Birth control: Aggressive policy needed

The report on census and subsequent erroneous statements issued thereof have all ended in a fiasco to undo the realms of the National Population Policy, 2000. The rate of growth of population in India is one of the highest in the world, and the population of all religions has increased over the last decade, albeit with some variations. It is the growth rate which has slightly declined.

At the present growth rate of about 2 per cent every year, the population of India will reach a staggering 2 billion by 2035. According to the National Population Policy, the growth rate during the last decade has to be brought to a naught by 2045, which, if accomplished, would stabilise the population at 1.5 billion. This, however, appears to be a daunting task unless an aggressive population control policy is pursued.

The general public cannot differentiate between growth rate and growth. The Census of India, the Minority Commission and the mass media — print and electronic — will have to be cautious in this regard. Decline in the growth rate of a community is a positive sign of development and to attribute it to infertility is ridiculous when the growth rate is already very high.

Infertility can be a reason only if the growth rate becomes negative and the population starts shrinking. The biggest point of worry, however, is the decline in sex ratio.

Dr A.K. THUKRAL, Professor, Botanical & Environmental Sciences, GND University, Amritsar


Letters to the Editor

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One is aware that religion is no parameter for population growth. The determinant factor for the number of children in the family is the educational status and social development. If we go region wise, we see that the rate of population growth amongst Muslims in Kerala is very low compared to Muslims in other parts of the country.

For well over two decades, the Muslim community has suffered due to communal violence. The social indices related to poverty and education are dropping, while civic amenities are worsening due to the process of ghettoisation brought in due to the violence. In such circumstances, the increase is likely to be higher, but the degree of rise is declining despite these adverse situations faced by the community. The Census Commission should be very careful in the future.


BJP’s funny ways

This has reference to S. Nihal Singh’s article “BJP treading a dangerous ground” (Aug 31). After the unexpected change of government at the Centre, it was felt that the BJP will learn a few lessons and would behave properly in Parliament. But it was not to be. Nobody seems to realise that they are shattering the expectations of the people besides wasting public money spent on elections for a new Lok Sabha.

Bailing out the people’s representatives and public servants involved in various scams besides induction of tainted persons in the government and offering them lucrative ministries represent falling standards of Indian democracy. Where are our elected representatives leading us to? Do they want some sort of dictatorship or military rule?

Major SARDAR SINGH (retd), Jalandhar City

No more responsive

Once upon a time, the Punjab Assembly administration was efficient, prompt, responsive and helpful. Now it is as bad as any other government department. Letters remain unacknowledged for long. My medical bills from July 1 to date remain unpaid and no information about reasons.

On Sept 14, 2004, I rang up the Assembly Secretary. He was on leave (during the six-month extension given to him recently). I was connected with another official’s number. He too turned out to be on leave. At last, one official dug up my file and told that one clarification has been sought from the government. I know of other former MLAs in the same position. Who knows when the clarification will come? The Assembly Speaker has been kept informed of the present state of affairs with the hope that he will take effective steps.

SATYA PAL DANG, Former MLA, Chheharta (Amritsar)

MLA’s business

The report “Transfer, posting MLA’s only occupation” (Sept 17) was bold and timely. It unfolds many loose knots in the working of the Punjab government. It has rightly pointed that public issues have been put on the backburner.

The elected representatives seem to be more interested in their own welfare rather than the state and its people who have elected them. The government is being run in a casual manner to please everyone who matters in the party or in the administration.

The government should take note of the constructive suggestions in The Tribune to streamline the administrative system in right earnest.

M.P.S. RANDHAWA, Dhapai (Kapurthala)

The ideal of education

Man is not just the body or even a combination of the body and the mind. He is essentially a spirit. The aim of education should be to help manifest this spirit in every thought, word and action. So education should aim at the comprehensive and harmonious development of the body and the intellect, and tune it to the spirit within.

In other words, education should help build up an integrated personality, a perfect character. Imparting moral and spiritual teachings through stories and biographies in the lower classes, a regular study of the major religions of the world in the higher classes as also group prayers and meditation will help develop a better education system for the coming generations.

Prof. NEERU KAPOOR, Amritsar


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