How Unemployment Affects Prospects of Marriage in Kashmir
People have been yearning for security since the day human civilization was established. Having more than what you can spend, living in one space but owning multiple, nurturing lives in and around with festivity and fervour, and at the end being masters of your little habitat, is what everyone tends to walk towards. The building block of such kind of security starts with marriage. And as is well known, marriage begins with its own kind of security deposit: employment. This fact applies everywhere around the globe though the term might be interpreted differently in each region. The relative meaning changes, the underlying motive does not.
As far as Kashmir valley is concerned, nestled within its protection is the Kashmiri society, who has a whole lot of ideas to offer in terms of relation between employment and marriage. What employment means here is a secure government job, of any cadre, or respect, or pay grade. These trivia don’t matter as long as the term ‘government’ is prefixed. What comes as a surprise (or not) to most is that it’s this specific commodity that lacks in the Valley. Many well educated youth are left in harrow just because the government is too busy tending to its own, disavowing dearth of job opportunities to whoever comes to the porch. What it doesn’t realize is this person spent years of his/her life learning, gaining knowledge that would eventually help our community provided proper guidance and opportunities are provided. And at the end it is this person who suffers at the hands of earnest learning, top-notch qualifications, but no job.
A very important ground for finding a job in your youth is to be able to get married, start a family, and contribute to this society which raised you. But unemployed educated individuals don’t get to start anew. The society starts demanding more than s/he can churn out from life. It starts demanding dowry or a respectable government job which unfortunately, the person does not possess. Leaving aside the whole idea of finding a government allotted job in Kashmir for a while, for the region is desperately lacking in the same, the youth start anew and commence a business, small company, or work in private organizations. Some may even migrate to other parts of India while some abroad for finding work, depending on family income, feasibility, and desperation. If and when these youth find work in areas other than the ‘government’, to be able to pursue their dreams and work, or just work to be able to start a family, Kashmiri society is seen at the perimeter watching, recording their every move and just in the nick of time disregarding everything they have built, achieved, and fought for in the holy name of ‘government job’. Thus, the threshold of a fulfilling matrimony hangs in the air, dense and dark, without a future. So what does a person do now? Be in a mental and emotional turmoil. Contemplate leaving everything thence, causing conflict in the family. This in turn causes even more stress and, of course, decreases work efficiency. What’s more? The desirable age limit to marry is sporadically lost.
These people in the society suffer at the hands of individuals, also from the same society, who practice nepotism, disregard worthy, waste talent, and impede ideas, all to cloak the evil they have given birth to. Unemployment is raking our fields and the bright young minds full of inspiration have been bulldozed into believing that they are ‘supposedly worthless’. Just because they didn’t get to own a job that said government!
First the youth suffer at the hands of authorities, then at the hands of their society, then family, and finally themselves. Psychologists have reported an increase in the number of mental illnesses that affect youth in Kashmir. Cyber crimes and immorality are on the rise too. So where did it begin? Who should we blame? The answer is right in front of us; countless mismanaged institutes that were built to help young adults reach their prime. The same organisations that are now busy landscaping new levels of corruption and the society who thinks too much of itself and too little of its neighbour. These are the real architects of our youths’ misfortune. No one thinks about those who suffer. Each one of us, in the society, acts as a parasite eating away the foundation, with total disregard to the host which, co-incidentally and unfortunately, is also us. No one believes to be truly noble; however, everyone does try to pretend being one.