Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


Demographic Dividend or Disaster

Dt:  25/4/23

Demographic Dividend or Disaster

Dr T H Chowdary*



The fact that India’s population 142.86 cr has exceeded  that of  China’s 142.57 cr should be celebrated or lamented requires serious consideration.  The area of India at 3.287 mln sq kmts in 1951 has not increased.  India’s population density of  122 per  in 1951 is now 435; 3.56  times larger.  China’s population  density is 148 per sq.kms . China’s GDP is $ 20 trln;  six times that of India’s at  3.5 tln; the per capita GDP of China and  India were nearly equal in 1992; China’s now is 6.7 times more than India’s.  China  has no Below Poverty Line (BPL) population; where as 25% of India’s population is BPL.  India is  having over 880 mln ( over 60 % of population) covered under food security, provided with almost free rations.  Are India’s figures justifying our celebration of our country exceeding  China in population and  becoming the  world’s most populous country with more than four times the population of the world’s most prosperous country , the USA ?


2. Huge population, with many young persons is an  asset; if it is so many brains and bodies to produce wealth and  strength for the nation. But if they are so  many mouths to feed, bodies to clothe and  house and  persons  without employment, then they are not a “demographic dividend”  but a “demographic disaster”, what with  political parties out of  power organizing  rallies of  unemployed youth demanding jobs!


3. That the  total fertility rate, the number of children a woman has during her child-bearing age, has come down to two in India is no consolation; not yet reassuring because the base being high, the additions continue to be large, at 12 to 15 mln per year.  Never has our country provided jobs in that numbers in any  year nor is there  such a prospect.  Increasing jobs in governments or filling “vacancies” there is consumptive ; not creation  of  wealth.  Government “jobs” don’t create wealth, huge such numbers stifle wealth-creating pursuits by people. A country over-governed will always remain under-developed.


4. There is one seriously disturbing aspect to our population growth. The growth is skewed. The ill-to-do and the less educated are  proliferating  faster than the rest.  The “upper” caste people have shrunk  from about 20%  to 15% or less .  Muslims have nearly doubled  their proportion from 9.8% in 1951 to about 20% including  the infiltrators from Bangladesh and Rohingyas patronized as vote blocks by regional parties. Many districts in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, UP  and even in Punjab , Haryana and  Kerala , not to speak of many parts of Delhi are becoming Muslim-majority.  This is disturbing because of two of  several historical reasons.


5. Some Muslim intellectuals  like  Samar Abbas have already  pleaded ( Economic & Political Weekly,  Dec 2000 issue) that India should be  partitioned again to create a third  Muslim state, Mogulistan comprising of  a belt of districts from Assam to Punjab in norther India between Bangla Desh and  Pakistan.


6. Dr. Omar Khalidi,   a post graduate of Harvard  University and Ph.D  from University of Whales wrote in the   Jamat-e-Islami ‘s weekly,  Radiance” in the year  2005 , “  we need Muslim districts for three reasons. First , concentrated areas provide security; second, to provide an environment that is conducive to our cultural independence; third, to provide a political base through which our people can be elected ……at present…our numbers don’t add up to elect adequate  legislators. Hyderabad & Rangareddy in Andhra and Gulbarga (Karnataka) and certain Thlaukas  could be  merged to create Deccan province ( with Muslim majority) similarly  in Bihar, Bengal & UP.. where Muslims  can be in majority…”. 


7. The vote-hunting Congress led by Sonia family had the  Sachar Committee report  (2006) as per which over 90 districts spread all over India ( like the  565 Princes’ territories in pre-1947 India) with considerable Muslim populations were  endowed with “Muslim First” ( nor SC/ST)  development programs.   These will have the  potential to gradually develop into a federal state of Islamistan out of India (like the  concept of Princess-stan proposed by the  Nawab of Bhopal, the Chairman of the  Princes’ Chamber in June/July 1947 ( but nipped in the bud by Sardar Patel).


8. With Muslim separatism fostered by vote-hungry regional parties ( mostly casteist and dynastic) and two-nation theory as DNA among Muslims noted by Dr Ambedkar in his book, “ Pakistan or Indian Divided” , the dangerously unequal growth rate ( never less than  25% more fertility rate among Moslem women) in Muslim population spells disaster for Hindus, unless effectively addressed in  time.


9. As long ago as in the 1952 election manifesto of the   Schedule Caste Federation, Dr Ambedkar  stated  that there is  relationship  between poverty and population  and that unless  the runaway growth in population is controlled by   effective family planning  programs enforced  as a matter of policy, poverty could not be brought down. The manifesto even proposed that family planning  clinics will be opened in every village and that  even drastic measures may be enforced to control the  growth in population.  Unfortunately, that  wise proposition has never been  countenanced by  other  political parties and therefore we have  the unenviable  fact of India becoming  the most populous country in the  world with the  largest number of below poverty line ( BPL)    people, all with a vote  so that   welfare measures become politically compulsive militating  against   economic development which requires  huge investments. Therefore  the  fact of India becoming the most populous country must be a warning rather than  euphoria.  Will  politicians continue to engage in power games or  will they care for  the real welfare and  prosperity  and power of India, that is Bharat ? This has to be  intellectually agitated as the most important item of  public discourse for discussion. (959 words)