A lot has changed in India since 2014, since PM Modi won elections and assumed power at the center. Many of his policies and programs are such, that if implemented correctly, they can deliver results like lifting billions of Indians out of poverty and hunger, and give a thrust which can propel India to the much desired ‘double digit’ GDP growth, putting it in the league of developed countries. However he has ‘compulsions’ of electoral politics as the leader of his party, which includes not taking a stand on some issues, pandering to specific social groups, etc. But he needs to make sure, India doesn’t have to pay the cost. Hence, urgent action needs to be taken on the following 5 issues:
1- We all see how there is rampant discrimination between employees of private sector and public sector organizations, and between those working in organized and unorganized sectors. There is a huge gap between their salaries, conditions of work, facilities provided by the employer, behavior of the employer, retirement benefits, job security etc. Sometimes, it is seen that 2 people doing the same work in different sectors, have a vast disparity between the respective amounts of their salaries. When some people working really hard don’t even get respectable minimum wages on time, and see some others around them getting much more than they deserve, there is bound to be displeasure. Also, conventional jobs are fast disappearing, and with India’s bulging youth population, unemployment can create a havoc, as misguided youth are very likely to indulge in destructive, anti-social and anti-national activities. Hence, every youth eligible to enter the workforce, needs to be provided adequate employment.
2- Reservations is another issue which is creating divide between people on caste lines, instigating many caste groups for violence due to anger and discontentment against it and its implementation, and demand for their caste to be given reservations. Eg. Patidars in Gujarat and Jats in Haryana. Sadly, all political parties have deliberately and repeatedly brushing it under the carpet, as the don’t want to lose votes of specific castes. However, they forget that the constituent assembly under Dr. Ambedkar had stated that the provision was subject to review after 10 years of its implementation. 70 years have passed, without any review of the policy. In fact, even the poor people who’s caste comes under reserved category, are not getting any benefits due to this. To assume that all within general category, are born rich, is downright discrimination, and reverse discrimination cannot be the answer to discrimination.
3- Following up on the above points, there are other kinds of discrimination which needs to be ended. Here we are talking about discrimination based on caste, religion, social status, skin color, gender, age, physical ability and all other such attributes. Sometimes the discrimination is social, done by the people, either knowingly or unknowingly. Sometimes it is done by the government, its agencies like police and administration, and even the courts. Discrimination by the government is often influenced by ideology of the political party, which is in power. Big electoral reforms are needed to curb this. Police and administration are known to take sides based on social status of the accused and the victim. Thus, Police and administrative reforms are the need of the hour. Implementation of Police reforms is pending since 2006, when supreme court had ordered to implement them. Some recent judgements of the court have also been perceived by many, to be against the festivals of a particular community. Reforms like transparency in judicial appointments, decreasing pendency must be done by the collegium, as they have challenged the constitutional validity of NJAC. When it comes to people, they also have prejudices, due to misinformation instilled into them from various sources.
We’re sure that PM Modi, being the shrewd politician that he is, must be keeping a watch on every issue, and would like to wait for what he thinks would be the ‘right time’ to act on such issues. But we at The Youth, feel that the time is right to act on these 3 issues, otherwise few years down the line, India might be staring at a ‘Civil War’ like situation. We must also say, that people must not expect the government to do everything. Some of the above issues can be addressed by us, if we take collective action as a society, and be patient about the results.
(The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect The Youth)