In the twinkle of the eye of Shiva, so say the Hindu scriptures, the world is made and unmade. And over-night, so say scientists, the dead cells of the human body are replaced by living ones. The life and destiny of men are thus trapped between these two rhythms, one cosmic and the other cellular.
Is there, then, no escape from this seemingly ?meaningless? rhythms? Meaningless? Yes, we still do not know why we are here on this earth, and why we multiply the way we do as if the billions of human beings are here to serve some great purpose. The purpose has never been clear. But we are overwhelmed by the numbers in the meantime.
Can we reduce this growing numbers? Of course, we can. But how? All that we have to do is to give up procreation while we are engaged in our recreation. But, no, the mystery must go on of the birth and death of life, say the great minds of yore, for, they say, there is a purpose in what Providence is doing. But do we need these billions to prove the point of Providence? I do not think so. The purpose of Providence can be served with fewer numbers.
We have thus reached the optimum level in the use of everything?of men, land and weapons. The marginal man, the marginal land and the marginal weapons are all of less and less value today.
But, alas, more and more men and women are added to the supply at the margin?in our case about 20 million a year, enough to populate a country of average size! Does an extra human being give us greater satisfaction? It does not.
If we take, when thirsty, a glass of water, it quenches our thirst. A second glass gives us less satisfaction. But if we gulp down a whole surahi-full of water, we will suffer from a surfeit of it. That is the case today with our population. We have a surfeit of it. More bachche, not achche?this should be our daily mantra. Beyond a point, men and women are a curse on the earth.
Nature (?so careful of the type she seems/ So careless of the single life??to quote Shakespeare) produces human life like a tropical forest and even after pruning it with famine and pestilence, wars and earthquakes, she leaves a greater profusion of it than what we really need.
Does quantity affect quality? Yes, says Karl Marx. Increasing quantity is adversely affecting the quality of our population. We have reached a stage when all the waters we use, all the food we eat, and even the air we breathe are polluted. What is more, we are no more in a position to find jobs for our growing population, schools for the kids and shelter for our people.
We talk today of ?Knowledge society.? And yet we must know that the generality of men and women are averse to knowledge. Only fewer can survive in a knowledge society.
Dear Reader, I am against this population explosion in our country. My emphasis has always been on quality, not on quantity. I do not think that India needs this population. It can do with half of it. But, yes, it must be a population which is healthy, hardy and heaven-born. Heaven?born? Yes, with the qualities that we have come to admire and worship. We need them to create the future India of our dreams.
There is a stampede among men today for the means of existence. Everyone wants to have his or her paws in the pie, whether they have helped to make it or not.
There is a saying: everyone has a right to live by hook or by crock. And if more and more men have come to live by crook in our times, how can we blame them? Did we not bring them forth into this world? They never wanted to be here.
The good God has been wise in the division of functions within the human body, but he made a terrible mistake in conjoining the two-recreation and procreation into one single act, a pleasurable one, you might say. In this process, he made man a redundant creature, and denied him the first cause of his existence-that he is really wanted by his contemporaries. Can we undo what God has done? Yes say the family planners. No, say the religious bigots. Don'ttamper with what God has done, they say.
Malthus may be an anathema to the Marxists, but the macabre facts of our life cannot be wished away. Poverty is the worst disease of a society. It deforms the human body and repels the aesthetic sense. Let us not mock the Creator: Surely he cannot live in those deformed bodies! He did not create them. It was the work of men.
Men do not always know what is good for them. If they knew they would have raised the factor price of labour, just as the entrepreneurs have found a thousand ways to jack up the price and profit of capital.
If labour has failed to advance its prospects, it is because?you have guessed it-the marginal men are ever on the increase. Arnold Toynbee, the great historian and an admirer of India, says that he would not like to be born in India as a ?sacred cow?. Why? Because, he says, he could have a better life of comfort as a cow in England, although a shorter life.