India’s Population Dilemma: Can it Balance Growth with Sustainability in 2024?

March 29, 2024
1 min read
Crowd with Indian Flag at Border-Closing Ceremony - Attari-Wagah India-Pakistan Border - Near Amritsar - Punjab - India
Crowd with Indian Flag at Border-Closing Ceremony - Attari-Wagah India-Pakistan Border - Near Amritsar - Punjab - India, Photo Credit: Adam Jones (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

India is the largest country in terms of population, with an estimated population of more than 1420 million. Bharat, that is India, has people equivalent to 17.76% of the total population of the world. The current population of India is 1,436,197,356 as of Monday, January 29, 2024, based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data. The population density in India is 481 per square kilometer (1,244 people per square meter). The total land area is 2,973,190 square kilometers. 36.3% of the population is urban. The median age in India is 28.2 years. These figures are staggering.

The biggest challenge in the new year is how to feed, clothe, & shelter such a big population! There was a disturbing picture in Indian newspapers on 26 January 2024, the 75th Republic Day. While more than 30 million rupees were deposited in Ayodhya’s newly built temple of Ram Lalla, many children in Dombivli, a part Of Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation, Maharashtra went to school barefooted as their parents did not have money to buy the footwear for these children! India will have to control the growth of population.

Both the central and the state governments will have to take action against those who have more than two children. “Ham do, hamare do” (We two, ours two) slogan will have to be implemented. The social media can contribute towards this noble cause. Rama, the Maryada Purushottam (the best among men following the duty of a Kshatriya), had only two children – Lava and Kisha. Gautam Buddha had only one son- Rahul. Vardhaman Mahaveer had only one daughter, Priyadarshini according to one sect of Jains, while the other sect believes that Mahaveer was a celibate. Guru Nanak had only two children. Jesus Christ too did not marry. Abraham had a son. Only Krishna, Prophet Mohamed, and Zoroaster or Zarathustra had more than two children. Our present President Draupadi Murmu has only one daughter. While the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, though married, has no progeny. So if you take the example of most of the prophets and public figures, one can have one or two children.

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In many countries, people are not marrying because to bring up a child is a costly business. It is high time to take measures to control the growing population of India. Incentives and disincentives can be offered by all the governments including local self-government that is Panchayats, Municipalities, and municipal corporations to control population increase. Owing to pandemic & other reasons, so far the 2021 Census is not carried out. But for delimitation of Parliamentary & legislative purposes, a census is a must before 2026. In short, the population increase of India will have to be controlled. If not, the standard of living of Indians is bound to suffer.

Govind Tekale

Embarking on a new journey post-retirement, Govind, once a dedicated teacher, has transformed his enduring passion for current affairs and general knowledge into a conduit for expression through writing. His historical love affair with reading, which borders on addiction, has evolved into a medium to articulate his thoughts and disseminate vital information. Govind pens down his insights on a myriad of crucial topics, including the environment, wildlife, energy, sustainability, and health, weaving through every aspect that is quintessential for both our existence and that of our planet. His writings not only mirror his profound understanding and curiosity but also serve as a valuable resource, offering a deep dive into issues that are critical to our collective future and well-being.

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