on population imbalance

The country will remember Chief Minister Sri Yogi’s address on World Population Day 2022. His messages on population explosion and resulting nationwide demographic changes are loud and clear [4]. CM Yogi in his speech on 11 July said the population control programme must go ahead successfully but at the same time “population imbalance” should not be allowed to happen. Speaking at a function to mark the commencement of “population control fortnight”, he noted, “When we talk about the family planning/population stabilization, we have to keep in mind that the population control programme must go ahead successfully, but at the same time, a situation of population imbalance should not be allowed to happen”.

This is the second incidence when the hidden threat is exposed by any CM. Prior to this, on September 30, 2021, Chief Minister of Assam, Sri HimantaBiswaSarma flagged off concerns about changing demographics in the border districts and the influence of illegal immigrants on election results [5]. He stated that the illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh have a clear strategy to take over 3-5 constituencies each election by increasing their population and eventually grabbing power in the state after a few decades.

The Uttarakhand government has said that the rapid rise in population is causing demographic changes in certain areas of the state. This is resulting in the migration of several communities from those places as well as posing a threat to communal peace [6]. However, this is not only happening in Assam or certain pockets of the Country. These are open secrets and many agencies, within and outside the nation are working on the “Ghazwa-e- Hind” agenda [7]. The recent arrest of PFI activists from Patna has once again exposed the (open) secret plan of Islamization of the nation [8]

Muslims are the fastest growing population

The Proportion of the population of different communities to the total population (PP) in 2011 and the Population growth rate in the decade 2001-2011 have been presented in Tables 1 and 2 respectively.

HinduMuslimSikhBuddhistChristians and Janis
-0.70.8-0.2-0.10.0
Table 1. The proportion of population to population (PP) in 2011 (India), in Percentage Point [Population trends for major religious groups in India (1951–2011)[9].

TotalHinduMuslimChristiansSikhsBuddhistJain
17.716.824.615.58.46.15.4
Table 2.The population Growth rate in the decade 2001-2011 (India)

The data indicate that Muslims have the fastest population growth rate. Such a fast population growth may upset the demography of the nation. The proportion of the Hindu population to the total population (PP) in 2011 declined by 0.7 percentage points (Table 1). The overall growth rate in the decade 2001-2011 was 17.7%. The growth rate of different communities in the same period is cited in Table 2.

The recent studies by Dr JK Bajaj found that Indian Muslims have been growing at a faster rate since independence, while the rise in the population of other religions has been consistently subdued [10]. The studies show that there has been a sharp drop in the population of Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists. It is the responsibility of all the Governments and individuals to retain the demographic structure of the country and regions. The first census in independent India may be taken as a benchmark for the national demographic structure.

Population imbalance and criminal activities

Yogiji’s opinion on changing demography and resulting law and order problems is genuine. Ignoring this aspect of population control may be fatal for national growth and integrity. CM has rightly highlighted the issue of demographical changes occurring in Uttar Pradesh and different parts of the nation. It is also true that such changes threaten national security and create a law-and-order issue.

Many villages and localities are suffering from population imbalance. Such localities are becoming the epicenter of several criminal and anti-national activities [11]. Jahangirpuri of Delhi was in news recently. This locality of Delhi is inhabited by over 10,000 West Bengalis (actually Bangladeshi families), the majority (95%) of whom are Muslims. The population imbalance and attempt of the police to reclaim illegal encroachment are the reasons behind the communal riot, stone pelting on police, etc.[12]. The root cause behind the 2012 indigenous Assamese-Muslim riot was actually due to changing demography, loss of land, livelihood, and intensified competition for political power, cultural and social existence in their own motherland [13].

Need for a skilled human resource

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that UP has improved its record in maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate as compared to earlier[14]. Yogi said that Uttar Pradesh has given excellent results in the last five years, but it needs to be improved further. The population of Uttar Pradesh is around 25 crores. It can be the fifth largest country in the world in terms of population. Yogi said that many problems remain in the state due to the increased population. It is worth noting that we require a healthy, educated, skilled, and nationalistic population for the development of the nation. Such a population can be an asset; on the other hand, vulnerable, uneducated, unskilled, and irresponsible citizens are liabilities and sometimes a threat to national security. He said a skilled human resource is a boon but an unskilled human resource becomes a liability and curse. A nation should work to stabilize the population and that will be only possible when a sensible government is allowed to proceed forward.

Taxpayers’ concerns about population explosion

Population explosion is a national (as well as global) concern and needs a proper and sincere attempt to curb it. However, a group of people deliberately maintain large-sized families. Some of them highlight their family size as their achievements. On the other hand, poor taxpayers’ concerns and opinions are ignored [15]. It is also a fact that the middle class mostly maintains small families and contributes substantially to running welfare schemes. I welcome the proposal of UP Govt. to stop subsidies to families of more than two children. It needs to be implemented retrospectively (e.g., from 2012 onwards). In other words, the family whose youngest child is above 10 years of age may also be deprived of the benefit of the subsidy.

After all, the instruction to keep the family small has been given for decades. Though this may appear inappropriate to a section of society and politicians, this is perfectly proper in the interest of the nation. Even if the subsidies are stopped today, such families will keep enjoying the national resources thereby upsetting the development graph and polluting nature. Why do the nation and honest taxpayers suffer for the deeds of someone else? Therefore, large-size families (say, families of six or more children) may be subjected to additional taxation. It may be noted that taxpayers pay taxes to the governments for national safety/ security, infrastructural development, education, healthcare, and other developments.

But, unfortunately, a giant share of the tax collection is used to fill the belly of large-size families. If Governments do not have the guts to control family size and strictly implement family planning schemes and impose taxes on large-sized families, then income-tax payments should be optional. If it is one’s personal right to have children, should not it be their responsibility to raise them [16]? Why taxpayers are burdened for the deeds of irresponsible citizens and sometimes illegal migrants?

It is also a reality that children of large size families are usually deprived of proper nurturing, healthcare, education, and family/ social governance. As a result, children from such families get indulged in anti-social and anti-national activities. This is an important and well-known issue, usually ignored by lawmakers. It is also desirable to monitor the activities of those children and families.

Please remember, to control the population of the nation and push its growth engine, some hard and unpopulestic actions are essential.

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Dr Bipin B Verma
Dr Bipin B Verma
The author is a retired professor of NIT Rourkela. He follows a nationalistic approach in life. His area of interest is “sustainable rural development”. Email: [email protected]
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