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Views & Reviews

Today As I Went to the Polling Station

By EMN Updated: Feb 27, 2018 9:50 pm

Just standing in the queue for hours, observing the enthusiastic voters, we come to realise that most voters aren’t voting for better roads, development, better healthcare system, infrastructure or development. Majority of the voters are there with the hope to secure a livelihood. Three types of people caught my attention:
1. Old parents especially mothers standing in the queue with the hope that if their candidate comes to power, the candidate will help their sons or daughters secure some job in the Government.
2. The candidates will come like MLA’s with bodyguards and filling up the entire scene with the VIP aura even before they are MLA’s, socializing with important people in the queue, entering the booth and making their presence felt.
3. Young boys mostly in their 20’s, truly very smart, intelligent and educated following the footsteps of the politicians and their followers with the hope that the candidate will give them some job or small contract work.
Many of them must’ve graduated but because there are no employment opportunities unless one is well connected with bureaucrats or politicians or dare to go out of the State looking for a job, they are stuck in this sad situation. And it is extremely rare for a highly educated youth to engage himself in farming or labour work in construction although this trend is picking up in small ways. And since most of us have absolutely no experience in entrepreneurship, commerce and trade, there is little success rate in Nagas taking up businesses and competing in the open market.
Thousands of Nagas graduating at the age of 21-22-23 will not get a job. They will mostly stay at home or go to Delhi, spend more money to take up coaching for NPSC/UPSC. While in the cities, people are so fortunate as companies come to colleges for campus hiring or fresh grads go to companies with resumes and get one job or the other.
By the age of 30, the Naga boy will still be appearing NPSC/UPSC and is still unemployed while the mainland boy will be a manager or senior manager level by the age of 30 earning minimum of Rs.50,000 per month. The Naga boy instead of earning will spending spending Rs.15-20,000 of their parents money every month.
For the thousands of youths, we Nagas are losing out on the most critically productive youthful age (18-30+) of our lives by remaining unproductive.
And during elections, corrupted politicians led by their equally greedy honchos will take advantage of our youths and the needy families by throwing money, alcohol at them with great promises in exchange for votes. The concept of the western democratic elections doesn’t work in a society like ours where majority of the people are still living hand to mouth and our traditional system of selecting our council members becomes incompatible with the electioneering system.
At many polling stations, it is heart breaking to see many youths who look like they’ve been drinking continuously for several nights. During elections, these guys are made to feel important and enjoy the merry making where the alcohol will inflate their tiny hearts with stupidity(Mistaken for bravery) and start the quarrels, fights with the opponent candidate’s gangs.
Families will fight with each other, neighbours become strangers and childhood friends become enemies. All for what? To make the already rich and corrupted, even more richer and more corrupted.
After sacrificing their lives for the candidates, do you think the candidate or their families will even remember these boys after a year or two?
Even if I write endlessly on facebook or newspaper, only the decent educated ones will read and understand. The real people out there will continue this vicious cycle until we are doomed.
In our own ways, let’s give our best to create as many “sustainable” and quality job opportunities in the private sector because every single youth you create livelihood for, will go a long way towards reducing the number of bitter, frustrated unemployed youths in this region of the country thereby reducing the violence, anti-social activities, corruption and will ultimately bring the much needed progress and prosperity in our region. An idle mind is the workshop of the devil, let us keep our youths busy in positive, productive activities.
We must immediately work towards creating a conducive environment for attracting quality investments in focus areas where our strength lies to immediately work out policies and start creating jobs in these sectors! In the next 10 years, the target of the Government should be to generate minimum of 20-30,000 jobs in the private sector with the most attractive policies to attract the right investors and companies to set up here in Nagaland.
Until the day, we create employment & livelihood for the thousands of angry, frustrated and bitter youths, the dream of clean election, progress and development is far fetched.

Yanpvuo Kikon

By EMN Updated: Feb 27, 2018 9:50:40 pm