While delivering the annual Vijayadashami speech, the Rashtriya Swaymsevak Sangh (RSS) Cheif Dr. Mohan Bhagwat has spoken about the advantages of having a large, young population and has warned about the adverse consequences of ill-conceived population control measures.

While speaking from Nagpur, the RSS Sarsanghchalak has said that if the large population is utilized properly, it can be an asset that will lead to a demographic dividend.

"Just as the population can be seen as a burden, if the population is utilized properly, it can become an asset. Today, our population is so large, just as it can be described as a burden, it can also be said that we are in a position to attain demographic dividend", Bhagwat said.

Mohan Bhagwat said that no other country has a youth population as large as India's. "Our neighbour China has become old. We will remain young for the next thirty years. Population can be looked at in both ways. It is also an asset", he said.

He spoke about how China had to reverse its population control policy after realising its ill effects.

He said that we need to think about what will happen after 50 years. He said that the country needs to consider how many people it can feed then, how many people will be needed to work and how many will be able to work and how many people can our environment sustain. He said that we need to consider whether we will be able to provide for the population's educational and healthcare needs.

He said that the question is not only one of the country, but also of the mothers. "Have we strengthened our 'mathru shakti'? How is their health? What are their wishes? What are their needs?", he asked during his speech.

He said that it is problemous if the population becomes too low. He said that the need of the families should also be considered. He said that children get training for social behaviour at home from the family. For that, he said, the family needs to have numbers. "Children need 2 or 3 others of the same age and elder to them and younger to them. They will learn how to speak to others. They will understand social values. They will learn ego management. We need numbers in families to learn all these matters", he said.

He also said that if the population if too low and stops increasing, then civilizations and languages can vanish. "There are many languages in the world with no one to speak the language. Hence a comprehensive consideration is required", Dr. Bhagwat said.

Religious Demographic Balance

Dr. Bhagwat spoke about the need for balance in religious demography. He said that as a country we have borne the consequences of imbalance in religious demography. He said that it is not an issue limited to India, but other parts of the world as well. He cited the examples of East Timore, South Sudan and Kosovo. "New countries were created due to the gap in the religious population. Countries were divided", he said.

"The birth rate is one cause for this imbalance. Conversion by force, deception or luring is the biggest factor", he said, adding that imbalance can also happen due to cross-border infiltration.

"It is in the interest of the nation to maintain that balance. Hence a comprehensive policy should be formed about population and it should be applied to all equally", the RSS chief said. He stressed that once a policy is made, no one should be given any exemption.

He also said that awareness should be created before bringing any such policy. "Because, if the society does not accept it, what will the policy do?", he asked, adding that society is likely to accept it if there is some benefit attached.

In his speech, Dr. Bhagwat addressed various subjects including the need for women's empowerment and promoting regional languages (matru bhasha).

Petitions Seeking Population Control Law Before Apex Court

The Supreme Court has issued notice on multiple PILs seeking population control laws. Devkinandan Thakur Ji, a Spiritual Guru had recently approached the Apex Court seeking directions to the Centre to control the population explosion in the country in order to secure the basic rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Constitution. This was the fifth PIL before the Apex Court seeking population control. Earlier, Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, Chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University Firoz Bakht Ahmed, Amber Zaidi and Swami Jitendranand had approached the Court with similar petitions.

The Petition filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay is expected to be listed before the Apex Court on October, 11 and the Bench of CJI U. U. Lalit was not inclined to admit the same on the previous posting, and had said that it is a matter of policy for the government to decide.