Friday, April 19, 2024

Social policy

In modern times, every state has adopted certain specific social policies in order to fulfill social objectives. These policies reflect the nature and enormity of the problems which hurt general societal interests of individuals and groups. States in developed as well as developing countries have formulated, adopted and implemented social policies to resolve general and specific social problems related to health, education, housing, crime, deviance, delinquency, violence, drug abuse, corruption, moral degeneration, etc. These policies also have focused specifically on the most-suffering social groups such as women and children and on most-crucial social institutions such as family and school. Like many societies, our society at large has developed some crucial problems mainly due to the processes of change and development, especially modernization, urbanization, secularization, educational expansion, demographic transformation, materialistic worldview, social mobility, etc. At the same time, the Naga political issue have exposed our society to phenomena such as violence, crime, deviance-delinquency, social disorganization, etc. These and other social problems have accumulated and accelerated to the maximum extent over the years. It is a fact that in a situation where legal authority and social control become ineffective, there emerges a tendency to validate laws and rules, especially among the youths. That is what has been happening here. Thus a significant number of youths commit minor and major crimes from theft to murder and are neither punished for crime nor stopped to repeat the criminal act. Not many criminals are caught and punished. We have today legitimized corruption and are now considered as one of the most corrupt states in the country. Since the normal social dynamics gets disturbed due to the ongoing Naga issue, undesirable, amoral and illegal activities are carried out without any guilt or feeling in public as well as private life. And one of the most important implications of the situation that we are undergoing over the years has been the breakdown of mental health whose prominent features are stress, anxiety, trauma, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), deprivation, emotional scars, and suicides. The enormity and intensity of these psychological-psychiatric problems is that every family living in the state has developed one or more such problem/s. At the same time, the problem of unemployment has surpassed reasonable limits. And as unemployment increases, so does poverty. As poverty increases, so does the frustration intensify among the local youths? In such a social situation that we are undergoing, people in general and professionals-intellectuals in particular feel trapped in an inferno whose heat increases and intensifies the existing problems. This kind of social environment has led to certain degree of apathy in social life. This has directly given rise to the process of ‘social pathology’ in which most people hardly care for other individuals and groups and think and act for selfish ends only. Indeed most of our people are suffering from one or the other social problem prevalent in the society, and they have not been helped or rehabilitated sufficiently and properly either by the governmental agencies or by the non-governmental organizations. And that has directly contributed to the extremely miserable conditions of these suffering groups. This has given rise to many serious and chronic problems. The increasing intensity of such social problems in the state can easily be characterized as alarming social trends with dangerous consequences for all. In order to control this increasing social inferno, effort should have been initiated long back. But, the crude reality stands that no such efforts have been carried out so far. In fact what is needed immediately is to adopt a comprehensive social policy which will focus on crucial social problems in crucial social sectors. In other words, a comprehensive social policy has to be formulated, adopted through various social agencies and implemented through various programmes and schemes in the short-term and long-term planning and perspective. At the same time, the society at large has to initiate its efforts in an organized and systematic way mainly through credible NGOs and other self-help groups. When both, governmental and non-governmental organizations, start their efforts, a relevant and radical change may be observed in the near future.