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Published in the 16-31 Oct 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition


Family Planning

Some bigots and fundamentalist Hindus and Muslims have been making unwarranted noises and irresponsible statements on the vital issues of family planning and population control. They are trying to politicize the issue without having realized the gravity of the situation and coming dangers of population explosion. Realistic and rationalistic approach, without a vilification and hatred campaign against any group of people, is the need of the hour.

According to reports by various international agencies, population of India (read Hindus) will be doubled in the next 50 years (with a present growth rate) and that of Muslims world (52 Muslim Majority countries) in 45 years. In contrast with this rapid growth of Hindus and Muslims, it will take seven hundred long years for the West (read Europe etc-Christians) to double their population. Thus by 2050 A.D., India’s population will be two billions from the present one billion and Muslims around the world will be three billions from present 1.4 billions whereas the Christian population will increase marginally (2.5 billions from the present 2.3 billions). It means, in numbers, Muslims and Hindus will almost be twice the numbers of Christian on the globe but alas by all scientific predictions, economic disparity between East and the West will increase manifold .The West will continue to dominate the East with much more powerful hands of economic and military might. By the middle of this century per capita G.D.P. of the West (particularly Europe and America) is expected to rise to 100 thousand dollars from the present 25 thousand dollars and Hindus and Muslims from East will not be able to get 3 thousand dollars mark from the present one thousand dollars per capita GDP. One has to bear in mind that the total present G.D.P. of India and the Muslim world (inclusive of Petro Dollars) is less than the GDP of France alone. This disparity is sure to continue and increase. Thus the harrowing future scenario in the Muslim and the Hindu world will be like this: - higher poverty, greater prevalence of the diseases, mass upheavals and disturbances, continuation of illiteracy, bloody sectarian clashes, conflicts on the basis of caste, creed, language and region, increased corruption in civil societies, serious law and order problems, greater political instabilities leading to dictatorships, intense exploitations in the name of religion, dangerous level of environmental problems, more human right violations etc. Who will suffer most? Of course the common man of densely populated countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Srilanka, etc. Rich and politically powerful persons (few in numbers) will no doubt prosper but always with an element of fear. . It is high time that we give thought to what Iqbal, the Poet of the East once said:

Na samjhoge to mit jaoge ay Hindustan walo

Tumhari dastan tak bhi na hogi dastanon mein

Oh Indians (read Muslims and Hindus) you are doomed if you do not mend your ways—
Your story (history) will not be even part of human history (so great will be your Fall).
All of us, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and other groups of people living in the East should learn and act soon to control population, before the cruel realities of nature do it for us.

Dr. Iqtedar Farooqi
Urdu Scientific Society, Lucknow

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