Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Saturday posted a critique of the population control agenda being pushed by many BJP-ruled states and leaders of the party, saying the campaign appeared to ignore information presented by the central government.
Posting excerpts from the 2018-19 Economic Survey published by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Finance Ministry, the Congress MP said many states in India have already fallen below the rate of fertility required to maintain the country’s population.
All states including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand will also hit the mark by 2030 and by 2031 all states will see below replacement level fertility, he said, quoting the central government document.
The central government’s projections have shown that India is expected to achieve a total fertility rate or TFR of 2.1 this year. TFR, which refers to the average number of children a woman would potentially have, needs to be at 2.1 for a country to maintain its population.
“By Modi Sarkar’s own estimate in the Economic Survey 2018-19, some states in India will have to prepare for an ageing population by 2031, not growing population,” he said.
Coinciding with growing public resentment about rising prices of fuel and essentials, members of the BJP have ramped up a pitch about the need to rein in India’s population, in yet another campaign that critics say targets minorities.
BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh and Assam have been at the forefront of this push, proposing laws that would punish couples who have more than two children by denying them welfare benefits, government jobs and the right to contest local elections.
Assam’s Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has specifically urged Muslims “to cooperate in bringing down the population”.
The push, however, has been against PM Modi’s rhetoric that has consistently exalted the benefits of India’s “demographic dividend” and a young population in speeches from New York’s Madison Square Garden in 2014 to the six-year-anniversary of the ‘Digital India’ campaign earlier this month.
News Source: NDTV News