Rising population, if not checked effectively, could not only spread poverty but also make the battle against naxalism and terrorism tougher, Madhya Pradesh Governor Balram Jakhar has said.
"Rising population has emerged as a major challenge before us. We are already over 110 crore which makes the task of feeding the masses and providing employment to the jobless extremely difficult," Jakhar told in an interview in Bhopal.
Rising population is a major challenge: Jakhar, he said adding it would become difficult to tackle these problems without effectively controlling population.
Besides theft, dacoity and murder, problems like naxalism and terrorism are also spreading due to increasing unemployment and hunger, he said adding it would become difficult to tackle these problems without effectively controlling population.
Stating that some serious initiatives were taken in 1975 for population control, Jakhar said subsequently the problem drew little attention. "How long can the government afford to provide unemployment allowances to the jobless," he wondered.
Some are advocating three children, while others are asking people to give birth to six children without realising that sky-rocketing population may trigger unrest and revolution, he said without naming anyone.
"The problem needs to be dealt with by all political parties in a collective manner," Jakhar said.
Narrating the experience during his over five-decade long stint in politics, the Governor lamented 'fall in quality of politics and erosion of values and principles'.
"Earlier politics was service but now it is self-service wherein money plays a key role. Casting aspersions on others, party hopping, casteism and communalism have become the order of the day, threatening Indianness," he said.
Describing corruption as a blot on the nation, Jakhar said concrete steps must be taken to curb the evil for which political will is essential rather than framing any new law.
"Strict punitive action against those indulging in corruption will definitely give a clear signal to others," he said, lamenting 'corruption has become a part of life and no file moves without bribe'.
Expressing concern over hatred and vindictiveness in politics, Jakhar said change of guards is a common phenomenon in democracy and none should act with vengenance after assuming power.
"Strengthening brotherhood and unity should be the motto. Rulers must treat all alike," he said.
Though ideological differences are bound to surface in politics, harmony and brotherhood should never be allowed to weaken, he said adding socio-political atmosphere must not be polluted.
Underlining the need for imparting education based on nationalism, Jakhar said steps should be taken to stop teachings aimed at spreading hatred and divisive thinking.
Advocating establishment of agro-based industries and raising funds for irrigation, the governor said urban centres are facing population explosion due to decreasing job avenues in villages and exodus from rural areas in search of livelihood.
On waiving of farm loans, he said loans can be written off once, but if the situation lingers, farmers would be engulfed in debt-trap. Therefore, agro-based and cottge industries in villages would not only provide jobs but also check rural-urban migration, he said.
Despite its vast resources, India is able to export only two per cent of its farm produce, while China with its limited resources exports around 50 per cent, he said.
On gubernatorial powers, Jakhar said according to the Constitution, Governor's role is to act as a bridge between the Centre and the State government.
If the state fails to function in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, the Governor can bring it to the notice of the President, he said.
Regarding floods in Madhya Pradesh, Jakhar said he would extend all possible cooperation in securing assistance from the Centre for relief and rehabilition in the affected areas.
On the anti-conversion bill, recently passed in the State Assembly, the governor said it has not yet reached him and he would act in accordance with legal provisions without any politial consideration on the legislation.