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Population Woes
by G Swaminathan Bookmark and Share

I find frequently several articles, letters, advertisements and editorials written and published on the alarming growth of population in India. There are equally several counsels, analyses, debates, methods to curb this fast growth, incentives and the ways to implement family planning that find place in the media. With the population of the astronomical figure of exceeding 1000 million, surprisingly none of the articles, advice or analysis or expert opinion advocates 'celibacy'.

I do agree in bold letters that 'Sex' is an integral part of life while the strong moralists shy away from spelling it out. True, a man or woman definitely needs a way to satiate his/her carnal desires. But, I also categorically state that it is not as essential as food, shelter or cloth. It is a desire, which could be controlled, a need, which could be overcome, a pleasure that can find expression in some other form, and an energy that could be canalized for better activity. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Adi Sankara, Beeshma, and Vivekananda had not only advocated but also followed and proved that a man can lead a happy, successful and above all a meaningful life without sex or marriage.

However, look at our Governmental, Organizational, and Individual promotional programs: are there any encouragement or incentives to celibates? The other day, there was a phone call from a hotel that they were pleased to select my name for some prize and honor. They invited me to come to their hotel to receive the same with my spouse; when I told I am single, they withdrew their offer. Free marriages are performed by political parties, leaders of religion, film stars, Government welfare organizations even without verifying how the married couple will lead their life afterwards without a job or livelihood. In India, a married man gets several incentives, starting from the marriage. He gets dowry, and other presents. If he has a job, he will get incentives like paternity leave, medical/ educational, Leave Travel allowance for the family, increment for undergoing family planning, job for the kith or kin if he dies in harness, family pension, etc. A person who remains single there are no benefits at all. Government saves lot of money because on them, as no such claims are made. He/ she not only saves for the Government exchequer but also contribute their mite in reducing the population. Is there any appreciation or benefit for the same?

Sadly, single man or woman hardly gets any recognition socially, economically and culturally. In fact, the 'family people' have their own 'assessment' about them, which will not be quite flattering. Many may argue that this 'celibate' claim will be questionable, because there is always a possibility exists that these men and women having clandestine affairs. May be. But, does the Government or any other organization entertain any illegal claims? I do not go into the emotional aspects of unmarried persons. That is totally a moot point because even family men/women are equally felt frustrated many times.

Why no organization or government seldom gives support officially /financially or morally to such single persons? In India, even Sanyasis and Swamijis popular with the public are only those who indulge in a variety of sexual scandals. It is really surprising that a country, which claims to be of high ethical and moral values, there are several organizations to promote population growth. It is sad that there is not a single program to promote or advocate the benefits of being single and independent or even late marriage. 

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13-Mar-2005
More by :  G Swaminathan
 
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