ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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One-Billion Milestone

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I have read with interest the reactions  of Michael Vlassoff, UNFPA Representative, New Delhi, on the article entitled 'North-South Divide in India's Demographic Scene' May 13. I am a little surprised at the reactions because I thought the well-reasoned article of Ashish Bose made a very serious point that it was no use harping on the same issue over and over again and that it was time that something serious was done in respect of population control. It was not merely to pick up controversy that the article referred to the 'buffoonery' of the officialdom but to underline that this kind of pep talks would not help anybody. If my memory has not failed me, Ashish Bose made the point in the mid-1960s that the thrust given by the government on control of death rate was to be a lot more successful than controlling the birth rate which, in its train, would imply that sooner than later, India would be facing a very serious problem of ageing population. Unlike the western countries where both the birth control and death control are almost neck to neck, while the ageing population has been increasing, the new borns are not that many. Unlike that situation, in India ageing population has been multiplying because of much better and more effective medicinal facilities whereas birth control had to be left to the individuals' discretion.

We have tried to turn a Nelson's eye towards this problem and consoled ourselves with all kinds of tall talks.

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