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Essay on “India’s Population Crisis” Complete Essay for Class 9, Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

India’s Population Crisis

 

Few in India can deny that India is facing an intense crisis of resources. There is intense competition for the nation’s limited natural resources that is leading to quarrels between states,

Communities and even families.

Our land and water resources are being exploited to the hilt. The exploitation of our mineral resources is threatening our forests, nature reserves, and general ecology. Seventy percent of our energy resources need to be imported putting constant pressure on us to export more or face a currency devaluation. Over use of resources is contributing to natural disasters occurring more frequently and with greater devastation. For many Indians, life is a big struggle  to put together the bare essentials for survival, and shortages of  resources works most against the poor and underprivileged. Even as sections of India’s middle-class struggle with scarcities— it is the poor and vulnerable sections of society who suffer most.

As famine rages in many parts of India, reports from Gujarat and Rajasthan indicate that Dalit villagers are the last to get access to water. Reports also indicate that much of the burden of collecting water is placed on women who often walk for miles a day to fill a pot or two of water.

It is true that better management of resources could reduce this problem—that states like Gujarat and Rajasthan have neglected traditional water-harvesting methods that could be vital to augment scarce water resources. Others have argued that if the Narmada project were to be completed in some acceptable form, that could alleviate such problems in the future. But even with appropriate development schemes and optimum utilization of scarce resources, it would be hard to argue, that on a per capita basis, India’s natural resources are not becoming severely strained.

So far, these resources have been shared in a very unequal way. Some Indians have the luxury of taking long showers twice or thrice a day—even their pets are bathed daily, and their cars scrubbed from top to bottom. Other Indians are lucky if they get to bathe once a week. And many Indians are lucky just to have access to clean drinking water. If in the future, India were to become a more egalitarian nation, and attempt to share it’s water-resources in a fairer and more just way, it is evident that with projected population growth rates, it is unlikely that every Indian citizen will have access to a reasonable amount of water every day. The same would be true of other precious resources like land, energy and scarce minerals.

Twenty years ago, it may have been possible to argue that in a socialist system, the country would find the resources to provide every Indian citizen a comfortable life. Today, it is becoming more and more difficult to make such assertions with any degree of confidence. While there is no doubt that increased research and more ingenuous and creative management of our resources could be quite effective, we must accept that compared to most nations we are becoming exceedingly resource poor.

To a large extent this is a result of the post-colonial division of the world. During colonial rule, Europe was much more densely populated than India, and it’s population was growing faster.

But Europeans had the option of migrating to the so-called “new world”. Very quickly, Europe’s excess population was absorbed by the US, Canada, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Some of the world’s resource-rich places on the planet were settled by European migrants, who then quickly closed their borders to non-European migrants by enforcing racially- biased quotas and other immigration restrictions.

By the time colonized nations like India had won independence, and begun to improve their national health system (leading to rapid population growth), the borders in the “new world” were closed to them. As India’s life expectancy has doubled from 31 to about 62 in 50 years, and it’s infant mortality rate fallen dramatically, it’s population has grown to almost a billion. But except for a small trickle—most Indians cannot expect to migrate to “greener pastures”. They must endure life on one of the most densely-populated resource-limited lands on the planet.

Even as “Globalization of the media” has created amongst many Indians the desire for a more comfortable and even extravagant lifestyle, our growing population makes it almost impossible for anything more than a tiny elite to actually live that way. This is creating tremendous stress in terms of rising middle class and even working class expectations and what is actually possible for India’s limited geography to deliver. With the population still growing rapidly amongst the poor peasants, (particularly in the Hindi belt)— the consequences for the future are serious, if not catastrophic.

 

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