Indeed, We honoured the progeny of Adam, and bore them across land and sea and provided them with good things for their sustenance, and exalted them above many of Our creatures.” (17:70)
Man is the hero of this universe, or at least hero of the known universe. There is no doubt that he is the inheritor of the earth and all that is on it. The earth has been bequeathed to mankind. Everything on this earth has been created for human beings. It is ironical that in spite of the vast resources and the more resources which are waiting to be explored in near future, we are complaining about explosion of human population in the world. There is no denying the fact that resources in our control are finite and there is a need to maintain a balance between what is available and what is required for minimum standard of life for about 140 crore Indians. Therefore a need is there for some reasonable keeping of our population under control.
A family may feel a need to limit its size, or a woman may feel and decide how many children she wants to have. Likewise there are some other considerations also to limit the size of a country’s population. Social scientists and demographers have set a minimum limit for population growth. It is called replacement level. They recommend that the total fertility rate of a woman should be 2.1 children. On this rate, the population of a country would be stabilised or it would decrease.
At present, in the light of data from India’s National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2019-20, most of the states in India have below the replacement level or 2.1 children per woman. Therefore the two-child norm for the country is absurd and harmful. Use of coercive measures to limit the population is counterproductive and would result in revulsion and anger.
Our neighbour China had imposed one-child norm in 1980. This norm was relaxed to 2 children per couple in 2002. This resulted, because of the inclination to prefer male children, in disturbing the sex ratio. As a result there are several crore young males in China who do not have females to marry with. Recently China has allowed three children per couple. China is facing a downward trend in population growth. Besides, the number of youth who can contribute to economy is decreasing and the percentage of old people is increasing.
Therefore India should not impose two-child norm. It would be suicidal. Population would be under control if we promote education, improve health infrastructure, and generate more employments. This will result in natural stabilisation of population. We are fortunate that we have the largest young work force in the whole world. Our need is to provide skills, create jobs and give a purpose of life to our population. India can become world guru by maximum utilisation of our youth power. This policy can make us a developed country. Population is the greatest asset Almighty God has gifted us and not a liability at all. Will the powers that be make optimum utilisation of this greatest and the most fundamental asset from the Creator of mankind?