By Devika Bedi
As a reaction to PM Modi’s comments in the interview aired recently, students belonging to a forum called Karnataka for Employment (KFE) protested outside Bharatiya Janata Party’s office. Modi, in his interview, had classified that those selling pakoras having daily earnings of 200 rupees are rightfully employed. “If there is someone outside your studio selling pakoras and has a daily wage of rupees 200, will you not see him as an employed person?”, PM asked the TV anchor.
The real question
There are many people in the national capital who sell pakoras at odd, temporary shacks. Their daily wages range between 200-500 rupees. Recent comments from the Indian Prime Minister has, by large, nullified the debate of employment and fiscal security. Reacting to this, former Union finance minister P. Chidambaram has tweeted saying “BJP should not distort and deflect the debate on jobs. BJP should tell us how many regular jobs were created in the last three years.” He has gone ahead accusing BJP lead Narendra Modi of being “the master of distortion and deception“. It appears that, what is being considered as employment by our PM, may actually be an alternative to the lack of livelihood. The condition of being hand-to-mouth cannot be compared to the satisfaction and freedom of real employment of the organised sector.
Manish Tiwari has also lashed out at the ruling party, tweeting “MBAs & LLBs are queuing up to become peons & the Hon’ble Prime Minister is telling us that his government has created jobs. No wonder he believes that selling pakoras is a regular decent job.”
“No job, no vote”
The protestants in Bengaluru, dressed in blue and white, are symbolising the growing number of the unemployed populace in the nation. The members of KFE have termed the leader’s comments as “arrogant” in nature. Mutturaj, convenor of the movement, said Mr Modi had made “a mockery of those eking out a living as street vendors”. The organisation stands by advocating employment generation and has recently sought a meeting with Mr Modi. The leader will be on his tour to the city next month on 4th February where KFE has planned to present to him their “youth manifesto”, under which employment generation is also included. Additionally, the organisation has been conducting advocacy campaigns throughout the state with slogans of “No job, No vote” aimed at the upcoming state assembly elections of Karnataka.
Taking the number with a pinch of salt
The recent Economic Survey for 2017-2018 gives mixed signals about the state of our economy and job generation in the future. Recently, claims have been made that India has generated seven million jobs per annum with 6.6 million skilled people entering the workforce. With a nation whose economy reaches $2.5 trillion, such estimates can be misleading and misinforming. The recent rhetoric of seven million is rooted in EPFO (Employment Provident Fund Organization) and does not include those coming in the informal sector.
According to a research by Delhi based think tank CSDS (Center for Studies for Developing Societies), wages per capita is decreasing and has become the dominant electoral agenda. Finding a regular and sustainable job has become the talk of the town. The young, in spite of being upbeat with the changing trends, are stuck in stark polar dissimilarity between the politically driven economy in the nation. It is high time the PM is sensitised about its large youth population, rather than making arrogant remarks on national television.
Featured Image Source: Pixabay
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