Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, March 29th, 2020

Unchecked Population Growth


Unchecked Population Growth

Every state consists of a population (total number of people living together in a politically defined territory), territory, government and sovereignty. Population is the basic part of a state. States are formed for the welfare and wellbeing of their people; without population no state or society can exist. There are many states in the world and all of them have different number of people living in them. There is not a fixed rule about the number of people living in a state.

It depends on the size and conditions of the territories. But in the history of political science there have been different views about the size of population living in a state. There are thinkers who have even suggested a fixed number of people for the states. Plato suggested that 5000 is the best number for a state, while Rousseau fixed the number as 10,000. As far as Plato is considered, his number was for the city states that used to exist in Greek society during his times.

Those city states used to be much smaller in size than today's states. So, the number he suggested can not be fixed for today's states. On the other hand, Rousseau's number can not be considered applicable because of the variable territory size and demographic differences. There are states that have billion of people living in them; like China. On the other hand there are states that have number of people living in them in thousand; like San Marino.

In the modern concept of state the size of population has to be analyzed as per the resources of the state, as the larger population does not always suggest prosperity. There are countries that have been suffering because of their large population and limited resources. The best suggestion comes from the Prof. Gamer, he says, "Population must be sufficient to provide a governing body and a number of people to be governed, and of course sufficient to support the state organization." Thus, if a country can support large population it may have large population, but states that can not support larger populations must have proper control over their population otherwise, they will suffer from different sorts of economic and social problems.

Afghanistan is one of the same kinds of countries that suffer from economic and political problems. There has been intense poverty in most parts of country because of continuous wars and natural calamities. The political and economic infrastructures are in the early stages of their development. In such a scenario Afghanistan is having a considerable population. The number of people living in Afghanistan at the moment is about 27 million, which is just a rough estimate.

This estimate is based on an earlier census that was incomplete, and does not represent Afghan population accurately. The actual number may be more than the one mentioned above. It has been one of the greatest misfortunes of the country that there has not been any comprehensible scientific population census in the country, which is really necessary for better political, social and economic decision making. It is really difficult to administer a population without knowing its composition correctly.

Unfortunately the population growth rate in Afghanistan has been high as well. Population growth rate is the estimate of the increase in population per year. The rate for Afghanistan, according to the Central Statistics Organization (CSO) is 2.4 percent. If the same rate retains the population in the country will be doubled within three decades. Currently if is accepted that the population of Afghanistan is about 27 million, in 2025 it may reach to more than 34 million. This clearly indicates the serious nature of the growth taking place in the country. Definitely, this growth rate is going to test the capabilities of Afghan resources and Afghan government in the times to come.

Among the reasons of the rapid growth in population the most dominant one is that the people are not aware of the issue at all. Most of them consider children as the blessing of Allah, and never ever think about having a control over the population. Believe in me, most of the people in the country do not know that most of the problems in their personal lives and in the country relate to unchecked population growth.

The people living the remote areas of the country do not know even their basic rights and responsibilities. It is really difficult to expect from them to have proper understanding of the issue. It is really unfortunate to note that even the well-educated people in the urban areas do not consider this issue seriously. One of the greatest troubles with the Afghan society is that it has been vehemently dominated by strict tribal norms and values and fundamentalist interpretation of Islam.

Therefore, most of the people consider it against their traditional norms or religious teachings to have a family planning. They consider it a sin to go for birth control. There have been many occasions when such endeavors have been opposed violently. Further, with the rise in health facilities has been able to control the mortality rate to a certain extent, which would ultimately have affect on the growth rate. Apart from that there are financial barriers that restrict the families to go for a luxury, like birth control. People thrive for their basic requirements like food, cloth and shelter; how should they cogitate about the problem which they consider very much supplementary in nature?

Population growth rate in our country has been unchecked and can really lead to numerous problems. The government in this regard has to take serious and practical steps to control the issue as soon as possible. There should be intensive awareness programs for the people as a whole. Such programs should rather be started from the college and university level, wherein the citizens must be given complete understanding of threats that can be faced because of unchecked population growth. As far as the remote areas are considered, the endeavors must be doubled as in such areas it is not just about communicating the message to the families; rather the endeavors must go through strict and narrow minded tribal norms and religious teachings.

Dilawar Sherzai is the permanent writer of the Daily outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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