Post Mortem

The ‘future’ of this country is in distress

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 2/9/2019 12:43:14 PM IST

 On the 7th of February, the distressed youths of this nation reclaimed the streets of New Delhi under the banner ‘Young India Adhikar March’. The march was significant because it created a common and inclusive platform to raise individual concerns adding a flavor of diversity, and second, it was a wakeup call to the sleeping (drunk with power) and blind leaders that the youths are no longer willing to act as mute spectators and will reassert their right of democratic dissent, especially with the elections around the corner. However, the larger picture that pans out of this march was that the ‘future’ of this country feels threatened within their state and by the center owing to their inefficacies. Terming the youths of this nation as synonymous to the future has become a clichéd term, which has somehow lost its essence regrettably because it has been overused by political leaders and many others. Called as the ‘future’ but without future.

As India prepares to brace the huge alteration in demographic dividend where it is estimated that by 2020, the median age of India will be merely 28 years, the question arises, how prepared are we to reap the benefits of it?. The positive take away of this impending alteration if effectively utilized is that India has the opportunity to secure better economic growth since it will have larger working force earning more, saving more and consequently drive a gradual shift towards a society with larger middle-class families. But lo! the reality. These are just pleasant dreams since we are all headed towards a foreseeable chaotic future. Not a demographic dividend reward but a demographic dividend disaster.

While the government should be busy framing policies to reap the benefits of the demographic dividend by investing on human capital (education, healthcare and so on), creating more employment opportunities, promote gender equality, nourish and prepare the so-called future of India, not surprisingly we see that they are more interested in building more cow shelters and buying ambulances for the same, imposing moral policing, serving diktats on what should be deemed as ‘clean and unclean’ food, privatize education so that they avoid the burden of securing free and compulsory education and the list goes on. As it is, the illiteracy rate in India is already low, when the fortunately literate and educated citizens plead for the creation of employment opportunities, we are asked to sell ‘chai and pakodas’. Let me tell you, the government is clearly using a double standard language here, while fast foods are being deemed unhealthy and discouraged, pakodas which are equally loaded with high calories (depending on what variety we prepare) are being promoted. It’s not like pakodas being sold by an engineer or a Ph.D. degree holder will have lesser calories, is it?.

Amidst the loud cheering by the protesters, there were a few groups of unemployed Naga students and job aspirants who took the courage to voice their dissent on the streets of New Delhi, to remind the government of Nagaland that their future is equally bleak reaffirming the reality that awaits them at home. The demand for advertising 68 vacant assistant professor and librarians posts, to break the cycle of backdoor appointments and corruption were a synchronistic theme that their placards read. Some of which said ‘Don’t be shy, please advertise the 68 posts’, ‘MISSING. 68 asst.profs & librarians’, ‘corrupt appointment nalage’, and ‘I deserve a fair chance’. I would like to reiterate what the placards read and request the government not to shy away from advertising the 68 posts because we the Nagas tend to be demure only for all the wrong reasons. As it is, job opportunities are ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’ in our state, the present state of affairs forces us to question, why do we have to spend so much on education when we are not given free and fair-medium of competition at all.

The real picture of India is right before us; the employment rate published by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) showed that the unemployment rate in 2017-18 was the highest since 1972-73 at 6.1%. And if I remember it correct, someone during his 2014 general election campaign requested the country to make him the ‘chowkidar’ while promising to revamp the economy of India and promote employment opportunities by creating 25 crore job over the span of 10 years, indeed, he was right, millions of Indian citizens are now holding ‘jobless job’. On the contrary, while those holding jobs are being forced to shed their jobs, thanks to their ingenious policies. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy asserted the same when they reported that 11 million jobs were lost in 2018.

But why would the government care? They are still in denial mode. NSSO reports for them are just unverified misinformation that does not hold valid grounds for argument. And I hope this denial will serve as a strong basis on which the youths of the nation deny and reject any government that has the least concern for them when they walk up to the voting booth this year and decide how the so-called future of the country wants their future to be shaped. Until then, I think the ‘future’ of this country is and will be in distress, but not for long, not for long.

Chibenthung Yanthan, 

Research Scholar, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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