In the blockbuster Hindi movie DDLJ, the heroine is deeply in love with a guy against the wishes of her father. Her mother is afraid of her husband’s retribution and advises the two lovers to elope. But the hero, who is equanimous and noble, tells her that the path suggested by her appears easy but it would lead them nowhere. He would rather prefer the path of courage, honesty and integrity which though arduous definitely leads to the desired destination.
Swami Jagadatmananda in his famous work “Learn to Live” extolled the readers – the sincerity and honesty of the means to achieve a goal is equally important as the goal itself.
Historically, our governments have however usually not concurred with this thought. They have rather preferred to take the easy road.
Three years ago, the government banned the condom TV commercials between 6AM to 10PM. The right path would have been to discuss the issue with the latex manufacturers and marketers to make commercials educative and plain, rather than seductive. The effort complemented with a mandate all schools to educate children (12yr and above) about safe sex could have yielded many positive results; reduction in cases of rape by juveniles being one of them.
A couple of summers ago, I visited a cricket coaching camp in south west Delhi. The visit was both motivating and shocking at the same time. Motivating because 60 odd children, aged 12-17yr and attired in proper white cricketing gears, were slogging in 42°C temperature. Some parents were also waiting on the sidelines. Most of these aspiring cricketers were from lower middle class families. Their parents could hardly afford the cost of proper gears and coaching fee. Speaking to some of these children, I realized that playing IPL and make tons of money, is latest dream career for many children these days. The shocking part was that none of the children or parents appeared to have a Plan B in place.
Last year I highlighted that a lot of new age businesses and start ups in India may be mere adaptations of the successful global business models, lacking in innovation and sustainability. The palpable idea behind most of these businesses also appears imitation of global practice of “create and sell”.
I would refrain from commenting on appropriateness, or otherwise, of this practice of cloning; but I must say that a large majority of these imitated ventures are most likely to fail, making life miserable for the employees, the entrepreneur and in some cases the financiers also. It is only a matter of time when there will be no place left in the junk yard and sale of anti depressants would have risen exponentially.
It is unfortunate to note that our policymakers are mostly indifferent to this problem. They urgently need to recognize that a resource starved economy like ours can hardly afford the “start up” failure rates of developed countries. Each failed business not only losses its own capital, it blocks the path for some other genuine ideas also.
The worst part is that that the reset initiated by the global financial crisis and pushed further by demonetization, GST, IBC, COVID-19 etc, is bringing the hordes of traditional businesses to the junk yard every day. New businesses joining this race will only compound the problem manifold.
Few days ago, I drew attention of readers towards the fact of rising cases of suicide by disillusioned youth. Spread and popularity of electronic and digital media has lured many young people to choose performing arts or sports as preferred career options. Consequently there is huge supply demand mismatch. Variety of sports leagues, web series, TV serials, movies, standup comedy shows, realty shows etc can accommodate only a limited number of performers/players. Tik Tok, YouTube, etc could also become a medium of regular earnings only for a few thousands. The millions others will unfortunately end up miserable.
We have heard sorry tales of hundreds of talented people working hard and struggling to become successful in Bollywood; engineering, medical or civil services failing to find success. Some of them resigned and ended their lives. But here we are talking about millions of unsuccessful people. Close your eyes and reflect for few seconds to understand what I am trying to say. After TB and Diabetic capital of the world; India certainly does not need the title of suicide capital of the world.
I am not concerned about the ban on platforms like Tik Tok etc. Given the number of people who are eager to use this kind of platform to demonstrate their talent or skill or illusion of that, twenty new platform will rise in no time. What I am worried about is that the government does not have any policy to engage the youth in the nation building effort.
I suggest that the government must on top priority basis prepare a comprehensive strategy for engaging youth in the nation development endeavor. A nationwide MNREGA type scheme must be launched for youth, whereby they could be engaged in the socially useful productive work (SUPW). Millions of jobs like traffic management, night patrolling in areas susceptible to crime against women, enforcement of cleanliness of public areas, old age care, social forestry, teaching & skilling to unschooled, etc could be assigned to the youth not having a regular job. This shall help in developing of a sense of nationalism, belongingness, and responsibility amongst youth, besides keeping them occupied in productive jobs rather than leaving them on their own to waste time or take to the path of crime and unlawful activities.