ISSN 2330-717X

Exponential Population Growth – OpEd

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No one appears to be taking a note of the population explosion scenario on the Indian subcontinent. India seems to have forgotten their slogans ‘Hum do hamare do’ (We two – ours two) and Pehla Baccha Abhi Nahin-Do ke baad kabhi nahin (First child not now – after two never) possibly because of the vote bank issues of the minorities and the poor who believe in an extra working hand. The population of India has grown rapidly, from about 350 million in 1947 to approximately 1.16 billion today.  India’s population is expected to reach 1.65 billion people by 2050, making India the most populous country on earth beating China on this issue only! Some take satisfaction that the rate of growth has now slowed but is it a matter to rejoice when the future problems are staring into your face? The gravity of threat that population explosion is presenting is not being noticed by the nation’s policy makers and the implications of the population explosion seem to be lost in the political fights amongst parties. There is no clear strategy on how to deal with the exponential population growth that continues to have a destabilising effect on the society.

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In Pakistan a dangerous situation has been created by having one of the highest population growth rates globally. It poses a grave threat to internal security considering the poor madrasa education and poor economy. Pakistan is now the fifth most populous nation in the world with a growth rate of 2.4 per cent per annum, four to five million children are added to the existing numbers every year meaning the population in 2030 will be around 300million. With a rapidly increasing population and low economic growth rate, Pakistan faces a catastrophic situation. These alarming conditions have created social problems that cannot be dealt with adequately, unless the mushrooming population is brought under control.

Unchecked population growth leads to: 

  • Poverty.
  • Poor school education for the children. 
  • Lack of proper healthcare services.
  • Citizens welfare programmes. (Housing and other civic amenities)
  • Increase in migration to urban areas.
  • Rapid urbanisation leading to crumbling civic infrastructure in cities. (Sewerage networks, water supply)
  • Unemployment and unproductive population become a huge burden the country’s resources. 
  • Fertile breeding ground for unemployed youth to join insurgents or terrorist groups.

Population projections by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life (Jan, 2011 report): The world’s Muslim population is expected to increase by about 35% in the next 20 years, rising from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.2 billion by 2030. The Global Muslim population is likely to grow at about twice the rate of the non-Muslim population over the next two decades – an average annual growth rate of 1.5% for Muslims, compared with 0.7% for non-Muslims. If current trends continue, Muslims will make up 26.4% of the world’s total projected population of 8.3 billion in 2030. 

Muslim growth rates in European nations such as Belgium (139.8 per cent), Czech Republic (300 per cent), the Netherland (165.7 per cent), Poland (233.3 per cent), Spain (276.8 per cent), Sweden (206.8 per cent), and the United Kingdom (144.8 per cent) witnessed an increase by 140-300 per cent between 1990 and 2010. Germany is the only country with a double-digit growth rate of 65 per cent.  Muslims have grown by 150 per cent in a decade in non-Muslim countries. For the same period Muslim countries have only grown in double figures with Syria leading (88.4 per cent) and Pakistan (58.6 per cent).

The doctrine of Islam is based upon the total Islamisation of the world; The democratic countries like India are the worst sufferers and some of their states are witnessing the worst demographic change. China and Russia are examples of the growth rate within the lower side of two digits due to exercising harsh measures. Russia dealt with the Chechnya Muslims and China is dealing with Uyghur Muslims. China is an example of economic progress made because if its success to control population.  

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 Population explosion is a threat to any national security which leads to unemployment and ends up in violence related incidents or the youth joins some Terrorist groups or become part of civil wars. This commonly happens in developing countries. Unemployed youth is a key source providing cadres for an insurgency or Terrorist groups. This mentality is more prevalent among the Muslim community as the religious sanction to procreate is sanctified by Islamic tenets and clerics. They also know that in a democracy, no law is permanent. Governments will change one day, and the law may get repealed.

Madrasas are an integral component of the Muslim education system in India and Pakistan.  More than 90 percent of madrasa students in India belong to poor families. Afghan Talibs, the offsprings of Afghan refugees, were brought up in the madrasas and camps in Pakistan with the aim of fighting the Americans and foreign invaders. They studied at Deobandi madrasas, where they were taught a very narrow and distorted version of Islam. Madrasa syllabus does not allow the students to sit in for higher education or apply for competitive jobs as maths and sciences of that standard are not taught. Other than religious studies the education standard is very poor leading to their unemployment and some of them joining Terrorist groups.

 A Uniform Civil Code requires all citizens of India to adhere to the same set of laws, regardless of whether they follow Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, or Sikhism. A Uniform Civil Code does not mean that people’s freedom of religion will be restricted; it simply means that everyone will be treated equally.

It can be expected for certain most resistance is likely to come from the Indian Muslim population if implemented. Muslim community in India believes that the Uniform Civil Code Bill and Population Control Bill both are directed  against them, since they feel that every move of the ruling BJP party is directed against Muslims, even though that is clearly not the case.

 The writing is clear on the wall for the world and in particular India of the shape of things to come! This is the moment to implement the two-child policy consistent with the Uniform Civil Code. It has been pended for long and the present Indian Modi government need to ‘Bite the Bullet’ no one else can do it. Nation is bigger than the party. How can a democratic and secular government discriminate against its citizens based on their religious beliefs and a violation of secularism’s fundamental principle? Clarion call to save the country and its demography, the government should bring Uniform Civil Code Bill and Population Control Bill the earliest then to repent a decade later. Let the governments then not blame the previous governments having failed to take the hard decisions be it in India, Pakistan or any country for that matter.

Patial RC

Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army and possesses unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Patial RC is a regular writer on military and travel matters in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.

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