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Who is our real enemy?

May 29, 2008

Author : Sandeep

One of the previous posts by teky has suggested poverty as our enemy, but i don’t seem to agree with that. I will try to take a stand on my view of our real enemy by asking the basic question, what causes poverty?

Poverty is a situation when there is more demand and less supply, or put in another way when there is more contention for limited resources. India is a country blessed with abundant natural resources in a very comfortable geographical location with tropical climate. The population has exploded in India more than anywhere else in the world. Such a situation has led to scarce of resources as the contention for the limited resources is more.

As the population increases, there are more births. More babies means more mouths to feed. Since the babies don’t earn their bread, they need to be fed by some bread-winner or income earner. There are lesser income earners and more dependents. Take an example of family of two, husband and his wife. If they give birth to twins, the family size increases to 4. The number of dependents is 3, but the only bread-winner is the husband/father. This is a situation when number of dependents per income earner is more. What happens when the family increases to 10 in next 10-12 years? There still is only a single income earner as the oldest child is only about 12 years, but the dependents are more than 10. The contention for limited food, clothes or anything the man gets is not enough for the family. There is more need that is not being fulfilled because of limited resources. This is the situation of poverty.

Imagine such a situation across the country. So, who is the real enemy?

I quite can’t say it is population yet as it has its advantages too. What happens when the babies grow old, and start to earn their living themselves? There is a sudden and huge increase of income earners, and hence the GDP of the nation increases. The dependency ratio also increases, as there are more people to earn, and fewer to feed. This is a very good sign, and India is in this phase now, and could be so for a few more decades. The 9% increase GDP last year or so is explained by this. The rise in population seems to have worked for good in mysterious ways.

Why do we still have poverty? The answer, still is, population. Population of our country is so huge that these changes only makes the situation slightly better. If there was no food to eat earlier, people might be able to get one meal a day with a overall better situation. This is not the kind of life what an American or a European leads. The reason for this is the sparse population in those countries, and abundant resources with respect to their population.

The increase in population also leads to reduction in forest lands as encroaching forest areas to form villages, cutting trees for agriculture, and cattle grazing leads to man-animal conflicts as seen prominently in Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Leopards are the target in this national park. The decline of Asiatic Lions in Gir National park is also attributed to this. The wild predators turn man-eaters, leading to more conflict and may be their extinction, thereby causing ecological imbalance. Cutting down trees would lead to global warming, and related issues only making the place more unlivable.

So, i have to conclude population is the real enemy and not the poverty, which is a mere effect of the cause. Hopefully, as incomes and contraception improve and the population growth decreases.

Note: The article to an extent is inspired from demographic dividend by Swaminathan published under Swaminomics in Times of India on 24th September 2006.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2008 5:34 pm

    Population can be called human resources if they are healthy,& educated, I feel unemployment is the real enemy, but here lack of opportunities is nt the reason,

  2. May 29, 2008 6:42 pm

    We can never say that population is our real enemy. Many countries of the world have much greater population than India. But they also have better resources.

    I think that all the problems our county is facing are related. One thing leads to another.

  3. May 29, 2008 9:36 pm

    nice post,what you say is true..but poverty and population everything are interreated…but also to feed we need to improve agriculture…develpoment of BPO and IT isn’t alone enough…like balance diet,we need balance develpoment…this cannot happen until the earning are equal in all sector..

  4. May 30, 2008 4:37 pm

    @ Rakha : I agree. Unemployment leads to many problems. I feel, every person of a country should work and earn his living. The work may not be an It company or something. Every job is considered worth while. A job for every person. Poor or rich.

  5. May 30, 2008 4:38 pm

    @ Vishesh : What is the “balance development” that you talk about ?

  6. May 30, 2008 6:57 pm

    Get this – poverty breeds poverty (and breeds too much in India)
    Clearly, poverty and unemployment are interrelated.
    The government is working on this, trying to educate people, making poverty elemination plans. Why is that not working effectively? CORRUPTION!
    Corruption is also a major obstacle in the way of removal of unemployment and illiteracy.

    So, if we fight off corruption, we might stand a better chance against illiteracy, unemployment, poverty and population.
    What do you think?

  7. May 30, 2008 7:28 pm

    @ raghavtalwar
    Well thats true… can we eliminate corruption all on a sudden???
    government has also launched anti corruption programmes….is that working?

  8. May 31, 2008 3:43 pm

    @ allirekha – Corruption cannot be eliminated all of a sudden.
    What I was saying was that it should be removed first in order to get those government plans working.

    As for the corruption elimination plans launched, don’t you think corruption itself would eat it’s way through them?

  9. June 5, 2008 9:58 am

    Well.. Thanks! for the ping back 😛

  10. Rishabh sharma permalink
    January 5, 2011 9:37 am

    The people who are increasing population are madarchod

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