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 P.R. Sarkar

In today's world, the economic and social environment of human society is restless and disturbed. In such an abnormal situation, population growth has been projected as a menacing threat to the existence of human society. In fact, this sort of propaganda is nothing but an evil conspiracy engineered by vested interests. No problem is greater than the human capacity to solve it and, like all problems confronting humanity, the so- called problem of over-population should be tackled and solved in a proper way.

In the natural course of evolution, birth and death are a never-ending process of creation. New babies are born into our society giving great pleasure to their parents and family members. Unfortunately, there are some people, whether in the government or other spheres of public life, who consider the present birth rate a curse on society. This kind of negative approach is definitely a blot on the glory of humanity which has attained developed intellectual power and scientific knowledge.

Does a population problem actually exist? This issue should be considered in the perspective of two vital factors--the availability of food and the availability of space. Today human beings have enough resources to manage their food. Planet Earth is rich enough to feed a far greater number of people than the present population. But due to lack of co-ordinated co- operation, collective efforts, a proper ideology and proper planning, the human society has been fragmented into many belligerent groups and sub-groups, and into rich and poor nations. Because of this fissiparous tendency, human beings are presently incapable of producing enough food to meet the demand. The tragedy is that there are enough resources to supply proper food to all human beings in the world, but the defect lies in the present approach of the existing socio-economic systems.

Moreover, there is no shortage of space on the planet if the existing space is properly utilised. Because the world has been fragmented by so many arbitrary social, economic and political restrictions, as well as by the pervasive influence of dogmas, human beings are unable to tackle problems in a natural way. If the existing resources could be maximally and rationally distributed, pressing socio-economic problems would be solved.

It is a law of nature that nature provides a mother with sufficient breast milk to feed her newly-born baby. In the same way, nature provides sufficient resources like food and other essential requirements for all human beings. Human beings need only utilise these resources in a proper way. Shortages of food and space cannot be blamed on nature. These problems have been artificially created by the folly of human beings.

Nevertheless, it is a fact that the population of the word is rapidly increasing, and due to this many people have become frightened. In capitalist countries there are sufficient reasons for such fear. In these countries an increase in the population means a corresponding increase in poverty of the people. But there is no reason for such fear in a collective economic system. In the event of shortages in the food and accommodation of the population of the world, people will convert uncultivated land into new arable land, increase the productivity of the soil by scientific methods, produce food by chemical processes with earth, water and air, and if this earth decreases in its productivity, then land seeking human beings will migrate to different planets and satellites and settle there.

Those who live in capitalist countries and use birth control methods to avoid financial hardships in their families should not be criticised. Yet, using birth control methods which deform the bodies of men and women or destroy their reproductive powers forever cannot be supported, because at any moment this may result in a violent mental reaction in them.

In the present socio-economic world, PROUT has a clear, positive approach and a comprehensive policy to tackle the population problem. According to PROUT, population growth will automatically find a natural level if the following four factors exist in society.

First, there should be economic affluence in the society so that people will be provided with a nutritious diet. In Scandinavia, for example, the purchasing capacity of the people is high and they enjoy a good standard of living. They do not face any over-population problem.

Secondly, everybody should enjoy sound health. If people have a healthy body and mind, their glandular system will remain balanced and they can easily channelize their physical energy into psychic and spiritual activities. This process of channelization is the only way to check the mental flow towards crude propensities.

Thirdly, people should be free from unnecessary mental worries and anxieties. When one suffers from mental agonies the mind naturally indulges in crude enjoyment's to forget its pain. If mental agonies are removed, people will enjoy peace of mind and they can assimilate subtle ideas.

Fourthly, the intellectual standard of humanity should be enhanced. With intellectual advancement human beings can begin to develop their all round psychic potentiality and can easily develop their psycho-spiritual potential. Through continued effort human beings will attain the Supreme Stance, merging their individual unit existence into Supreme Consciousness.

Thus, the population problem is not only an economic problem, it encompasses economic, biological, psychological and intellectual factors as well.

Today, people have put more stress on the political aspects rather than the bio-psychological and economic aspects of over population. The theory that population increases at a geometric rate while food production increases at an arithmetic rate is completely defective. Such a situation can only occur in an imbalanced economic system. In a progressive and balanced economic system, no such problem will exist.

It is wrong to propagate that the rapid increase in population will affect a collective economic structure. Today, capitalists are trying to check the population by propagating the principle of birth control, because the increase in population will be detrimental to capitalism. In a collective economic structure one need not support birth control. Rather an increasing population will be helpful in the production of essential commodities.

In both the plant and animal kingdoms good seed, good land, adequate light, air, food and water are all essential to good reproduction. In this respect human beings are no different from other creatures. Therefore, in human society the selection of suitable males and females is desirable for reproduction of a high order. Until human beings are produced in scientific laboratories it will be detrimental to society if an eye is not kept on the reproductive system. It is very beneficial for society if people of sublime intelligence and brilliance reproduce more off-spring. The responsibility of rendering proper nourishment to the progeny of such persons will have to be taken by society and the government itself. Similarly, it is harmful for society if mentally deficient, naturally delinquent or insane persons are allowed to produce children. Society will be benefited by the permanent destruction (without any harmful reaction) of their reproductivity.

Science has reached such a stage that it has the capacity to usher in a new era. It can produce synthetic food in the form of tablets to help solve the food problems of the world. A single food tablet is now sufficient to provide sustenance for a whole day. So we need not fear increases in population. Future generations will spend more of their time and energy on subtle psychic and psycho-spiritual activities, so their demand for physical food will decrease.

Through oceanographic research humanity has discovered a vast treasure of food resources within the ocean and on the sea bed. With the application of science and technology, we can explore these resources to meet the challenge of the food problem. The crises faced by society today indicates that humanity is not encouraging the maximum utilisation and rational distribution of the mundane, supramundane and spiritual potentialities of the world. Science is being used to develop more deadly weapons for war rather than being channelised for benevolent and constructive purposes.

For maximum production and economic security society should adopt a collective economic system which ensures the maximum utilisation of mundane, supramundane and spiritual potentialities, control over accumulation, rational distribution of collective wealth through a well-knit co-operative system and decentralised socio-economic planning.

Because humanity has failed to adopt such an approach to socio-economic problems they have not been able to solve their food problems. Instead, they have adopted some anti-human birth control processes on a mass scale which are detrimental to human health and human mind. Not only this, such practices may cause physical deformity, disturbances and misunderstandings in family life and mental derangement and debility. Those inflicted with such ailments lose the power to fight for social justice and the courage to face the adversities of life.

The bogey of over-population is nothing but a cunning attempt by vested interests to misguide the people and exploit humanity. The people of the world should unite and raise their voices against such a heinous conspiracy, and work together to construct a just and benevolent society.

1981, Calcutta


(c) 1995 Ananda Marga Publications, all rights reserved