TODAY -

Youth and Contemporary Issues
(Depoliticisation of youths and its impact in the social change)
- Part 3 -

Dr. Dhanabir Laishram *



Youths/ Students in the Neoliberalism:

As we know people are crying about their security, security of health, education, employment, food and lives. The whole range of oppositional movements developed during this period of LPG outside the ambit of the organised radicalisms. These new social movements were by and large focused on single issues either related to human security, environment, gender or racial equality, fair trade etc.

They also shared the suspicion towards any kind of politics and political parties with the depoliticised mainstream. However, these social movements increasingly found themselves potholed against globalization and neoliberalism from their own point of view.

In the NE, dealing with diversity of opinions and views, democratic practice and open-mindedness had been found inadequacies. Even among the oppressed people they are fighting each other. Each of them tries to assert only the interest of them though reacted by other groups because of having other forms of oppression and discrimination based on ethnic politics.

They never realized such uneven development and marginalized them are the outcome of capitalist economy. So some are talking about periphery from Delhi and other groups claimed that they are periphery within periphery. In short they didn't try to see the whole system and its failure. That means they are in the trap of parochial political culture to follow the idea given by their community leaders and try to put it in to practice.

Community chief means undemocratic. Even global village has also chief though many scholars emphasise this globalization as global village. But the problem is that some groups of people who are in the urban areas are influenced by participant culture and could act as political actors of it.

However their new relationship with modern machines in day to day life create big barrier in between two individuals and people to people. Maximum number of remote areas in the hills of NE, people gets mobiles and its tower but not electricity, hygienic water and health care facilities. They could contact people living in abroad but can't contact their nightbours.

The economic changes ushered in by the neoliberal regime also entailed major changes in the sphere of education as well as the structure of employment, which shaped the thinking among the youths. The thrust of education policies since 1970s was towards the withdrawal of the state and increasing privatization and commoditization of education.

With the welfare state on the decline, state funding on education especially university and higher education tapered off. Student fees were increased substantially making higher education costly, thereby restricting access for the lower income groups. While further expansion of state funded higher education was halted, profit- making private institutions emerged on large scale.

Conceptually, higher education came to be viewed by students solely as a vehicle for building their professional careers, on which they tended to narrowly focus. Comparative grades and percentages became the overwhelming concern, and not what was actually being learnt either inside or outside of lecture halls andseminar room.

Moreover, increasing expenses on higher education also came to be seen as financial investments meant to yield returns after a given period, with students from middle or lower income families' often taking bank loans to finance their studies.

The trend of narrow careerism among students was further shaped by the changes in the structure of employment in the liberalized economy. Secure public sector jobs became scarce everywhere, and the job market came to be dominated by the private sector. The private sector led neoliberal growth regime also restructured the labour market in fundamental ways.

First, there was a slowdown in creation of secure organized sector jobs. Secondly, job opportunities witnessing growth were of the flexible variety with insecure tenure, unstable pay and no social security.

Lastly unemployment and under-employment grew in absolute terms at a time when state support for the unemployed dwindled, raising the cost of unemployment to very high levels. In our country, most of which do not have any form of unemployment allowance, there has been a proliferation of 'self- employment' and informal employment, mainly in the services sector.

One of the most notable thing is that wage and salary differentials within countries have increased phenomenally, leading to widening inequalities everywhere. While executive pay in the private corporate sector has skyrocketed, even getting linked to windfall gains in the capital market, real earnings of the bulk of the employed population have either remained stagnant or have declined in many countries over the past three decades.

In that cases, all section of the people including youths and students, very energetic and potential groups are delink with social concern. Then the question is how the intrinsic population of civil societies including youths could be powerful to fight political society for their social security. Their youthful energy enables them to perform great feats in the theatre of battle; enables them to be the most active transmitters of ideas and skills; their zeal spreads into their surroundings like wild-fire. The youth acts as the motive force of all the changes.

Youths/ Students In The Movement To Bring Another World Is Possible.

In underdeveloped state like Manipur most of the students are working in various work sides with their studies. They earn their pocked money because of their parents can't afford the expenditure of higher studies. These are mainly in the cases of rural youngsters. They didn't believe for getting jobs after their graduation and even passing MA. They know the values of job market in Manipur. Without huge amount of money no one can get government jobs.

So, one may tread them as workers though casual in nature. Political participation of them in the massive resistance of any issues, rural students are sharing as workers and urban students as students. They form the most consistent and reliable section of the movement 'and when they join the struggle of the working class, they fight for their own cause, and grow and become stronger in the struggle'.

The links they have with the most advanced and radicalist groups, their common class interests and objectives with the working class as a whole, accords the working youth a leading position in the societal transformation youth movement.

We always need to examine the revolutionary potential of the working youth on the basis of a comprehensive and profound study of their socio-economic, legal and political status. Consideration should be given to the fact that their involvement in large-scale capitalist production is a historically proven phenomenon. It brings them face to face with their oppressors and this teaches them excellent lessons in class education.

Historically the section of student youth has been the organised and dynamic social force. The student youth have and continue to contribute and participate in the revolutionary struggle of our people. It is correct to recognise the necessity for students to organise themselves as students and to define their sector of struggle against the common enemy.

As an integral part of society, the youth section is charged with the specialised task of fulfilling the strategic objectives of the movement with the greater involvement of the youth. It has the responsibility of organising, mobilising and guiding all our youth into participation in the revolutionary struggle of our people.

It does not act as a separate organism but as a reliable reserve and shock force of the movement. Since the growth of the nation lies in the recruitment of new forces, mostly young, the youth section should act as a nursery of the revolutionary upbringing of those who come into the movement.


to be continued .....


* Dr. Dhanabir Laishram wrote this article which was published at Imphal Times
This article was webcasted on May 14 2019.



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