Chandrababu Naidu is asking Telugus to produce more children so that they don’t become minorities in their own state. sounds surprising ?? Well here is his logic.

Each state in the country is given a population stability target, which basically means the number of children each fertile woman should bear in order for the state to `maintain a population equilibrium’ into the coming generation (about 30 years). But each state is given a different target.

Let us look at the Total Fertility Rate (TFR), which is the UN’s target for stabilising the world population.The organization puts it at 2.1 TRF, or an average of 2.1 children per woman. A TFR of 2.2 is the replacement rate at which the next generation also has the same level of population.

All southern states (Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh) have hit their targets and for being the best in the class they’ve got a rather strange reward, they are now expected to have fewer children, which in turn will lead to a future generation with a lower population. So that’s good, right? It would be if the same rule was applied to all 29 states and 7 UTs. Northern states have actually had their targets upwardly revised (in spite of them overshooting their targets), meaning more kids and a burgeoning future generation.

Migration from north to south indiaThe (then) Planning Commission fixed the targets for each state based on their past achievements in the population control arena. The targets for southern states are now well below prescribed replacement levels. So, over the next two decades, while the population of Kannadigas, Tamils, Telugus, Marathis and Malayalees is all set to decline, the population in UP, Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh is still going to be growing.

So as the population in the South declines, it stands to argue, that in the next 30 years your primary workforce would have been born and raised north of the Vindhyas. In fact, states who failed to control their population will start to populate south India.The large influx will come from UP and Bihar where 35.69 per cent and 40.1 per cent of the population is below 14. Bihar has a TFR of 3.4, UP 3.1, MP 2.9 and Rajasthan 2.8. The numbers are similar for Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.


How ethical is it that southern states are asked to opt for lower and lower populations just so that the nation as a whole can reach its target? Why not penalise the states that consistently fail? Who allowed the population in UP and Bihar to continue to rise without some sort of repercussion?

migration from north to southQUESTION OF SURVIVAL

This could very possibly lead to uncontrolled migration from states with higher TFRs to ones that have achieved their targets like Maharashtra and the southern states. This drive south will have an adverse effect on infrastructure, not to mention a sea change in urban demographics, languages, and culture:  Another burning question is why non-Hindi states are given TFRs below 2.1 while Hindi-speaking states have a much higher TFR?

Maybe Naidu does have a point after all, and it’s about time someone said it out loud.