According to U.N. Population Prospects 2022, the global human population will reach the milestone of eight billion on November 15. It is big news for those who understand the importance of human life and value the status and dignity of man.
The first man Adam might have set his foot on earth about one to two lakh years ago. Demographers have estimated that the number of humans was 15 to 20 crore in one C.E., i.e. at the time of Jesus Christ. It was almost the same at the time of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (570-632 C.E.).
After about 1000 years, in 1650, population reached 50 crore. It was only in 1800 that it reached 100 crore.
There has been steady rise in the population because of improvement in health conditions and exploration and availability of resources. Experts opine that in modern times when population increases by on per cent, resources increase by four per cent.
In the middle of the 20th century, pessimists were talking about Population Bomb, which, they feared, would destroy the world because of depletion of resources and damage to environment. But exponential growth in resources has proved them wrong. Now the world is experiencing abundance of resources and unexpected heights of prosperity. It is quite another thing that the uneven and unjust distribution of resources and flight of capital from poor countries to rich ones has condemned a large part of humans to live in poverty and deprivation.
Predictions reveal that India will overtake China in population in the year 2023. We are fortunate that we have the largest population of youth. If our rulers and planners give skills and provide higher education, in no time, we may become the most prosperous country in the world.
It is unfortunate that the R.S.S. and its affiliates have started the tirade that there is a fear that Muslims may become more numerous than Hindus in a few decades. This fits in their thinking of Hinds versus Muslims or ‘we’ versus ‘they’.
In the first census after Independence, in 1951, Hindus were 36 crore 11 lakh, and Muslims 3 crore 50 lakh. After 60 years, in 2011 census, Hindus became 96 crore 62 lakh, Muslims 17 crore 22 lakh. It means in 60 years Hindus increased by 60 crore 51 lakh and Muslims by 13 crore 72 lakh. Therefore, the fearmongers and pessimists should learn that Muslims will never overtake Hindus. They should stop the game of hate and pessimism.
All of us must adopt the policy of promoting education, skills, economic and moral upliftment and employment generation, fight against poverty and unequal distribution of wealth, and start sharing and caring with the marginalised and deprived segments of population. This game of hoodwinking, polarisation and hate must be stopped and energies should be diverted towards moral and economic development.