Karnataka Youth for Employment: Why and How

April 29, 2018

By Muttu Raju. Translated by Geetha Ramani. The original article in Kannada is available here.

Everybody engaging themselves in some productive activity or other is healthy, progressive for the society, and good for the nation. By this self-dependency, the people not only make their own lives self-sufficient, but they also take impressive part in their country’s progress. This is what is called nation building. But today the situation in our state and the whole country is just the opposite. Even though crores of our youth have the will and the necessary skills, the situation is such that they are suffering without appropriate employment.

 

 In India today, youth constitute 50% of the population.  Half of our youth do not have jobs commensurate with their skills. Our government has forgotten that without involving this large number of youth the nation cannot progress. Government which under the illusion that giving tax concessions and making rules and regulations for the youth makes for the progress of the nation, is not making any policy for the youth for gainful employment. Because of this, unemployment has become the number one problem in our country.

What started as slump in the production sector in 2013 has not improved till now. The government does not know the simple truth that without creating jobs in other sectors and without increasing the buying power of people it cannot improve the production sector. The main reason for large unemployment is because the main agenda of the government is jobless growth; there is no intention of creating employment with the required skills for the jobs and with developing the capacity to repay the loans in view. Neglect of agricultural sector, very small, small and medium scale sectors, demonetisation without thinking about its long term effects, and introduction of GST, have all contributed to unemployment.

Unemployment is not a problem of the individual; it is a social politico-economic problem. First and foremost the youth should understand that the government’s policies are responsible for this situation and not their own lot, family background or lack of required skills. This does not mean that government has to provide employment for everybody. Instead the government should be pressured to make policies that will create jobs, and bring in an environment friendly to develop employment.

Today the burning issue in our country is unemployment and problems in agriculture. Because of this there is poverty, farmers’ suicides, increase in corruption and crime, and a lack of peace and harmony in the society. India is becoming more and more youth dominated. 65% of country’s population is below the age of 35 years. Before the 2013 assembly elections, all the political parties had promised to create more jobs.  Congress had promised to create 50 lakh jobs if it came to power. Likewise JDS had promised 30 lakh and BJP 5 lakh jobs. Before 2014 Loksabha elections, Narendra Modi had promised creation of 1 crore Jobs according to the skills available.

Unfortunately, both the central government and state governments have failed in their promises. Central government could create only 2.5 lakh jobs. In 2016 due to demonetisation 58 lakh jobs were lost. Even in 2017, because of GST and such other policies employment could not be created. In 2018 Narendra Modi, Just to hide his helplessness justified even selling pakoras for a living. Even their tall slogans of ‘skill India’ and ‘make in India’ were a sham.  Even the Sharadaprasad committee appointed by the government said it is a joke on creation of jobs.

After being in power for four years by the end of 2017, Karnataka State government proclaimed that it has created 13.91 lakh jobs and that Karnataka ranks number 1 for job creation. But it had forgotten that it had promised the creation of 50 lakh jobs. Not just that, whatever Jobs were created were not secure Jobs. Meaning, the government instead of creating permanent jobs in various departments of the government, created temporary and on contract jobs, which did not pay the promised or on par salaries. It also proclaimed new labour rules. The government which is supposed create secure jobs, is creating contract teaching and health service jobs which are against the rules , instead of creating safe and secure jobs .

Agitation has the potential for forcing the government to change its policies for creating employment. The youth which is supporting the Congress as well as other political parties like BJP are greatly suffering from unemployment. So this agitation which in includes youth from all religions, castes, sex and all parties is truly secular and most importantly consists of youth. The most important thing that has to be kept in mind is that they are future voters. In Karnataka 52% of the voters are in age group of 18 to 39 years and they play an important role making a party win or lose in an election. This every party knows. So this agitation assumes an important role during the election.

We all know that if enough jobs are not created, the poverty will increase. Other than this, the unemployed youth will go into depression, become alcoholics, rowdies, political party campaigners, and get into corruption and antisocial activities, which will increase crime in the society. Unscrupulous fundamentalists and casteists use these youths to create problems between different castes and different religions for their own political gains. There is also fear of these youths being used as pawns in stone throwing and such fear inducing activities. So there is a need to save these youths from these dangerous activities and engage them in productive activities.

With this as the background and after studying in great detail about the creation employment and getting employment, the youth are getting ready for a big agitation. ‘My job‘ is a mobile app which gives information about the 30 thousand signature campaign and information about job and job creation. 23 thousand youth have down loaded the app. Already in 21 Districts the workers’ meetings and programs demanding action by political parties for the creation of jobs by were successfully held.

After identifying 100 Vidhanasabha constituencies, groups of youth workers are doing house to house propaganda that votes should not be given to those political parties which are not creating jobs. In each Vidhanasabha constituency it is trying to create a vote bank of 10 thousand workers. Workers’ forum is threatening the political parties with ‘No job – No vote’. Along with this, the Workers are also organising study circles to evaluate the possibilities of creating jobs. Taking Tumkur district as their pilot project for the study , the job creation in agriculture based sector is being experimented.

Apart from all these, to solve all these problems it is very important to agitate for employment creation. A manifesto has been released which includes a blue print of a study by a group of experienced professionals on how to convert one crore jobs which were insecure and temporary , into secure and permanent jobs in  agricultural production, service sector , self-employment, education and skill improvement sectors, and also create 50 lakh new jobs in next 5 years in Karnataka. Swaminathan commission’s recommendations of a minimum support price of 50% profits above the cost of production (called C2 + 50 %) and that agriculture has to be given equal respect like other skills should be adopted. All agricultural produce collection, valuation, and connecting with the market have to be done in the place of production.

Various constructive activities  to help farmers and give them proper guidance, such as the appointment of 15000 guides at the rate of one guide for every 500 farmers , the appointment of 27000 village guides at the rate of one guide per village to see the tax records are set right in each village, to see that governmental concessions actually reach the concerned people, to ensure the opening of LKG and UKG in every school, the appointment of 90000 teachers at the rate two teachers per class, contract appointment of 2.8 lakh workers in various government departments and creation of 2 lakh more jobs taking into account the increase in population were all included in the manifesto. Before the release of the manifesto of each party, this manifesto was delivered to all parties asking them to include this in their manifesto and to give a time bound plan to the society for the execution of the same.

Along with this, lakhs of workers who are suffering from insecure jobs have fiercely fought for their jobs to be made permanent and failed. In 2006, in the Umadevi vs Karnataka state government case, the Supreme Court has given verdict that the jobs should not be made permanent. In 2016, the pained workers are again fighting in Supreme Court for equal salaries for equal work and security of jobs. To ensure this, appropriate laws should be passed in the Parliament and Vidhanasabha. All contract workers in various government departments and industries are coming together during the election time and have firmly decided that they along with their families which will total to lakhs of votes will vote for the party which gives job security.

The youth expressed their rage against the contract system, which has been brought in by the parliament through a law which they feel is against the system and have demanded secure jobs. On February 18th in 2018, the youth force all over the state conducted a meeting in Bengaluru. Leaders from three main political parties, Congress, BJP and JDS were invited. Even though all the political parties promised to attend, KPCC secretary alone took part in the meeting and shown his reaction to the youth manifesto. Later a hunger strike was organised in front of BJP and JDS offices. Only after that they apologised and promised to include youth demands in their manifesto.

The youth have proclaimed that any party that includes the youth manifesto in their manifesto and brings out a blueprint for implementing it in time will get their support. At least they hope to bring out a proposal for creating equivalent jobs. Before giving their support the track record of the party and its seriousness about the agitation of the youth will also be taken into account. If it is found that no party is suitable to implement these demands, a big committee of youth leaders from all over the stake will announce its stand after taking a political stand democratically and transparently.

The youth agitators have announced that they are not just asking for jobs, but that they are asking for a part in nation building and through that career building. Today’s election which is based on the caste, religion, money and alcohol should be changed and made to address the unemployment and country’s development. This election especially should be based on the biggest problem of our state which is unemployment. We are not just asking for some creation of jobs, increase in emoluments or increase in facilities. But we are asking for big change in the government policies and creation of employment opportunities in a large number. We feel that to bring in this type of big policy change, a big political agitation is required.

Just to make the political parties and the government which plays down this issue feel the heat and think about it, the agitation is required. Likewise the youth who follow blindly politicians should be made to understand that if they question them, the changes will come about automatically. Questioning is a beautiful quality in democracy. So please support our agitation to strengthen democracy and to make for a life which is beautiful and respectful for everybody.

 

 

1 Comment »

One Response to “Karnataka Youth for Employment: Why and How”

  1. K SHESHU BABU Says:
    May 4th, 2018 at 12:53

    During the election campaign, all political parties make tall promises and grossly neglect after assuming power. The youth must question them immediately when they start speaking about their achievements. They should bring out the failures of governments in public and make them aware of the rulers hypocrisy.

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