(The writer Ajay Shukla is the Prominent Indian journalist)

In an unfortunate turn of events, a young man was a victim of self-slaughter in Hathgaon of district Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh. This bolt of the blue triggered the suicide of his newly wed wife four days later. The young gentleman was employed in a company based in Mumbai but was in mental anguish over his loss of undertaking due to the pandemic. Down on one’s luck, dreaming of nurturing a golden future for himself and his wife in Delhi, he became a bandit in order to make a living.

The culmination of the rapid increase in unemployment in the country is more or less visible. In these circumstances, the Congress party celebrated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday as National Unemployment Day. During the last few years, the situation was worsened by the policies of the Central and State Governments to cut jobs and not to fill up the vacant posts. Now in the era of the Corona pandemic, when the structure of the economy crumbled, along with jobs, other employment opportunity also reached states of ruin. As a result, over 40 percent of jobs were cut in the private sector.

Those who remained were cut in salary and allowances. Recruitment in the government sector was very less and lakhs of posts lying vacant for a long time were either abolished or were given on contract. All eligible youths exceeded the age limit and became ineligible. The future of our children is in the dark in the circumstances that are being created now. If the situation does not improve, youths suffering from unemployment and hunger will be forced to plunge into the world of crime.

An analysis of the data of the Governmental and non-governmental organizations shows that, at present, unemployment is the highest in Indian history. Research by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) shows that the unemployment rate, which was 6.95 percent in July this year, rose to 8.32 percent in August. The research also found that 10 lakh people lost their jobs last month. During the second wave of COVID-19, around April, 70 lakh people lost their jobs. In the month of August, 15 lakh jobs were further reduced as compared to the previous month. Unemployment has increased in both urban and rural areas. The highest unemployment has been recorded in rural India.

Experts believe that the pandemic and government policies have played an important role in increasing unemployment. According to the data, the urban unemployment rate stood at 9.78 percent in August, up from 8.3 percent in July. The rural unemployment rate also rose to 7.64 percent, from 6.34 percent in July. The number of employed people has decreased continuously. During this period, more than 13 lakh jobs were lost in the rural sector. Scared by the epidemic, but due to a lack of meaningful government support, jobs started getting lost from the market. The surprising thing is that while the employment rate has fallen, the number of workers has increased. At present, 3.6 crore skilled people are wandering in search of work.

After getting independence from British rule, the first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had dozens of challenges in front of him. He set the priorities and said that we have to strengthen our democratic institutions so that the voice of the person standing in the last line of the society is also heard. Everyone should get enough food. For this, we have to become self-reliant in agricultural production. Every hand should get employment, for which heavy industries and corporations will have to be established in the public sector along with cottage industries. Self-reliance should increase technical professional competence, for which we have to build higher educational institutions. To keep people healthy, medical colleges and hospitals will have to be set up for affordable good health services. We should not get caught in any debate, because we have to make everyone equally strong. To make us not fall into markets, he worked on a mixed “socio capital economy”.

To raise capital, the government took steps in the field of insurance for banking and social security. Pandit Nehru resolved to do all this and did it. This is the reason that his period is considered as the period of nation building. Five year plans empowered us by making the country self-reliant. Today, we should learn from Pandit Nehru how the resolve of making a self-reliant nation is fulfilled even after an empty treasury. At present, there is an army of about 40 crore unemployed people in the country. We have three types of unemployed, wholly unemployed, underemployed and seasonal unemployed. Our 2.5 crore daughters are registering their names as unemployed. About 12.5 crore migrant laborers have become unemployed.

67 per cent of the people working in unplanned industries are getting pushed out of job. You will be surprised to know that this is the situation when more than 80 lakh posts are lying vacant in various government departments. More than six lakh people have lost their jobs in public sector undertakings. The jobs of 4.5 lakh people have been lost in banks. 10.25 lakh sanctioned posts are vacant in the central government alone. 39 thousand posts are lying vacant in central universities, 42 thousand posts of scheduled castes, tribes and other backward classes are vacant in administrative services, while one lakh posts of all categories are vacant, but political power does not talk on this. The Government has made the practice of contact and contract work by not increasing the posts which should have increased in proportion to the population, so that slaves, not employees, can be found. The number of skilled degree holders unemployed in the country is more than 3.5 crore. About seven crore youth are registered as unemployed in employment offices. The way the population of unemployed is increasing year after year, it is certain that in a few years the country will become a country of unemployed youth.

This is the reason that now the Government does not consider the person who does the makeshift of bread by selling tea and pakoras with degrees as unemployed. 65 percent of degree holder youth are roaming unemployed. Similarly, crores of youth are forced to be a part of Twitter campaigns by carrying flags and poles of political parties for a few rupees. The Government spends thousands of crores for all the corporates from its promotion but does not think to provide safe employment.

Our young country, due to these circumstances, has turned into an unemployed India. It hurts when instead of fighting this problem, these youths and the Government are busy fighting Hindu-Muslim bone of contention, caste, gender and region. Some political parties find it favorable, as it becomes a vote bank.

Have we ever thought that if this situation prevails, then after a few years the future of your sons and daughters will be in the dark? What crime will they commit and why not? We would have no clue. If the ruling party wants the interest of the country, then instead of selling public undertakings and corporations-companies, it should run target-based through professionals. They should set up new factories and enterprises in rural areas. Establish agricultural production based industries in the Panchayati system. Encourage capitalists to set up industries in rural areas. Keeping in mind the population and services, new posts should be created in the Government.

Empower democratic institutions by giving them more autonomy with population control. There should be a system of good affordable education and health care. Rural justice system be made. When work will be done on this policy, only then every hand will get work and happiness and peace too. Then, our Vedic meditation mantra is “Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah. Sarve Santu Niramayah. Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu. Ma Kashchit Dukh Bhagbhavet”, will be fulfilled.