The Population Explosion
The human population has tremendously multiplied in the last two hundred years and this had led to a situation that is often referred to as the population explosion. It is feared that the world population which is more than 6 billion at present will double itself by another fifty years.
Thomas Robert Malthus, the great English economist, propounded his population theory in his work An Essay on the principle of population, written in the year 1798 and observed that whereas the world population was increasing in geometrical proportion (i.e., 1, 2, 4, ... etc.) As a result a stage will be reached when the population will outstrip the available food supply and then there will be a clamor for simple necessities such as food, clothing and shelter.
In the past, natural calamities like epidemics, earthquakes, floods and so on kept the population under control. But nowadays the progress made by medical science and better means of communication have drastically reduced the number of deaths. The birth rate has increased and the death rate has decreased. The life span of man has increased, and all this is due to the blessings of science. As a result, the population level has been rising frightfully especially in Asian and African countries.
In 1901 the population of India was about 235 million and it rose about 846 million by 1991. It is estimated to cross the 1 billion mark in the beginning of the 21st century. The annual increase in India's population is almost equal to the population of Australia
An increase in population exerts great strain on the natural resources, and a time will come when there will be a scarcity of almost all essential articles. There will be scramble for food resulting in mass starvation. Forests will be destroyed to pave the way for living space and fertile lands will be converted into concrete jungles. The imbalance in the ecology due to such acts will spell the ultimate doom of man.
Governments have been trying to check population growth by means of various birth control measures and family planning program mes. But the measures to check population cannot be effective so long as poverty and illiteracy remain. Strict measures will have to be taken to check the growth of population. These measures might be unpopular initially but they will be useful in the long run and people will ultimately realize their necessity and importance.