India's population: 1.37 billion and not counting -Kundan Pandey

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published Published on Feb 14, 2020   modified Modified on Feb 14, 2020
-Down to Earth

India, like the rest of the world, is intensely debating population explosion. But while countries are struggling to keep their numbers at replacement level, India is on the right path towards stabilising population sooner than expected. So what's the discussion all about?

Be it a political meeting, a hot TV debate or just a healthy tea-time chat, the topic would most often veer around population. That was about four decades back. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought the debate back to the discussion table after he used the term “population explosion” in his Independence Day speech last year.

The term had not been used by any of his predecessors since the country’s disastrous experience of forced family planning during the Emergency period in the 1970s. Since then, population control remains a political pariah. But Modi set the debate on a new trajectory. He equated population control to patriotism. “A small section of society, which keeps its families small, deserves respect. What it is doing is an act of patriotism,” he said.

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Down to Earth, 11 February, 2020,

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