The ever growing population of earth has always been a matter of concern for the world scientists and intellectuals. They are of the opinion that the resources presently available on the earth do not correspond to the increasing demands of population. “If, therefore, immediate corrective steps are not taken,” they contend, “people will sure have to face a painful situation in near future.” They then advocate that the only and genuine solution left with the people is to curtail their birth rate. Ways and means should be adopted, by hook or crook, by temptation or by enactment, to check the unending reproduction of human babies, they stress.
The contention above may well be true from their viewpoint, but also some other aspects need our attention, before arriving at a conclusion. Basic questions creeping up in the minds are: Whether we should depend upon this theory simply on the grounds that it has been advocated by some prominent Western scholars? Has human history ever seconded such truth? And has there been no proportionate enhancement of world resources as compared to the ever increasing population?
Let us, therefore, first analyze this well propagated theory free of any prejudice with reference to our own country in particular.
In 1947, when our country came into existence, our total strength (only West Pakistan then) used to be around fifty million with per capita income at an extremely low side. A remuneration of even Rs. 500 to an educated employee then was believed to be worth mentioning. Not forgettable is the fact that a family in those days consisted of not less than 10 to 12 individuals, with just one person being the bread winner. Concept of fetching extra income by employing an additional person of the family could never be thought of. Every person was contended over what the family head earned for them, irrespective of how meagre that amount happened to be. With this situation in mind, anyone can thus comprehend the life pattern of our parents.
As elaborated above, although the standard of living used to be absolutely poor, nonetheless, each one from the family remained entirely satisfied. Cases of mental depressions and anxieties in the society, which are a sky-high phenomenon today, were very rare. None of the luxuries being benefitted today could ever be conceived of. A person owning a simple bicycle was deemed a man to be talked of. Even wearing the wrist watches was a dream.
Such delicious and varied food items as pizza, burger, imported ice creams and cold drinks, were very uncommon. A breakfast comprising of just some home baked parathas, toasts, butter, eggs, and tea was supposed to be a luxurious one. Students could hardly attain education beyond matriculation, because of their family’s adverse economic position.
But now, when the country has crossed half the century of its age, and population thereof has triggered twice to what it was in 1947 (said to be approximately 70 million then and 160 million now), the standard of our living has improved manifold in almost all the spheres, instead of getting deteriorated. Per capita income today has exceeded Rs. 6000 per month, whereas in many of the cases one or two additional family members are also busy in generating their incomes. Education status has likewise enhanced to the minimum of graduation from the past matriculation.
People in Pakistan are now enjoying the best of their advanced facilities for their day to day requirements. Each and every house is equipped with at least one refrigerator, a sofa set and one electronic iron, in addition to a colour TV, dish antenna, washing machine, one double bed couch, a wall to wall carpet and many electric fitted fans. The old and traditional means of conveyance, the bicycles and the bullock carts, are now the stories of the past.
Eating habits of our masses have likewise met a revolutionized change. People’s dining habits are unique and new compared to what they used to be in the past. These foods do not confine anymore to the mere customary ones like bread, rice, curry and ‘dals’.
Ney, not just the Pakistani folk but people all over the world are enjoying the best of their food, shelter and clothing, which their forefathers could never conceive in their lifetime.
Per capita income has likewise tripled, compared to the figure of past, which in fact should have declined in pursuance of the Malthusian dogma (‘thick population tends to lead to a thin status of life’). Thus, in 2012, the society ought to have faced a phenomenon of scarcity of goods, services, facilities and amenities. History of mankind has elaborated that the world resources never fail to combat with the ever-increasing size of population, and the fear of lagging far behind of the resources to meet the ever increasing requirements of the population has never come true.
Masses are enjoying the best of their luxuries and comforts nowadays with the assistance of vital natural resources – the petrol and gas, which the nature has unearthed for them.
Emergence of diversified and hi-fi technologies at the end of the twentieth century has also facilitated men subdue tremendous prosperity for their lifestyle.
To strengthen our viewpoint further, we take here some more instances of our routine life. Poultry farming, for instance, is a sector, which could never be thought of as a huge industry by our ancestors, who were just accustomed to the rearing of hens as their hobbies. But now, when this science has alone become a delicate and paying one, hundreds and thousands of people are employed in this single sector, fetching the most handsome of their salary packages. Modern and vast scale style of rearing cattle and fish likewise could never be thought of before. Such diversified advancement of technologies and sciences have thus naturally encouraged the common man to keep eggs, white meat, juices and many other varieties of food on his table. We, therefore, may speak confidently that whenever there has been an explosion of population, it has simultaneously been followed by the explosion of resources.
Examples cited above prove that the Malthusian theory has always failed as a truth of the earth. Since Allah (swt) Almighty is the Caretaker, and He alone nourishes the entire mankind, He never delays in enhancing the resources, as and when the circumstances so demand.
How surprising and humiliating it is to conceive that our Creator, as an Entity descending every hour the new babies from Heaven to earth, is quite oblivious of the fact of how all these infants would be fed and brought up, when already there exists a scarcity of resources. What perhaps we believe is that Allah’s (swt) job is nothing above than going on multiplying the world population disregarding the meager resources the earth holds. So cruel and oblivious (God forbid) Almighty Allah (swt) happens to be in our eyes! We must never forget that it is He and He alone, Who knows the exact proportion between the worldly resources and the human strength at one time.
We must, therefore, correct our notions that it is not the over-population that hampers our progress. Rather, the corrupt and unjust world economic managers and their biased administration are the principal factors leading to such a catastrophe. It is the tyrant governments and their selfish officials that treat their folk and brothers inhumanly. Allah (swt) has nothing to do with such sort of injustices and malpractices.
Anyone can assess that in an atmosphere, where only 20 per cent of the population captures over 80 per cent of the world resources, and where only a very thin group of masses commands the entire agricultural lands whose boundaries it itself is unaware of, how can then we expect a prosperous and contended humanity, and how can then we find a family able to get its due share of food, shelter and clothing? — a dilemma that the intellectuals lament repeatedly.
In the Arab countries, for instance, where oil had first been discovered and because of which the world-money had started flowing in, the rulers shaped their economy so as to enable their common men and the wealthy people benefit together comfortably from the resultant wealth. They managed to design their economy, so that it could avoid the entire petro-wealth confining to the ruling dynasties only—an instance quite contrary to the mindset of our greedy ruling classes. This is why we notice the presence of almost all modern and sophisticated equipment (cars, deep freezers, air conditioners and ovens) even in the houses of the common Bedouins.
In such circumstances, therefore, if someone alarms us of the dangers of over-population and forthcoming starvation, he is doing nothing but fooling the people.
It will also not be out of place to recall here the famous drought Somalia had faced in the recent past and which is still dominant there, when even the tree-leaves had ceased growing. A long and continued dry season prevailed there and the country has had practically no food available for its citizens since then, the news, which we had been listening many a times over the media. The people were reduced to nearly skeletons there.
Conversely, however, there had been the conduct of western developed countries, who never felt ashamed of trashing their surplus milk and meat production into sea, the instances, whereof also we have been viewing over the news channels off and on.
Should this sort of mentality dominate our economic decisions (permitting the wealthy groups grab the entire national opportunities, without exhibiting least sympathy to their poverty stricken brothers), there is then bound to evolve that ‘scarcity of food and facilities’, which dominate here and there – a situation highly lamented by our elite class.
Managing the population (two children per family, nay, just a single child per family as is the case in China), which is the self-concocted ‘rational’ slogan today, is, therefore, the misleading way of uplifting poor classes. Real and justified step in fact is to administer any economy, so as to let benefit the have-nots from the entire national opportunities without any hindrance. More and more resources should be hunted and developed in addition to the overcoming of wastage arising out of the deep-rooted and inherited corruption.
Who is not aware of the truth that 80 per cent of the existing national resources is captured merely by 20 per cent of our country’s elite classes whereas the rest 80 per cent of the population has been made to confine over what has been left for them? How can then we expect a bright future for the masses of the country? In spite of the fact that our economic planners happen to be highly qualified professionals from Europe and America, they have always been forwarding a solution entirely misleading to the nation: population management in place of resources management.
A just and fair excavation and disbursement of national wealth and resources is, however, the real remedy. With the steps of family planning, our economic planners are doing nothing but only putting the cart before the horse.
Botheration of humans for the management of world population right in the presence of Allah (swt) Almighty, Who Himself ever vigilant to the issue, is therefore something extremely strange for us.
Allah (swt) never delays in exploding the resources, whenever there is the explosion of population.