Monday 28 November 2022
- Advertisement -
HomeViewsArticleWhat Demographic Dividend?

What Demographic Dividend?

The false hope of a demographic dividend must be dashed, as it is doing nothing but fooling people with a political narrative that has no grounding in economics

Despite India’s buoyant growth story with some hiccups during the global Covid-19 pandemic, uncontrolled population growth has not only become the biggest impediment for growth on certain parameters, causing security threats with unabated infiltration from Bangladesh and Myanmar to India but also plaguing future prospects of the country. Voices are being raised from various quarters including Rashtriya Sangh (RSS) when the organisation recently shared its view on the matter in Prayagraj in its Akhil Bharatiya Karyakarini Mandal meeting urging the government of the day to come up with a population policy. There is pressure from cross sections on the government to come up with a policy on population. Apparently for the first time, Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat and then the executive head of the RSS or sarkaryawah (general secretary) Dattatreya Hosabale officially made an announcement that demographic imbalance had become a matter of concern and the government of the day must come up with a policy to deal with the problem.

The most important concern shown by the RSS is that these demographic imbalances had already once led to the partition of India and the threat still persists as unabated population explosion and infiltration are continuing. Now the general opinion of people about population explosion has become that demographic dividend has turned into a bane. Because it is difficult to provide skills to such a huge number of population in a developing country like India which has limited resources with a growing burden. It is also leading to demographic change.

Due to this, there have been reports when certain areas were termed as areas belonging to a particular community and others were asked to behave in a particular way not freely as one is allowed to behave in a secular democracy. The court had to intervene to allow the procession of the Hindu community in Tamil Nadu. Can this even be justified in a secular country that there are certain pockets claimed by any particular community that they belong to them alone? But this is becoming a reality and turning a blind eye on this would be tantamount to behaving like an ostrich. The reason for this uneven population growth is obvious. Besides the high birth rate, two other reasons have been outlined — and infiltration.

The demography of three bordering states — Uttarakhand, Assam and West Bengal — is changing very fast. For these states, infiltration from Bangladesh and using Nepal as a transit route is the sole reason that is causing many other criminal activities across the country including terror acts. The union government has extended the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) to deal with such outlaws. Bangladesh is surrounded by five Indian states — West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura – on three sides and infiltration is happening everywhere.

Rajya Sabha on 16 November 2016 was informed that there were around 2 crore Bangladeshi immigrants staying illegally in India. The estimated number of illegal Bangladeshi citizens in India was 1.2 crore in 2004 as per the then UPA government which withdrew this soon for obvious reasons of its Muslim appeasement policy. These numbers are official numbers, the actual number is mind-boggling and you can find Bangladeshi in every nook and cranny of the country including in protected areas like forests and banks of rivers, government etc. The number must have gone beyond 2 crore since 20016. The menace is so widespread that recently the Tamil Nadu government initiated a crackdown on them for them being a big law and order issue in the state. They were mostly found in Coimbatore, Erode, Tiruppur and Cuddalore districts, where they were working in various industries.

The rising number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants is such that the number has almost crossed over to the entire population of Australia way back in 2016. Numerous cases have been reported about Bangladeshi nationals entering India without any valid documents. Since the entry of such Bangladeshi nationals into India is clandestine and surreptitious, it is not possible to have accurate data on such Bangladeshi nationals living in various parts of the country. The 2 crore estimate far surpasses the figure of 1.2 crore cited by the then Union minister of state for home Sriprakash Jaiswal in 2004 in the Rajya Sabha. Assam alone accounted for over 50 lakh Bangladeshi squatters, while their number in West Bengal was estimated to be the highest at 57 lakh. Besides Assam and West Bengal, their presence in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Kashmir, Bihar, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu is sizable. There have been several cases of their involvement in terrorism, dacoity, loot, trafficking, and rape in the country.

There are Public Litigations in this regard in the courts by Amber Zaidi, Firoz Bakht Ahmed and Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay. Upadhyay is of the opinion that Population explosion is the root cause of most of the problems in India due to resource crunch including shortage of drinking water, decreasing forest cover, the density of population on land, food scarcity, cloth shortage, housing, poverty, unemployment, hunger, malnutrition, clean air and sound pollution. Amber has her views that the population by high birth rate is not only a burden on resources but a threat to the security of the country as demographic imbalance is helping such things to happen unhindered. She also finds it a big health hazard for women who are bearing more children and threatening their lives. Upadhyay too echoed the same view as far as the security of the country is concerned, planned demographic imbalance is also being executed especially in the border areas. Due to this, intelligence agencies have recommended increasing the jurisdiction range of Border Security Forces (BSF) to 100 KM, owing to the unexpected demographic change in the border areas.

Uttar Pradesh and Assam police have sent separate reports to the Union Home Ministry depicting the change in demographics in the last ten years in the border areas of Nepal and Bangladesh. As per the reports, the population of Muslims in border districts has increased by around 32% since 2011. On the contrary, the population change across the country has been somewhere between 10% and 15%. The change in demography is not just about the increase in population. It could be a new design of infiltration in India. This is happening in a planned way by the forces wanting to destabilise India. Change in demography allowed terrorists to flourish in and Kashmir and Hindus were chased away from there. There are eight out of 29 states in India — Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh where Hindus are a minority now and the overall Hindu population has come down to 79. 8% from 84.1% in 1951 while the population of Muslims from 9.8% to 14.2%. Christians at 2.3% remain the same while the numbers of Sikhs and Jains have come down.

The false hope of a demographic dividend must be called out as it is doing nothing but fooling people. It has become more of a political narrative than anything else. With such a huge population, no government will have enough resources to train these people with some skills and provide jobs. The number is piling up by the day so we must accept the reality that the burden of the population is becoming a bane for the country which is under severe duress of growing population, demographic change and scarcity of resources.

Vinod Shukla
Vinod Shukla
Senior journalist and political commentator

- A word from our sponsors -


Other Articles


- A word from our sponsors -


How industry is struggling to cope with frequent repo rate hikes

What purpose is served by repeat rate hikes when the RBI has failed to meet the target of keeping inflation in check for 10 months, industry body CII asks

Kim Jong un making succession plan?

Kim Jong un has three children, two daughters and a son, but by exhibiting Ju Ae twice in a week, he has indicated she could be the successor he is grooming

Chinese people’s protests rage as Bridge Man reminds world of Tank Man

Bridge Man has pulled off a significant visual of anti-CPC protest witnessed under Xi's rule, marking a tumultuous start to the Chinese autocrat’s third term

Why states, UTs want more central funds; why trade unions are boycotting meeting with FM

States are concerned their fiscal autonomy is constrained by centrally sponsored schemes while unions don’t like the terms offered for the meeting with the FM

How fire was first controlled

These findings answer the question of when early man began using fire to cook food, which has been the subject of much scientific discussion for over a century

How a fossil is defying explanation for brain evolution

The bodies of lobopodians are preserved well, but except in Cardiodictyon fossil, the head and brain of none has been examined, as they are mostly small

How Qatar, one of the hottest places on earth, is getting hotter

Without its ability to pay for imported food, air-conditioning and desalinated ocean water, Qatar wouldn’t exist, says an associate fellow at the Chatham House

How Indian Railways plans to avert accidents of trains on curved tracks

Indian Railways will introduce ‘tilting trains’ by 2026 with an aim to maintain higher speeds on stretches that have curved tracks, officials have said

Russian oil price cap, ban impact assessment

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has proposed the cap with G7 allies to limit Russia's earnings while keeping Russian oil flowing to the global economy

One Love armbands in Fifa World Cup 2022: What the fuss

The One Love armbands were created by football teams to show solidarity with LGBTQIA+ people, but flaunting this accessory could invite trouble in Qatar

Why Germany not only lost to Japan but appeared lost too

It is the second consecutive World Cup where Germany lost their first group game since the 1-0 loss to Mexico in 2018 that knocked them out at the group stage

How Saudi Arabia managed to beat Argentina

Falcons' head coach Herve Renard strategised the high defensive line of Saudi Arabia that caught Argentina with three disallowed goals within 13 min of the game