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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi fears 'unchecked population explosion'

Narendra Modi delivers a speech to the nation during a ceremony to celebrate country's 73rd Independence Day

India's prime minister has warned for the first time of the risks of an 'unchecked population explosion' in the nation of 1.3billion.

Narendra Modi called for family planning measures and praised an 'informed section' of society who are 'doing good for the country' by choosing to have small families.

India has the second biggest population in the world behind China with 1.4billion – which it is set to surpass by 2024.

'It will bring a lot of challenges for the future generations,' Mr Modi said in a speech in New Delhi. He added: 'We have to think if we can do justice to the aspirations of our children.'

Mr Modi's calls for family planning measures come as his country faces rising tensions with neighbour Pakistan over Kashmir.  

The prime minister of the world's largest democracy had clamped down on Kashmir to near-totalitarian levels, and Narendra Modi's country reacted with roaring approval: As he had Kashmir stripped of statehood and its special constitutional status, even some of his political opponents were calling out support.

Modi, a Hindu nationalist by the time he was 10 years old, had upended life in India's only Muslim-majority state, flexing those nationalist muscles for his millions of followers.

To his critics, Modi is an authoritarian manipulator who wants to turn India into an avowedly Hindu nation. But to his supporters, Modi is an incorruptible ascetic unafraid to tell the truth - a man who understands what it means to be poor but, like so many of his supporters, wants India to be treated with respect by the rest of the world. 

Protesters burn an effigy intended to depict Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a rally in Quetta on August 15, 2019

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