Standing on one’s feet
If the devastating ethnography of the raw realities of life and history in Jammu and Kashmir are looked into, it goes without saying that the most vital chunk of the society our youth are not only a disarrayed and disturbed lot but they are also exhausted in terms of their hope for a better future. And the simple reason for their frustrations is that they have always been exploited. They have been exploited by the politics as well as by the situational turbulence. The general developmental lag suffered by the state too has exacted a heavy toll on our young generations.
Welcome to the sorry state of affairs of the Jammu and Kashmir youth, the chunk of population with either no or very little income! Their only disqualification is that they are over-qualified to undertake vocational skills and jobs for which the state now have to import manpower from Punjab, Bihar, UP and elsewhere. They have been deliberately programmed for only one kind of job engagement in government service, which of course is not and cannot be available for all. The enterprising among them, who want to break the jinx and do something new by generating their own employment, don’t have access to the avenues and opportunities for the same financial institutions and various governmental agencies being the bog hurdles in their way.
As the reality has it, this jobless chunk of population, always eager and enthusiastic to enter an honest and respectful job market, fall an easy prey to the politics. They are promised a better share in development, an emancipated life through their participation in politics and decisions involving them. They are promised jobs, moon and stars. And what happens afterwards can be understood by the fact that our youth hate the very word promise today. They have seen it as meaning something which sets the process of their exploitation rolling. They know it as an attractive and catchy slogan which they know is meant for being consigned into the dark and dingy corridors of forgetfulness by those at the helm once they sail to the seats of power.
Let this chunk of population wake up now and confront the culture of violence, both physical and structural as it exists in this society. Through a structural assessment of their (youth’s) ways of life, and with a comprehensive understanding of their situation and circumstances, it s time that all sections and all people of the society must understand the frustrations associated with joblessness and lack of opportunity to grow and contribute in developmental processes. Majority of our youth may have taken all this as an accepted rite, but it s time for them to stir up their dissatisfaction and discontent so that those at the helm are forced to think about the gravity of the situation. Young people also need to bear in mind that there is an urgent need of a mechanism that can drain off their underlying guilt for having accepted the situation as something that can’t be changed.
The youth need to look beyond government jobs. No matter how tall the politicians make promises, the government sector cannot accommodate all unemployed youth. Therefore, instead of getting fooled by politicians, the youth have to decide to stand on their own feet. There are some shining examples wherein well educated youth took up horticulture, agriculture, floriculture and other such sectors and did well. They not only got employment but also are now providing employment to others. Once the society learns about the dignity of labour, the ghost of unemployment will be buried once for all.