Monday, July 15, 2024

Our problems

We know that innovation is an important aspect of democracy. The most important part in any democratic set up is that how the basic issues of the people are accessed, assessed and addressed. Our state has faced this problem the most as there exist a big gap between the ruled and the rulers. Undoubtedly, the elected representatives have a clear responsibility to do the things that their constituents want, but over the decades it has been observed that the ruling classes have ignored this vital concept of connect with the masses. It is perhaps because of this gap that the current situation in the state has arisen. This situation is quite threatening for the very democratic fabric of the state. It is a fact that democracy means listening to the people at their doorsteps, understanding the circumstances in which they are living, feeling a pinch of the difficulties that impact their lives, and finding a way out of it. This involves listening not just to people in the towns or those living in the district headquarters alone but even those in remote villages. This is so because the problems in villages exist in plenty. There can be area and demography specific problems particularly in the case of the people living in remote areas whose connectivity problem is acute than few others, or for that matter such areas are having health and educational facilities far away from their reach. But there are some common problems too, like there is no regular water and power supply. The standing electric poles with no current running in them make a mockery of the electricity to every home and village in the state. While papers in the secretariat and other government offices might be full of the success stories, but the situation on the ground is different. There are multiple issues that the bureaucratic system wants to hide to cover its failures, but when they are made to visit the villages and report on their problems, there is a little room left for their maneuvering. At the same time, listening to the people about their problems give a sense to the people that they have a voice and that is heard out. All this gives a sense of empowerment to the people, a crucial and critical element in the grassroots democracy. And there is no doubt that our state is trapped in acute economic crisis precisely due to disconnect between the gross-root/ masses and the governance, the development administration. Take for instance, the agrarian economy of the state, which has noticeably shrunk and is devoid of generating wage-employment and sustainable income so much so it emerges a losing venture. The structural change demonstrates the consistent decline of average size of holding that cannot provide bare subsistence to cultivating households. No wonder, rural populations are migrating to urban areas in large scale in search of livelihood, which had again created more problems not just in the rural areas but in the urban areas too. It is a fact that our state is suffering from a poor index on one of the biggest economic indicators – employment. Lack of a developed corporate establishment, absence of micro and small enterprises, limited opportunities and the infection of corruption in our government sector job arena and an unstable political condition are some of the most obvious causes. While the state is preoccupied with quantitative expansion of higher education institutions, the employability of educated manpower produced in these institutions remains a pressing problem. Today there is high rural and urban unemployment. This unemployment situation has resulted in such a chaos and confusion among our educated youth that whenever a job vacancy is advertised, be it in private or public sector, young boys and girls throng the venue in unbelievably huge numbers. Candidates with doctorates are seen applying for clerical posts. All this is a consequence of limited job opportunities; a candidate with a doctorate degree and a number of publications is unsure of getting a job in a university or a college given the prevailing job crunch. On the other hand entrepreneurship promotion and training programmes hardly demonstrate physical outcomes visible on the ground. Those at the helm must act before the situation gets out of hand.