Population growth has created a number of problems in the world; in 1830 world population was about 1000 million. It rose to 2000 million in 1930. But within 44 years it rose to 3700 million in 1974. Since then it has not looked back. With 2.5 per cent increase per year it is expected to double every 30 years in India. Of course the developed European countries have reached a stage of Zero growth. But the backward countries have not made a head way in this direction. Some of them like Sudan and Ethiopia have a phenomenal rise of 4.5%. They were the lands of the dead in 1985.
India has not lagged behind in this cursed growth. With 2.4% of the land area it has. 15% population of the world, Russia with 51/2 times the area of India has only 6.5% of the world population. In 1941 the population of undivided India was 318.5 million. With a growth rate of 2.4% the population of India alone on Feb. 26, 1998 was more than 96 crores. With this rate it may cross 120 crores mark by the end of the century while China with 1.08% growth may be only 112 crores.
This alarming growth of population in India has created a large number of problems. The food problem has been in control for two reasons. The agricultural yields have increased and about 10 crores vanavasis (forest dwellers) do not consume conventional food grains and edible oils. They sustain themselves on forest yields, fish, animals, roots and leaves. It is a world a city dweller cannot imagine of.
One of the greatest problems created by the rise in population is widening the gulf between the rich and the poor. Most of the children are born in the poor rural families. The burden on land increases. The people migrate to cities for jobs and live in slums which are the centres of corruption, bootlegging, smuggling and prostitution. The villagers lose their identity and become a part of all these evils.
Illiteracy increases in proportion to the rise in population. According to a World Bank report 100 crores illiterate people are expected to enter the new century in the world. Of these 50 crores would be in India alone. It is equal to the total population of India in 1960. With this growth no educational facilities can be provided. This results in total ignorance among the rural masses. India was the first to propagate family planning. It is the last to practice it.
Poverty and ignorance generated by population explosion benefit the politicians at home. They can misguide the people. They can create rivalry among castes and religions for their personal interest. They can purchase the votes 9f the poor and ignorant. The most dangerous thing they do is to misguide the minorities. They frame different laws for them and allow them to multiply. This disparity is something like creating disintegration while they falsely propagate integration.
The rise in population in the backward countries goes in the interest of the developed countries. As a rich politician can purchase votes of these ignorant poor, a rich country purchases the interests of the backward countries. A big country like India has the Status of a beggar in the world Economy. We are proud of begging and securing foreign loans. While the people are crushed under the line of poverty the government has to keep 7% of the budget for interest on foreign loans. What a pity!