India’s unemployment rate is the highest since the 1970s, according to a leaked government jobs report this year.
The BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had jobs and urbanisation at the centre of its policy pitch in 2014. Bharatiya Janata Party’s manifesto five years ago read, that it aimed to create two crore jobs every year as part of an economic development programme that could create 100 new ‘smart’ cities.
However, today the ruling government or their spokespersons have no reply whatsoever. In a recent TV9 channel live debate, a young boy literally left BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra speechless. In response to Sambit not speaking on real issues, the boy lashed out at him saying:
“You spoke for 44-min but did not utter a single word on education and health. You (BJP) have gainfully employed the youth today, Chai (sell tea) in morning, Pakoda (fry indian snacks) in afternoon and Chowkidari (become a guard) at night. Shall we go to vote in the Sauchalaya (toilets) this time?”
The boy further mocks the BJP spokesperson that he even recited a poetry during the debate, but has no reply on jobs and employment for the youth of the country. Patra, also BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Puri (Odisha), was unable to answer anything concrete on creation of jobs and merely repeated how the use of phrase “going to toilet for voting” was incorrect.
However later, when the crowd insisted that Patra must not deviate and focus on speaking about real issues, he was forced to talk about Ayushman Bharat, a scheme repackaged by Narendra Modi government.
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The angst of the youth in India seems to have crossed all limits and they are in no mood to accept any more false marketing and branding from BJP which deflects from real core issues on ground.
The country’s unemployment rate – 6.1% – is the highest it has been since 1972-73, the earliest year for which comparable data is available. This is according to the recent employment survey, which was leaked to The Business Standard newspaper, after the government refused to release it.
On its own, an unemployment rate of 6.1% may not sound too dire, until you consider that in 2011-12, it was just 2.2%. And it’s particularly high among people between 15 and 29 years – in urban India, 18.7% of men and 27.2% of women in this age group are looking for jobs, while in rural India, its 17.4% and 13.6% respectively.