Causes for Rapid Growth of Population in India – Essay – Various factors have contributed to the rapid growth of population in India among which the following can be noted:
(i) Peaceful Conditions:
For nearly a century [1860-1960] India enjoyed comparative peace without involving herself in major inter-conflicts or wars especially after the establishment of British rule. Peaceful conditions provided an impetus for over-population.
(ii) Excess of Birth over Death:
Growth of population depends on the excess of births over deaths. Death rate has been declining rapidly in India. It was 42.6 per 1000 in 191 I and it decreased to 807 per 1000 in 2001. The birth rate is still high in India. It was 49.2 per 1000 in 1911 and it decreased to only 26.1 per 1000 in 2001.
The gap between birth rate and death rate has widened leading to an increase in the population. [The average annual rate of increase of population in India is 1.76% at present [2011 ] whereas it is only 1.2% in U.S.A., 0.4% in U.K., 1.1% in China, 0.4% in France and 0.3% in Japan.]
(iii) Progress in Medical Knowledge and its application has considerably reduced the death rate. It has helped us to control the spread of diseases like Malaria, T.B., Cholera, Plague, Influenza, Smallpox, etc., and protected the lives of people from the jaws of death. Positively, it has contributed to greater population, because, those persons saved from the death also produced children to add to the existing numbers.
(iv) Improvement in Transport Facilities has helped people to avail of medical and health facilities without much difficulty. These have saved countless lives and added to the size of the population.
(v) Improvements in the field of Agriculture and Industry also contributed to an increase in population. Uncertainties in the field of agriculture have largely been removed with the help of science and technology. Food production has considerably increased. Industries have been providing employment opportunities to thousands of persons. These developments have given people the confidence that they can afford to feed more people if they beget.
(vi) Certain Social Factors like Universal Marriage, Child Marriage, Early Marriage have also contributed to the problem. Indians consider marriage as a social obligation and almost all marriageable persons are in a married state. Life-long bachelorship is looked down upon. Particularly for women marriage is almost an inescapable obligation. Further, the number of children born per couple is also large.
(vii) Social Attitudes of Indians also favour an increase in population. Poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, absence of recreational facilities, attitudes of conservatism, orthodoxy, feeling of dependence on God, a sense of resignation towards life, looking upon children as old age pension, etc., are all responsible for the rapid growth of population.
(viii) Lack of Conscious Family Planning:
There is the lack of conscious family planning on the part of the married people. The use of contraceptives is unknown to the illiterate masses. People feel that more children are wanted for economic purposes. Further, blind faith in fate and the existence of joint family system induce thoughtlessness in the matter of begetting children.
(ix) The Climatic Conditions of India are also very conducive to the growth of population. The tropical climate stimulates sex urge. Montesquieu said that people of warm land are more sex-indulgent. Further, girls become physically mature at an early age ranging from 11 to 15 years of age. Immediately after puberty they are pushed into marriage and they begin to bear children. Child-bearing capacity of women lasts in the tropical places.
(x) Added to this, during the earlier days the Government did not take much interest in introducing family planning to slow down the rapid growth of population. Though family planning programme was started under the Five Year Planning system, proper attention was not given to popularise it in the beginning. People also failed to recognise its importance. The result is the phenomenal growth of population.
(xi) Lack of Entertainment Facilities:
It has been observed that people especially in the rural areas, have been forced to find entertainment in the sex-play in the absence of proper entertainment facilities. This has further aggravated the problem.