Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Editorial

Social problems

There is an urgent need to adopt certain specific social policies in order to fulfill predetermined social objectives. These policies should reflect the nature and enormity of the problems that hurt the 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 and so on. These policies also have focused specifically on most suffering social groups such as women and children and on most crucial social institutions such as family and school. Like many societies, Naga society at large has developed some crucial problems mainly due to the processes of change and development, especially modernization, urbanization, educational expansion, demographic transformation, materialistic worldview, social mobility and so on. At the same time, the long-term and short-term implications of the unresolved political issue has exposed the society to violence, crime, deviance-delinquency, social disorganization, etc. These and other social problems have accumulated and accelerated to the maximum extent over the years. Obviously in a situation in which legal authority and social control become ineffective, there emerges a tendency to validate laws and rules, especially among the youths. And that is what has been happening here. In the past, Naga society hardly saw any case of minor or major crime being committed or reported. But, the situation has changed radically to such an extent that every kind/type of crime is committed in the state today. Also not many criminals are caught and punished. Another issue is mental health. One of the most important implications of the unresolved Naga issue is 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 almost all family has developed one or more such problem/s. The problem of unemployment has also surpassed reasonable limits here. And as unemployment increases, so does the poverty. As poverty increases, so does the frustration intensify among the local youths? In fact, people in general and professionals-intellectuals in particular today 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 the 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. Keeping in view the increasing intensity of social problems in the state, this situation can easily be characterized as alarming social trends with dangerous consequences for all. In order to control this increasing social inferno, efforts should have been initiated long back. But, the crude reality stands that no such efforts have been carried out so far. As a result, it is tragic to see thousands of youth taking to crime or suffer mentally. It is shocking to observe the pathetic condition of the mentally disturbed without any medical and non-medical help by the state. The point is that despite having such an alarming situation prevailing here, the state has no specific declared social policy in this regard and so has not adopted any specific plan, programme or a scheme to tackle these problems. It appears the state lacks realistic perception perspective of the emerging problems, clearly indicating the casualness of government functionaries. In the context of the situation, 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 (by experts, professionals and bureaucrats), adopted (through various social agencies) and implemented (through various programmes and schemes) in the short-term and long-term planning and perspective. But, at the same time, the society at large also 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, will start their efforts, a relevant and radical change may be observed in the state in the near future.

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