The latest census in China has come out with some positive figures and made the Communist Party of China smile. The country for the first time has witnessed a negative growth rate of population.
THE PEOPLE'S Republic of China ordered a census in 2010 and the tabulated results are now available in 2011 in the public domain. The new statistics have been an eye opener in more ways than one. The census has assured the leaders governing the vast country sitting in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, right from the Inner Mongolia in the North to the South China Sea and beyond, that they have nothing to worry about.
The imperial governments of China used to be scared to collect sufficient grain to feed the hungry mouths round the year when famine would visit China. Millions of men and women used to perish due to hunger before grains could be distributed to them in remote villages.
In the imperial days the Chinese population really multiplied geometrically whereas the production of cereals and other edible grains grew arithmetically. Thus, over a period of time there were huge gaps in production of edible grains and consumption of the same by the ever hungry toiling masses.
THE STORY CHANGETH NOW The year 2010 brought another story to the Chinese nation and their rulers. In the history of China a downward growth of population was noticed for the first time, Gone were the days when the princes, concubines, slave boys who doubled up as sex gratification agents, not to forget the ever-present court eunuchs, disappeared into human oblivion, and were all consigned to pages of medieval history.
There is no imperial court now. In the one-party rule, it is the Communist Party of China that rules the roost. Its cadres keep a tight hold on farmers, labourers, artisans and a bit of white collar workers and do not let them go astray.
Marxism and Mao’s thoughts were the be-all and end-all of serious study, if any. The ideologues kept a tight control on the party machinery in a serious way. They smiled rarely and the question of their laughter just did not arise. Put together, they kept control on the population of the country too since gaining power in Beijing on Ist October 1949 under the leadership of Mao Dzdong.
The aim of the Administrative machinery was to keep the growth of population under control so that the existing population could be fed and clothed well and educated adequately to make progress in Science and Mathematics. The PLA or the People's Liberation Army, that included the Navy and the Air Force, must be modernised periodically to face any enemy or eventuality.
The combined effort of all concerned succeeded and China emerged as a world power in the making. It must be emphasised time and again that the control on the unbridled growth of population did wonders in making China great.
The Chinese Communist Party leadership was heartened to note that the growth of population in China had been controlled. Moreover, the urbanisation of the population, at least 40 per cent of it, was crystal clear. But at the same time the number of old citizens was growing and it was feared that in the long run, there would be no one to care for the ageing population. The growing number of men and women with grey hair demanded attention of the state.
Senior citizens expected the Communist party to depute young men and women to come over to them in their habitat and entertain them with the latest news and views. Unfortunately, it was not to be. The youth had their own programmes to run and senior citizens did not fit into that frame.
However, the number of migrants from the hilly and rural areas was growing year by year. The urban areas were getting clogged up as the rural poor wished to settle down in big cities for better livelihood, education of children and security of the family. The problem of rural areas being denuded like the forest trees of their leaves had to be addressed and solved. This census threw up 261.4 million migrants and senior officers were assigned the task of tackling their immediate problems.
China, however, had no such problems as of Muslims and Christians not falling in line with the Han dominated government and its policies. The state remained supreme and had to be obeyed. Recalcitrant population of Uighurs in Xinjiang willy-nilly submitted to the will of Beijing and all was well thereafter.
The Census brought out many facts that were helpful in making the decisions in favour of common citizens of all provinces of the country. The focus was again on education and nation building so that China might be great. The census 2010 also threw up data of young men fit for war who could be recruited as soon as possible. It was in the interest of the PLA to see where the physically fit and mentally alert recruits came from.
Moreover, it was imperative to examine their backgrounds in detail to ensure that they were Chinese citizens by birth and not enemy agents. If the names of these recruits figured in the Army Year Book just presented by the Chinese Embassy diplomats, the object becomes fishy. Such objects must not be accepted as a present even if the manufacturer goes down on his knees and begs an Indian officer to accept his present.
The Census Report of the People’s Republic of China is also a kind of encyclopaedia where difficult questions may be referred to. The units and formations of the Indian Army deployed on the China border who suddenly come across Chinese terminology that may be known to the soldiers of the PLA or to the soldiers themselves. There is no harm in letting the rays of the Sun come into the drawing room so that the Indian soldiers move forward from Darkness unto Light.
The Indian soldiers will stand enlightened and also move forward to serve the country. Let all officers come in Mufti with Qamarbund and the soldiers be appropriately dressed for dinner so that no one could dare say an adverse sentence about the country and the countrymen.
Thus the Indians and the Chinese may move from post to post giving a demonstration on how they who fought a war will now strive for Peace.