|Wednesday, May 31, 2000,
Population: time for introspection
INDIA'S population has crossed the one-billion mark to join China in the exclusive one billion-plus club. We will be about 1533 million by 2525 by which time India will 'overtake China to earn the dubious distinction of being the most populous country in the world. Remember India is the most populous and not the most prosperous country.
Though India was the first developing nation to launch a family planning programme back in 1952, and officially it claims much success in cutting down the fertility rate, the actual facts and figures indicate that the country's population is growing exponentially. India's population has been growing by 2 per cent annually since 1960s. India accounts for 16 per cent of the world's population, but it has just 2.5 per cent of the world's total land area, which should make us all uneasy.
It is time for introspection. The situation is not only grim but also highly volatile. However, if we behave responsibly we can overcome. If we delay, things can go beyond control.
|The need of the hour is to adopt a
one-child norm. All political parties, in the interest of
the country, should come forward with a Bill in
Parliament forcing everybody, irrespective of caste,
colour, religion or region, to adopt a one-child norm.
We must keep one thing clearly in our mind that no country can become prosperous or self-sufficient till its population is under control.
Neglecting water problem
The predicament with regard to water scarcity and drought conditions in certain parts of the country should make the authorities heed the observations of Prof Colin Clark, one of the world-renowned economists, who visited India some 30 years ago. He said India got all the water it needed and much more, but most of the rains came within a period of seven to eight weeks, and most of it was wasted by allowing it to run to the sea.
Unfortunately, our political leaders in the last over 50 years have neglected the basic problem of water. They have fought for the division of river waters among states and spent crores of rupees on litigation and on inciting mob fury on what is basically a national asset.
Moreover, there was an obsession with huge dams which, though useful, have limitations. In the bargain, the renovation of small tanks, wells and other feasible projects of water conservation were neglected.
The lack of vision in our politicians has been compounded by the ignorance and lethargy of our bureaucrats. Most of them studied their economics in countries where it rains 10 out of 12 months and water is not a problem, while in a country like India the entire economy depends on the timely and adequate availability of water.
Israel has demonstrated how a desert can bloom by proper utilisation of water. At least now the policy makers in India should focus their attention on all practical methods of water conservation on a priority basis.
M. R. PAI
Inadequate postal facility
Kotkapura, an important and revenue-earning town of Faridkot district, is growing in size and stature. New residential areas, schools, nursing homes, rice-shellers and industrial units have brought about an unprecedented increase in its population. But there is no simultaneous increase in the postal facility. Instead of opening new branches in the Industrial Focal Point, Surga Puri and old city areas, the department has closed down the century-old post office located on Oil Depot Road, near the railway station, and Gandhi Memorial High School.
The local post office has a small strength of six postmen, half the strength of less populated Faridkot city. Always an inadequate staff is deputed for the collection of telephone bills. People are made to stand in long queues in the busy market in front of it during the payment days of telephone bills. Many subscribers are forced to pay surcharge due to the non-collection of payments against the bills by the postal staff on the due date.
The building for the post office is insufficient, poorly ventilated, unhygienic and without a parking place. The most convenient and suitable building for the post office can be the underutilised old office of the Market Committee, Kotkapura.
Music and genes
This refers to "Making music together", May 20. Ms Alka Seth's article on music together makes interesting reading. She does have a point that the siblings of music directors have not been able to take the mantle of their versatile fathers. This amply proves that music, and film music at that, is something connected with the individual and has nothing to do with what they call genes.
Alka has somehow not been able to get her facts right. The song she attributes to Antara Chaudhary, "Nani teri morni ko mor le gaye", is actually by Ranu Mukerjee, and the music which she attributes to Salil Chaudhary is actually by Ranu Mukerjee's father, music director Hemant Kumar.
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