Youth and Contemporary Issues
(Depoliticisation of youths and its impact in the social change)
- Part 1 -

Dr. Dhanabir Laishram *

Youths are those youngsters who are always in romantic revere with full of hope and desire to lead meaningful life. They always dream for brighter future and meaningful life. They know that to come on earth is only after getting one way ticket; they were not borne in the past and not born again after they were passed away. So it is very much valuable and bounded to do something.

But if there is no clear vision they always associated frustration, anxiety and even depression. That is the result that some are drug edicts, some are misguided youths and some are earning money antagonize to welfare society. They are very far away from wealth and welfare. They can't see the meaningful world of them through the windows of parents, teachers and ruling elites. This is the fate of maximum numbers of Indian's youths in general and Manipur in particular.


The main issues confronted by our youths are unemployment and poverty. Why we are talking about poverty, because of shortage of income, shortage of income means unemployment. In other words both the main issues are related each other. In India our youths come across twelve plan periods since 1950. However one analyses the plan periods by two important parameters that decreasing of people who are living below the poverty line and decreasing of unemployment, one comes to understand that both of them are increasing more and more.

In this case the victims are the youths of the nation. Since 1992 after India followed new economic policy Liberalization, privatization and globalization more than two lakhs and seventy thousand were committed suicide because of unable to repay the loan and starvation. These are not good news to the youths of the nation. Most of them are their parents. In short both educated and uneducated youths are confronting this issue in this contemporary India.

India as developing country in the world maximum number of youth is educated. Some are in technical course and some are computer engineering but maximum are general line. They are all victims of neo-liberal economic policy. The Indian state capitulated under pressure from western financial institutions into policy formulation and running of state. Liberlisation is primarily beneficial to upper and middle classes. An estimated forty million Indians are living the life styles comparable to their counterparts in advanced industrial economies.

Another sixty millions are on the threshold of comfortable middle class living. This middle class is going to proliferate because of the increasing of the service sectors and white-collar jobs. There is a fear that it may further aggravate the condition of rural and urban poor. The Indian state has been ineffective in creating human base for development. The Indian state could not filling the voids of basic education, gender rights, health facilities and employment opportunities for a big chunk of the population does not go well with the goal of economic justice. So the youth are not organised and are not in a position to pressurise the state to fulfill its welfare commitments.

The imperatives of economic liberlisation are identified with an aggravation of conflict between economic and political interest of the disadvantaged. Liberlisation is creating avenues for business and white-collar jobs to I.I.T and I.I.M. professionals. This suits the interests of the upper and middle class because they have the resources like capital to benefit from new business opportunities opening up as part of liberlisation package.

The youth from this section are more likely to walk away with jobs in multinational corporations with excessive salaries because of their access to quality education. With privatization and disinvestments becoming order of the day the numbers of jobs in public sector are going to be lesser and lesser. The benefit of reservation is available only in government jobs. That is why many tribal youth look at liberlisation as a conspiracy to deny them the benefit of reservation.

Economic development so far has failed to create enough jobs to absorb the landless and rural and urban educated. These people have to suffer deprivations of various kinds. Youth of agricultural labourers, marginal and small peasants with small or no patch of land are the most deprived section of society. They suffer more than others from poverty and lack of education, health and housing facilities. That means the youth who belong to such families are more sufferers.


Under the impact of neo-liberal policies landlessness is increasing and this is adding to the number of agricultural workers which stood more than 14 crore in 2012. There is no statutorily fixed minimum wage and no comprehensive social security measures for agricultural workers in many states. They are the worst hit by rise in prices of essential goods. In short the new economy policy and its strategy of withdrawal of state support to agriculture and increasing trade liberlisation through FTAs and tariff cuts are meant to drive the small peasants out of agriculture.

The way is being paved for the takeover of Indian agriculture by foreign and domestic big corporate, as has happened in many developing countries under globalization. Resisting this offensive is the principal class challenge before the Indian peasantry. Here one may cited the recent case of Mizoram that one MNC gave loan to farmers for producing palm oil after Planting that trees, it will take round about ten years. But the adjustment had been made by that time's market price after ten years. At this time the price should be more triple times than when they fix price of that time. In this case how a farmer could repay the loan and regain his farm. Unfortunately lees were already made. He should be landless after ten years.

The MNREGS is being diluted and the workers are being denied their rightful wages. Agricultural workers live under precarious conditions and in most states there are no efforts to provide houses sites and houses to them. In Manipur maximum houses of fisher folk which were constructed on the fumdhi were almost burned down without proper compensation. It was really driven out them from their habitats, resulting in the loss of their livelihoods.

The condition of youth agricultural workers is really worsened day by day. Indebtedness is increasing among agricultural workers and they are facing a crisis of survival. Government policies are forcing the rural poor to migrate and work under dismal conditions to other areas or to urban centres. The number of urban centres has increased remarkably. Accessory and ancillary buildings, government offices, roads, railway tracks all require various kinds of skilled and unskilled workers. They come from backward villages.

The non-availability of jobs in rural areas facilitates the continuous supply of youth workers to urban and other big towns. Rural youth are mad in urban areas. These unorganised sector labourers remain in a fragmented state, which does not allow them to bargain or air their voice against injustice. Neither their job nor their work at a particular site is permanent. They are bereft of social security and labour welfare benefits. The central Government has refused to bring in a comprehensive legislation for the fixation of wages and social security benefits for agricultural workers.

The neo-liberal strategy of withdrawal of state support to agriculture and increasing trade liberlisation through FTAs and tariff cuts are meant to drive the small peasants out of agriculture. The way is being paved for the takeover of Indian agriculture by foreign and domestic big corporate.

In the last year, the farmers of Assam were crying for market-price for their grains due to lack of FCI procurement centers. The minimum price fixed by the Food Corporation of India for procuring rice grains is Rs. 1020-1080 per quintal. But due to the lack of FCI procurement centers in the State, Farmers are left with no other choice other than to sell the grains to unscrupulous middlemen for less than half of the FCI fixed price.

The land Acquisition & Rehabilitation Bill proposed by the Government does not adequately protect the farmers in term of the compensation and rehabilitation criteria and does not make its provisions mandatory for private land acquisition. Mineral rich tribal areas will be opened to corporate, adversely affecting tribal rights on land.

Let the ruling elites understand poverty means shortage of income, shortage of income means lack of employment, lack of employment facilities means because of more and more state deregulation.

Measures: Priority should be given to good governance in order to utilize human resource and natural resource properly,
More state regulation rather than more privatization,
Large scale automation should be checked,
Effective programme of self help groups,
Appropriate loan to the small scale industries workers,
Government should fight protectionist measures taken by European countries and America in this globalization process, because they have opened free market and
Downsizing, instruction given by World Bank and IMF should be checked, not followed hundred percent.

to be continued .....

* Dr. Dhanabir Laishram wrote this article which was published at Imphal Times
This article was webcasted on April 30 2019.

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