The first of the new steps will be birth control. And in this rotten world where man does nothing except murder – man has fought five thousand wars in three thousand years, and now he is preparing for the last war – if you have any love, you will not want to bring your child into this world.
If India can observe total birth control for thirty years, its population will come down to the point where we can become prosperous.
I can say this to you because I am not a politician and I don’t have to ask for votes from you. Yes, if you want you can stone me; I will take that as a blessing. But the politician is in business. He has to say what you like to hear. And your likings are very rotten, very old, very decayed. You have never even reexamined them.
In the times of Gautam Buddha, the population of the whole world was only twenty million – the population of the whole world! And if people were prosperous and if people did not use locks on their houses, it is understandable. Why lock them? There was so much prosperity – particularly in this country, which is more like a continent than a country. All the different seasons are here, all sorts of natural resources are here. You can find the coldest of places and you can also find the hottest of places here. There are dry deserts, and there are places like Cherapoonji, where the annual rainfall is five hundred inches, where you cannot even go out of your house.
India is a whole world in itself. It was affluent beyond calculation. Those people who called it a “golden bird” were not wrong. People were happy; people were joyous. There came a metaphor that rivers of milk and honey flowed here. No rivers of milk and honey flowed, but this expression is indicative of the fact that things were so plentiful that even if we had made rivers of milk and honey flow, there would have been no harm, no problem. The basic facts behind this were a small population and a big country; a big land, a fertile land.
If the destiny of this country is to be given a golden glow again, if the stones of this country are to be polished into diamonds again, we will have to show some courage. The interesting thing, however, is that the Christian priests, cardinals or popes come to this country and explain to people that birth control is a sin. And the shankaracharyas and the jainacharyas of this country are in agreement with them – although their concern is somewhere else. The Christian wants this country to go on becoming poorer and poorer because the more poor people there are, the more people will convert to Christianity – they are bound to. And the shankaracharyas and the jainacharyas are afraid that if it goes on like this, their numbers will diminish. This country could become a Christian country tomorrow, so produce more children!