A Dark Dilemma

“The condition of being populated with excessively large numbers.”

– Oxford Dictionary

This is precisely how the Oxford dictionary defines overpopulation. Several social as well as economic issues such as poverty, unemployment, hunger, terrorism, etc. have gripped the nation in the 21st century. While each of these issues are deeply rooted into our society today, the mother root of all these problems is overpopulation. This is because when there are limited resources in a society, there comes a point when it cannot sustain the excessive population, which leads to overuse and eventually, depletion

The world population went from increasing by one fold from the 1800s to the 1900s. To almost three folds from the 1900s to the 2000s. This can be credited to the improvement in health leads which has reduced mortality and eventually increased life expectancy. According to Statista, in India alone, the life expectancy has shot up from 25 years in the year 1800 to almost 70 over the course of the next 220 years. Since less and less people are dying, the population is bound to increase.

Now that the theoretical aspect has been established, let’s throw some light on the practical aspect too. All this “chitter chatter” about overpopulation accompanied by some twisted jargons is acceptable, but it is crucial that some real life examples be sighted too. The effect of overpopulation can be seen in daily life too. Jam-packed trains, long queues in religious places and even traffic jams, all of these go to prove that overpopulation acts as a hindrance to the usual course of life.

Another observation that cannot go unacknowledged is that the extent of overpopulation in a particular geographical area plays a huge role in defining its density. India’s density is ten times more than the USA’s. Several western media houses have deemed “overpopulation” as a problem that we’re “over-obsessing” about. Eastern countries are the only set of nations where overpopulation poses a major threat, although eventually, this does affect the whole world too, at least to a certain extent. 

In Eastern countries, two very important factors that influence proliferation of people is culture and conducive climate. As far as culture is concerned, families in eastern countries tend to have more than two children, till the wife conceives a “boy” child. Patriarchy is very much present even to this day which adds on to the population dilemma. Second, since this region doesn’t have very harsh and extreme weather conditions, people from all around the world migrate to these countries, and this adds on to the population load. 

Now, the idea is not to wipe off half of the population, I am not calling for a “blip” -, only Thanos from the Marvel Cinematic Universe can wish for something of that sort. We must now look for solutions to slow down this sudden surge in the population. Governments of several countries have tried their best to spread awareness, but it’s 2020 and we’re definitely not doing enough. The pandemic may have wiped out almost 2 million people (as of 27/11/2020), but there is still little visible change and the fight over resources will continue, for years to come by.

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