Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bush, Indians, Food prices and Indian population

"Prosperity in countries like India is “good” but it triggers increased demand for “better nutrition” which in turn leads to higher food prices, Bush said.

“It also, however, increases demand. So, for example, just as an interesting thought for you, there are 350 million people in India who are classified as middle class. That’s bigger than America. Their middle class is larger than our entire population. And when you start getting wealth, you start demanding better nutrition and better food, and so demand is high, and that causes the price to go up,” he said."

So what will happen when all Indians start eating good food? Would somebody say this would lead to Americans starving...

P.S.: Though Bush's comments raised an uproar and quick repartees in India, his comments should make us think in a different perspective: that there are no effective systems in place to check our increasing population. While India's population stood at a staggering 1.1 billion in 2007, new estimates project that our population would near the 1.8 billion mark by 2050 and would reach 2 billion by the end of 2100.

Take this in the context of a decreasing agricultural activities, unproductive and fallow agricultural lands, changing climate patterns etc.

Then what would our millions eat?

Would we import food grains at a high prices (as the present market conditions show) and feed them? What would be our budget spend on food items alone? How much would we pay in international markets for oil? How much would we spend for defence needs?

And how much would be left in our much-touted foreign exchange reserves? If foreign exchange reserves are used up then what would be its repercussions on our economy?

God save India!

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