By Sunaina Mathur
Researcher at Centre for Civil Society, New Delhi.
Issue - Population
Date - 1st June 2018
Population becomes a cause for prosperity if humans utilise their capacity to think, research and create. When equipped with the right resources and opportunities, humans act as a catalyst for their own growth and development.
As Indians, many of us including our present and past governments are guilty of ascribing India’s problems to the meteoric rise in its population. From a very young age, our schools teach children about India’s population ‘problem’ making it out to be the root cause of most of the challenges that the country is facing. This belief is reinforced through various mediums, formal and informal, at all stages in our lives until we are convinced that population is truly India’s nemesis. Our understanding of problems is misplaced, which is why the State has pursued fruitless strategies like mass sterilisation implemented by Sanjay Gandhi, a Congress leader who spearheaded the programme as a measure to control population explosion. Such gross violations of individual freedom is justified, even lauded, in the name of ‘public good’. If population is an obstacle to growth, how is it that the densely populated urban areas are...