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South indians fast becoming rare in south. Here’s why

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This drastic fall in South India's population is a blessing in disguise...We are having better quality of life....But our numbers are dwindling...Our jobs in South India are being taken over by BIMARU states from North India...Also the reduction of population is more for Hindus that Muslims as Muslims do not follow any Government policy of population control...Either way penalizing Southern States is not good for national integration..The BIMARU states who have defaulted on the numbers have to be penalized and they have to be given stiffer targets...I agree with this article


Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Apr 20, 2016, 11.54 PM IST


Our focus was on population control. But now we have to promote population — Chandrababu Naidu, Andhra CM

By Vasant Shetty

It's unethical to ask southern states to reduce their populations below replacement levels

If you've ever been part of a school debate team, then you've invariably been asked to argue the merit and demerits of population and its explosion.

Of course, in India, we've come to view the words "population explosion" with caution and no small amount of negativity. So when Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu said on Wednesday that it was time his state bumped up its population, there was no end to the jibes and winks across social media and the greater Internet. After all, what was the guy talking about; we're proverbially bursting at the seams...aren't we?

But has he touched on something that has spent the better part of a generation slinking beneath the social radar. Something so cynical, that while some claim knowledge of it, almost no one dares utter its name. It's population control, with an emphasis on control.


Each state in the country is given a population stability target, which basically means the number of children each fertile woman should bear in order for the state to 'maintain a population equilibrium' into the coming generation (about 30 years). But here's the rub, each state is given a different target.

Let us look at the Total Fertility Rate (TFR), which is the UN's target for stabilising the world population. The organization puts it at 2.1 TRF, or an average of 2.1 children per woman. A TFR of 2.2 is the replacement rate at which the next generation also has the same level of population.

All southern states (Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh) have hit their targets and for being the best in the class they've got a rather strange reward, they are now expected to have fewer children, which in turn will lead to a future generation with a lower population. So that's good, right? It would be if the same rule was applied to all 29 states and 7 UTs. Northern states have actually had their targets upwardly revised (in spite of them overshooting their targets), meaning more kids and a burgeoning future generation.

The (then) Planning Commission fixed the targets for each state based on their past achievements in the population control arena. The targets for southern states are now well below prescribed replacement levels. So, over the next two decades, while the population of Kannadigas, Tamils, Telugus, Marathis and Malayalees is all set to decline, the population in UP, Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh is still going to be growing.



So as the population in the South declines, it stands to argue, that in the next 30 years your primary workforce would have been born and raised north of the Vindhyas.

In fact, states who failed to control their population will start to populate south India. The large influx will come from UP and Bihar where 35.69 per cent and 40.1 per cent of the population is below 14. Bihar has a TFR of 3.4, UP 3.1, MP 2.9 and Rajast-han 2.8. The numbers are similar for Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.


How ethical is it that southern states are asked to opt for lower and lower populations just so that the nation as a whole can reach its target? Why not penalise the states that consistently fail? Who allowed the population in UP and Bihar to continue to rise without some sort of repercussion?


This could very possibly lead to uncontrolled migration from states with higher TFRs to ones that have achieved their targets like Maharashtra and the southern states. This drive south will have an adverse effect on infrastructure, not to mention a sea change in urban demographics, languages, and culture: Out with the indigenous, in with the melting pot. Kannadigas who are already well below replacement levels are being told to further reduce their population. The target for Karnataka in the 12th Five Year Plan is 1.7 TFR. Once the TRF reaches 1.2 the population then heads into the negative...think of Japan and Germany.The 2011 Census shows districts of Udupi, Kodagu, Chikka-mag-al-ur, Hassan and Dakshina Kan-nada with a TFR less than 1.5.

Another burning question is why non-Hindi states are given TFRs below 2.1 while Hindi-speaking states have a much higher TFR? Maybe Naidu does have a point after all, and it's about time someone said it out loud.

The author is a columnist and activist

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