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Policy on birth rate – to boost or to dwindle

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The new paper heading “China will establish a policy to boost birth rate, says Xi” in Times of India dated 17 Oct 2022, stirred the embryo form in the workshop of my brain, it fires and rewires, which took the ramified form from the revelations documented in the editorial column on the page titled ‘ALL THAT MATTERS’ – on the top right entitled ‘SWAMIONICS’ with a sub-heading “Ignore doomsters. Let’s celebrate the 8-billion milestone”.

Indeed, no prefix or suffix is in need to highlight the author ‘Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar’, economist, journalist, and columnist of international renown. In my opinion, a bold critic with unflinching jots, convincing and exaggerating recommendations binding the facts inclusively and artistically. He is the one among the intellectuals who brought forth and still engaged in construing to bring forward the upgraded versions into public forums, the ones, that might have been in the hands of the well-built, the social beings, the conventional human emotion masters.

Swaminathan concurs, validates, and authenticates Marian Tupy and Gale Pooley’s book ‘Superabundance’: he is so convinced on a par with the authors of ‘Superabundance’ which beams on the contrarian intellection – an increase in population will induce the increase in resources, in abundance- and elucidates it with substantial evidence decisively. Yes, it discordantly disagrees with the futurisms promulgated through ‘An Essay on the Principle of Population’ in 1798, furnished by Thomas Malthus, a British economist who predicted that positive checks on population growth and the startling, alarming literary work of Prof.

Paul R Ehrlich – ‘The Population Bomb’ foreboding overpopulation problem in 1960  and continued to advocate for population control and co-authored the book ‘The Population Explosion’ released in 1990 with his wife Anne  Ehrlich. Many population control activists and supporters of Europe and the United States accepted the views of Ehrlich in the 1960s and 1970s.

Enthusiasm triggered by curiosity; I started browsing the excerpts of the book ‘Superabundance’ by googling; hesitation clouded me from the wordings in Swamionics describing the book as an expert tome and felt out of reach for me; the a,b,c,d,.. and the vowels of the economy and economic affairs and publications are beyond to my hand. The common concept brings out the statement highlighting that the increasing growth of the population with greater freedom triggers more ideas and wonderful innovations. In a simple sentence, more people mean more ideas and more innovation, so population growth is good.

More heads, more ideas – which generates faster and greater economic growth resulting in an abundance of resources. Reviews outpour adorned with fabulous comments and commendations. Lauded appraisal over the depiction of human ingenuity, humanism, and a prosperous world for all. Many wordsmiths also applauded the pessimistic perpetual discourse. A ’Tit for Tat’ for the doomsayers who ignites chaos in society and set fire to worrywarts challenging the dignity and prosperity of humankind.

Now set aside the book “Superabundance’ and revert to years passed across- a flashback. Many countries implemented the practice of mandatory control on the growth rate of human population from the 1950s to 1980s concerned about overpopulation and its effects on poverty, the environment, and political stability. The Chinese government introduced the one-child policy in 1978 discouraging having more than one child. The policy turned controversial in the after days, raising issues confronting negative economic and social consequences. To a mark, Iran succeeded in promulgating population control measures.

In India, the slogan ‘We two, ours two’, (‘Hum do, humare do’ in Hindi) was framed, destined to strengthen and propagate the message of population control. More recently, most countries have set forth the shots to augment birth rates specifically as a retaliation to the dooming demographic charts. The Chinese President, Xi Jinping said, “We will establish a policy system to boost birth rates and pursue a proactive national strategy in response to population aging.” In his speech opening the once-in-five years Communist Party Congress in Beijing.

Chinese policymakers are dubious and anxious that a steep fall in the country’s population could adversely affect the national economy. Maybe, the book. ‘Superabundance’ could pacify their worries to some extent.  “Let us celebrate the arrival of eight billion human beings. Let us celebrate India becoming the most populous nation.”, this was the deliberate conclusive sentence of Swaminathan’s column, ‘Ignore doomsters, Let’s celebrate the 8-billion milestone.

The subject is a matter of concern to somebody, anybody, or nobody, but as a layman, I am in a catch-22 situation, whether to stand with the policy encouraging the increase in birth rate or back the policy of population control. Worth pondering, isn’t it?

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