Tuesday, December 13, 2005

How demographic "experts " mislead us

There is a hue and cry going on in India about the unbalanced sex ratio and how it will adversely affect "girl children" in the future.( As an aside, aren't all girls children ? isn't using two words when one will do ridiculous ? it's like saying "men adults" !) These demographic experts warn of increased instances of rape and prostitution, and their scare techniques have resulted in miles of newspaper coverage.
It amaze me how short a memory we have ! Just a few years ago, these same demographic experts were warning us of the danger of unbridled population growth; about how the "population explosion" would kill the country; and how we needed to aim for ZPG -" Zero Population Growth". In just a few short years, these same "extra" citizens have become our most promising asset, and " shining India" now reaps the benfits of this "demographic sweet spot" it finds itself in - thanks to the fact that the average citizen blissfully ignored the "expert's " advise !

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:36 PM

    This is indeed a fallacy that growing population would be "an asset". Partly because of the galloping unemployment and falling infrastructure spend.

    Most of the population growth is occuring among the Muslims and the disadvantaged population groups. It is a known fact that high infant mortality rate and increased incidence of the diseases in an area leads to high fertility rates.

    Any country worth it's salt knows the reasons to limit the population growth. The "experts" you mentioned would have painted horror stories, yes, but can't be discredited either.

    Plus, by around 2050, the same "asset" is going to become a huge liabilty. If of course, the health care spending remains a miniscule percentage of the GDP (0.9% as by 2004!). High hospitalisation costs of the aging population; rampant scourge of Malaria, Tuberculosis and communicable diseases; and of course HIV would extract a huge toll. The way out now is compulsory sterilisation or effective laws to limit the families. At least among the Government employees. Plus, government has to strive harder to bring about a societal change in the percieved attitudes towards girls. Step up massive investment in health care infrastructure and not the mushrooming private hospitals who jack up the access prices for the common man.

    Sorry Sir, but this post isnt warranted for the optimism.


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