N.S.Venkataraman for BeyondHeadlines
It looks like an anachronism that comparatively small section of the national population earns huge income month after month, while majority of the population consisting of several millions lives in deep deprivation and uncertainty.
In the national population of around 1200 million, it may be that around 150 million people earn huge income of more than rupees one lakh every month. But, at the same time, leaves those belonging to middle income group, at least 300 million people in the country, live in extreme poverty conditions. This figure of 300 million is more than the population of several countries. Possibly, without receiving the welfare measures from the government, most of these deprived sections in India would have been wiped out.
Governments in India steeped in large scale corruption and under the control of politicians some of whom do not have adequate administrative competence, are simply unable to take the required steps in adequate scale and depth, with honesty and sense of purpose, to lift the poor people in reasonable time from miserable conditions.
On the other hand, fearing the wrath of the poorer segment of population, to keep them in good humor and to buy peace with them, the governments in India have started extending freebies to the deprived sections, to conceal the government’s incompetence and their misdeeds.
Such freebies which are given in the name of welfare measures, really do not help the poor people at all in the long run but only make them remain poor lifelong. Freebies seem to be doing more harm than good for the poorer section of the national population in the long run.
Youth belonging to poor families need to be equipped with the skill and provided with opportunities to improve their life conditions, instead of being bestowed with freebies which amount to make them walk with begging bowl all the time and lifelong.
The objective of the welfare governments should be to work towards generation of wealth and at the same time ensure equitable distribution of wealth to the extent feasible. This would be possible only by the governments investing in productive schemes that will create employment opportunities and provide avenues for growth for the youth.
On the other hand, crores of rupees being spent by the governments on extending freebies such as free television, free cycles, free grinder, free sarees / dhothies etc. really result in diversion of funds that should really be invested in nation building productive schemes and projects.
The ultimate objective of the governments should be oriented towards the massive employment creation at different levels as the central theme. Such goal would inevitably point to the need to implement measures to promote massive schemes for production and in service oriented activities, which would ultimately and inevitably lead to employment generation. Such employment generation would create the demand for people with skills in various activities and functions and such scenario would lead to all round betterment and job creation. This would result in reduction in disparity of income and promote satisfaction.
What the youth need today are not freebies but opportunities for growth. It is pathetic to see millions of young and aspiring students unable to pay their fees for continuing their studies and queuing in employment exchange desperately seeking job opportunities. If they would not be enabled to realize their aspirations, it may end up in massive unrest in the long run, which should be avoided at any cost.
Certainly, the poorer section of the population and the youth are not asking for instant solutions but only ask for hopeful climate for growth and betterment. The grim reality that the governments in India are unable to provide them such conditions is leading to all round frustration and anger.
Today, the employees belonging to government, public sector organizations and some private sector set ups and software companies are paid well. At the same time, millions of people who work in small scale enterprises or belong to unorganized working class or self employed are left to themselves with their problems and are unprotected from the disturbing conditions of increasing price of commodities and services. They are untouched to any significant extent by any improvement in economic conditions happening in the country. Certainly, it is the government’s duty and responsibility to set right such conditions of inequality in income and opportunities on national scale.
The problems of India today are essentially economic problems faced by vast segment of the population. Many consequent social problems arise due to such economic inequalities and miseries faced by more than 300 million people.
In the forthcoming parliamentary poll, at the present critical phase of the nation, people should ask from the leadership of the political parties as to how they would implement adequate and imaginative schemes for giving a big leap forward to the well balanced and growth oriented economic activities in time bound manner. Such demands from people would ensure that the forthcoming parliamentary election would remain focused on healthy debates and it would stay on positive course.