It has been quite clear for sometime now, that Earth is an overloaded planet. The six billion human load is unbearable and making life more and more miserable for an increasing number of people every year, though there exists some organisations making a living out of this business of population growth. Sustainability is the hottest topic in every international forum now and it is quite surprising that all of us are missing the fact that our own planet has already reached unsustainable proportions. The utopian concept of Socialism can be thought of in two ways – bringing in ‘equality’ either by trying to make all people rich or by making everyone poor. By increasing the denominator, whatever be its justification, the chosen route seems to be the latter. At this rate one of our future children will definitely step on the destruction button for planet Earth.
India is one of the most overloaded geographical areas in the whole world and within it the state of Kerala presents the extreme limits of population density. Not a single rainy season passes off in Kerala without spurts of Dengue fever, Rat fever, Cholera, Jaundice etc., etc. What is the most important reason for this? Nothing but an unsustainable number of human beings per square kilometre. Kerala has one of the maximum density of population and the ‘safe’ inhabitation land area now available is carrying almost double the advisable number of people. The net result is pollution of all water bodies, lack of safe drinking water, lack of infrastructure to process the human waste etc., etc. Almost three fourths of all human problems relate to population explosion and yet there are no serious attempts to control it. The revered Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer has recently come out with a report recommending strong measures against population explosion and as usual all religious retarders have jumped in.
There is no doubt and no two opinions about the need for children to sustain humanity. Nobody has ever questioned that. And nobody questions the relevance of marriage and family in human lives. All the questions now center around the number of children each family must have. But invariably the religious retarders always succeed in confusing birth control measures with abortion and pro-life slogans and defeat any initiatives in population control. All they want is license for uninhibited reproduction like animals. All forms of excuses (including God) are drawn into the debate to camouflage and confuse any debate between restrictive reproduction for common good versus wanton reproduction with ulterior motives. Though God often finds a mention in their arguments, the real motives behind increasing ‘tribal’ strength is crystal clear to everyone.
It is always the organized religious groups that oppose any restrictions on population growth. The logic is obvious. The strength of any organization is directly proportional to its strength and all organizations want to be strong and powerful. And all organizations are self-centered and bothered only about their own God, their own office bearers and their own tribe in that order. The point they often miss is that the whole world is interconnected and each of us (including our man-made Gods) are dependent on each other. Any attempt to grow beyond the limits of sustainability will unleash destruction from within our own system. An overcrowded Earth is an unsustainable entity and no amount of organization or religion can remove the limits. Restriction in numbers is one of the basic requirements in any organic system and Earth is no exception.
Restrictions are often positive when compared to complete ban imposed by religious doctrinaires. Like animals, every man is born free and what ultimately differentiates man from animal is due to the reasonable restrictions imposed on him or her by the society. Our culture is nothing but a sum total of the impact of these restrictions. But for these restrictions and regulations, man will go down the evolution chain again to the level of animals and birds. Present condition of humanity is even more precarious. We have in our midst a set of people who are monopolizing the custodianship of all morality and liaison with God. Acceptance of reasonable restrictions, as opposed to illogical do’s and dont’s imposed by such monopolizers, is the need of the hour. If they are not shown their place, perpetrators of such obscurantist ideologies will make our lives unbearable mentally also. While population explosion is putting our physical existence at risk, victory for religious obscurantism will make us animals again.
Imposing reasonable restrictions on the size of families should come natural to any society or government in twenty first century. It is common knowledge that Mother Earth cannot sustain a population of more than say 4 or 5 billion humans, which is just one living species among millions of others in this planet. We simply do not have the natural resources to sustain so many human beings and all natural disasters happening now are indeed man-made in a way. And restricting our numbers is the only way to ensure progress and development with social justice. This has been proven beyond doubt in almost all European countries and states like Kerala in India. The present high standard of living in colony-dependent European countries and self-sufficient Asian states is additional proof for this. The only mistake that happened is the case of some European countries is that they went into a negative growth in population.
Justice Krishna Iyer’s recommendation to Kerala government to impose restrictions, including penalties, on families with more than two children is a progressive step in the right direction. It is exactly what is needed in a progressive society with cent percent literacy, highest rate of family suicides and complete consumerism. Kerala is not producing anything sufficient enough for itself other than children which further increase its needs. Thus it is caught in a vicious circle and the only way to break it is to restrict its population growth. Other than the petty minded religious hierarchy, no one is expected to oppose it. But the famed Kerala elite must speak out and defeat all the religious obscurantism that is overtaking Kerala these days.