Pamu: Hey, did you see the news?
Vir: What news?
Pamu: The news that, we are about to overtake China and become the most populous nation on the earth.
Vir: Haa that … I have seen it.
Pamu: There is something we can be proud of.. that we are overtaking China in some aspect at least…
Vir: One aspect at least… what does it mean? Don’t you know that population is one of the great assets of the nation
Pamu: Asset… How come can it be an asset?
Vir: Yes…It is a vital asset in the evolution of the nation…provided we use it as an asset…
If not used as an asset then it is a great burden, that can spell disaster for the nation.
Pamu: How come it can be a disaster or even an asset?
They are just people. What demography has got to do with boon or bane for the nation? I don’t see any relation between them.
Vir: wait…..wait…wait….one question at a time…you are asking so many at once..how can I answer them at once ..allow me some space to think…
On every question that you have asked, a book can be written for the answer…or numerous books have already been written…
So ask one question at a time…
Pamu: Ha …I could not control myself…as this topic has caused a stir in my mind…and I want it to calm by having answers for them…
Yet, I agree with you…I will ask one question at a time.
Vir: Good … now you can proceed and ask me questions one by one…
Pamu: OK…then tell me.. how demography is related to the progress of the nation?
Vir: Hm.. that is a good one. The answer is straightforward.
Look, firstly we will see about the nation. There is a general tendency among people to see a nation as a land.
Pamu: If not land then what is it?
Vir: Nation is much more than that…nation is not merely a geography or mere a piece of land .. Tell me…if the nation is land…does it mean that nation ends after its land is annexed?
Pamu: Then, what happens… If there is no land how can there be a nation?
Vir: Nation is the idea or thinking that lives in the mind of people… Hence, as long as even a single person is alive with the idea of the nation then that nation is alive…
Take India…we have been attacked by many invaders, who annexed our land, but look we are as big as we were, or rather bigger…
Pamu: OK…now I am getting…
Vir: Basically…it is not land that becomes a nation automatically, it is people who turn a piece of land into a nation. A nation has people, a authority and territory, and most importantly a unique identity, which is cherished and nourished by its people.
Pamu: OK…but what about the relationship between demography and the nation and the progress of the nation?
Vir: Ha it is now simple to understand…as I said a nation is nothing but its people, who reside on a specific territory. Now, when people residing in that territory are innovative, industrious, productive, and guided by patriotism then that nation will grow, become prosperous, and will be highly developed.
Pamu: Hmm… Yes because such laborious people will help massive growth in all aspects, which in turn help the nation grow and get developed.
Vir:You are right. For instance, take the example of any developed nation like Japan.
Pamu: Ha, it is a developed nation.
Vir: Now, you tell me why it could become a developed nation?
Pamu: Because of the productive people in the country ..am I right?
Vir: Yes… you are saying right…If you look at Japan from a resources perspective, it has far lesser resources in relation to other countries. Yet it’s people could come out with innovations to fill that gap.
Pamu: Hmm…that’s true. Many global MNCs, which dominate their respective fields are from Japan.
Vir: Now, look at Japan in the 21st century…
Pamu:Why? what’s happening to Japan?
Vir: Now, its population is aging. It is leading to what can be called a demographic decline.
Pamu: Demographic decline… what is it?
Vir: It is basically a population decline. More specifically it is the decline of the economically productive population.
Pamu: Ok so it is the decline of the population…
Vir: Yes… it has a massive impact on its economy. Due to demographic decline, Japan is seeing a decline in the growth of the economy. Not only that but economic contraction is observed in Japan’s economy. And same is happening with several developed countries.
Pamu: Ha…I have seen that… I have been following that news. But why is that happening?
Vir: Because as people are aging…consumption and innovations are reducing which in turn are reducing demand. Once demand is reduced, manufacturing and other sectors will face a consequent decline. And it will affect the whole economy.
Pamu:OK…now I got it. It is people that make a nation developed or even underdeveloped.
Vir: Now, apply the same logic…you can understand how can demography be a disaster for a nation…
Pamu: Hmm… Now it is easy to understand. I can relate to it now.
If people are not productive or innovative, then they will not be able to contribute to the nation’s growth. It will also reduce demand, consumption, and naturally manufacturing, which in turn impact the growth cycle in the economy.
Vir: Exactly…rather it will increase poverty, and inequality in the nation.
People will not contribute to growth. Then they will become a burden on the nation’s resources.
Pamu: I can understand that the growth of the nation will be impacted. But tell me, how people will become a burden?
Vir: We will see an example of agriculture or basically the food sector. Then you can relate it to other sectors.
Vir: Now suppose, if a land produces 100 kg of cereals and 50 people are dependent on it. Assume that they can manage with 100 kg of cereals.
But now if the population is increased to say 80, then they may not be able to manage. And such population will keep on increasing. At one point, if they fail to increase production, the increased population will not be able to feed themselves. And the burden on resources will increase. To sustain such an increased population, they must innovate and find means to increase the production of grains.
Pamu: Ok…Ha, now I got it… So people can be either an asset or a burden, it completely depends on the quality of our demography.
Vir: True.. same is the case with India.
Our people can become assets or burdens for our nation that depends on how people contribute to its growth.
Pamu: But, how can we ensure our people become an asset and not a burden…?
Vir: Ha it is the vital question…its answer requires a detailed explanation. It would be better if we talk about it next time…
Pamu: Ha…but don’t forget
Vir: I won’t…yet you remind me.
Vir: OK, then. See you in our next debate…
Pamu: Yes, I am excited….see you soon.
Pamu: Hey, did you see the news?