A BASIC RIGHT

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 Dec 2017 10:18:22

THE Rajya Sabha might have rejected a private member Bill seeking to make employment a fundamental right for ever citizen above the age of 18, but the fact that the situation on the job front calls for such a law, cannot be denied by anybody. The Government also did not deny the reality on the ground but insisted that it had well-drafted policies to create jobs for all and therefore there was no need for any special arrangement in the Constitution. To that extent, the Government saved an embarrassment for itself when the private member Bill got defeated only narrowly when division was called. Yet, the Bill did make a pertinent point that employment is still a very serious challenge before the country seventy years after Independence.

Every successive Government at the Centre has made such promises on the job front. Despite that, the country has continued to face the stiff challenge of massive unemployment since Independence. The percentage of unemployed people in the country might have varied from time to time, but factually millions of people remain without a gainful employment that would make their comfortable. Several reasons have been cited for this condition, but the Government -- belonging to any party -- does not seem to have effective ways and means to tackle the issue. That may be so because there is no appropriate political will to combat the problem.

This may appear to be a rather serious charge against the Government, but experience of decades shows that the people heading the Government or running the administration have not paid adequate attention to the issue of creation of credible employment. They have devised various definitions of employment, one of them being having a gainful job for 100 days in a year. But such definitions seem to have been put up only to confuse the common people and stave off the tension at least temporarily. This situation calls for a very serious and concerted effort on the part of the Government as well as private sector to see that the nation gets rid of the menace of unemployed people. The problem is really serious and needs an equally serious and well-thought response.No sham can be tolerated in this regard.