The root of all problems afflicting India today lies in its population explosion, said the Taxpayers Association for Bharat (TAXAB), a not-for-profit group, here on Monday. It also launched a song “Main Bharat Bol Raha Hoon…” to remind people of the rising population’s telling impacts on our lives.
“Stephen Hawking says that we have 100 years to move to another planet… With climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth, our planet is becoming increasingly precarious,” TAXAB President Manu Gaur said at a press conference here, quoting the famous British scientist’s warning published recently in a Time magazine article.
To apprise those present of the marked change in the scenario, Gaur pointed to the boom in India’s population, which has increased by four times since Independence in 1947.
“Although our country’s land area is only 2.5% of world’s landmass, we have to provide for 17.5% of world’s total population,” he said.
If India kept up the same fertility rate of 2.1% per year, Gaur said, in the next 35 years “we will add 90 crore more people to our population”.
“Even if we account for the 35 crore people dying in this period, going by the current mortality rate, still it’s very high,” Gaur added.
Addressing the media through a recorded message, Green Revolution pioneer M.S. Swaminathan stressed that happy families did not produce many children.
He was seconded by Gaur, who talking to IANS later, said: “The states where the fertility rate is less than the national average are some of the most prosperous states.”
Commonwealth Games Gold medallist wrestler Geeta Phogat was one of the celebrities who lent support to the cause and vowed not to have more than two children herself. She was accompanied by her husband Pawan Kumar, also a wrestler.
Olympian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutta was also present among the panellists and spoke in favour of population control.
To remind states of their duty in “item 20(a) of the concurrent list in Schedule 7 of the Constitution” to “make policy on the subject”, the Taxab has written to the Governors and Chief Ministers of all states and Union Territories.