Space for survival

The classical economist Robert Malthus (1766-1834), influential in the fields of political economy and demography, is credited with the theory that population growth will always tend to outrun the food supply and betterment of human kind is impossible without stern limits on reproduction, a theory known as Malthusianism. He also postulated in his 1798 book An Essay on the Principle of Population that an increase in a nation’s food production improved the well-being of its populace, but the improvement was temporary because it led to population growth. The central point to his observation is that mankind had a propensity to utilise abundance for population growth rather than for maintaining a high standard of living. The above views have only been proved infallible and valid in many regions of the world, notably India, even after 220 years since Malthus published his views.

The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for human beings, thus compelling mankind to adopt virtuous behaviour, specially moral restraint, avoiding vice and reducing misery, as prescribed by the legendary economist. Taking the prophetic and futuristic statements of Malthus further leads us to ponder over the issue of reduced living space for all life forms in an eternal state of competition and conflict. The birds and beasts are currently in a lose-lose situation in their struggle to survive.

Biodiversity in well-marked territories of different regions has caught the attention of environmentalists in the country even as the administrations such as in Karnataka in general and Mysuru region in particular are brazenly indulging in acts virtually murdering the environment in all possible ways such as encroaching fertile agricultural as well as forest lands, chopping well-grown trees, allowing water bodies to go dry and drawing ground water mindlessly. Urbanites, per force, are monopolising all available space in the limits of cities choking the speechless species with no access to food and shelter.

Celebration of different days in the name of birds such as the humble sparrow and wildlife such as the tiger has done no good to the well-marked endangered species. Naturalists have been pursuing the cause of these species not just for their sake but also in the cause of balance amidst biodiversity. Mankind is bound to come to grief before long if space is not spared for birds and beasts all over the earth, the human beings are heading for harakiri. The right to live also applies to all flora and fauna.

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