The failure of government policies in recent times has forced India’s youth to come out on roads expressing their angst and unrest.
Right after winning the Lok Sabha elections for the second time with a brute majority in 2019, the BJP government has taken many controversial decisions. At the forefront of the agitation against these decisions are the youth of India. The dissent which directly came from the university students has been creating an alarming situation for our socio-economic structure.
Heads Up! What factors contribute to the unrest among India’s youth
- Rising unemployment rate
- Agrarian crisis and farmer suicides
- Forceful clampdown on dissent
- Divisive policies and politics
Our political culture is continuing in the direction of communal and hatred politics. This is not just dividing the nation but is poisoning the discourse for future generations. Agrarian crisis is also a catalyst in this social unrest. The biggest problem is that of the ‘unemployment’ rate. Furthermore, the rise of brutal communal politics is shaking the roots of democracy and secularism.
Rising Unemployment – If this doesn’t alarm you, then there’s nothing to worry
According to the State of India’s Environment (SoE), the rate of unemployment has gone up from 4 to 7.6 per cent (between May 2017- April 2019). Former President Pranab Mukherjee in 2016 said that most Graduates produced by colleges and universities are ‘unemployed’.
Charts – Rate of Unemployment in India
The National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) job survey for 2017-18 showed that unemployment has peaked to a 45-year high. The worst affected are poor workers from both urban and rural population. India’s labourers still get one of the lowest amounts among countries in a similar phase of development globally.
Agrarian Crisis and Farmer’s Suicides
In the year 2018, at least 10,349 people working in the agricultural sector committed suicide. Every 45-minutes, a farmer commits suicide. But the issue seldom garners the attention of our parliamentarians.
Such is the embarrassment of the agrarian crisis that since 2016, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) under the home ministry stopped providing the information on “Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India”. In fact, India hardly seems to care about its farmers’ well-being.
Gallery: Youth Protests in 2019
Agricultural sector provides employment to 50% of the countries workforce. However, it only accounts for 18 per cent of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). There is immense potential which is lost in political promises and changing governments. The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) which replaced the previous National Agricultural Insurance Scheme in April 2016 looks farmer-friendly on paper. In reality, it profits big corporates.
Protests and Forceful clampdown of dissenters
Reports and claims of human rights violations are no more restricted to volatile border states like J&K and Manipur. The citizens in the mainland finally know what it feels to be in a police state. Protests erupted after the passage of the controversial CAA in the parliament. First Assam boiled and then the volatility spread to other parts of the nation.
In the protests against the CAA, as well as ones before it in 2019 (right to education), the government has been insensitive and apathetic to the democratic right to raise voice. Dissenting students have faced ruthless police action on multiple occasions. CAA has polarized the country and brought students and youth in the line of fire. They see it as a clear violation of India’s constitution.
India’s youth has rejected the idea of divisive and divertive politics
The recent unrest and government’s mismanagement are a rude awakening to the country that voted PM Modi back to office with an unprecedented mandate. Ideological fight has put development and economic progress on the backseat.
Attacks on public universities and especially on minority universities has resulted in a lack of trust. The youth today doesn’t see PM Modi’s BJP government as ideal for a prosperous future. Student movements have been at the forefront of India’s defence against divisive political ploys. The fact that they are being framed as anti-national speaks volumes. It tells us how the incumbent government deals with those not aligned with its ideology.
The unrest among India’s youth will continue until…
The failure of policies in recent times forces the youth to come on roads and bear the brunt of force. Instead of listening to protesters, the government claimed that educated students are fooled by opponent parties. Consequently, it further politicized the movement and tried to delegitimize the angst of the youth.
Instead of listening to protesters, the government claims that educated students are fooled by opposition, in its attempt to delegitimize the angst of the youth.
Youth is the most well-informed and spirited faction of citizens who are not easy to pass over. As portrayed in mainstream media, especially the national news channels, the fight is not ideology vs. ideology. It’s about protecting the fundamental rights. It’s about ensuring that the future of the country does not fall into a communal abyss where abject poverty remains and shackles the voices of the powerless. To this end, the youth of India is at unrest today. And so it shall remain till the threat to the future generations doesn’t exist anymore