One of the grimmest problems facing the country is that of mass unemployment, especially among the educated young men. The main cause of this appalling social disaster is the cheap production of graduates by our universities. Unless our present system of university education by radically changed, a possible solution of our tragic unemployment problem seems very remote.
Unemployment is a universal disease and all the capitalist countries seem to be suffering from it more or less. With the progress to mechanized civilization, the problem of unemployment is becoming very acute. In the good old days, when the world did not suffer from over-population and man lived in the lap of nature, there was hardly a healthy person who was not employed in some work as the other. Unemployment is the curse of modern civilization.
Although India’s Five-Year-Plans have provided employment to millions of people, poverty and unemployment still stare in the face of millions of others. This is a legacy of the past. We, who have been downtrodden and exploited for the benefits of the British people, still suffer from the wounds inflicted upon us. The root cause lies in a catastrophe in economic equilibrium due to two hundred years of British rule which exploited the natural resources of the country to its own advantage. Our industrial and agricultural development was retarded and thrown completely out of gear. The problem is so serious that we cannot solve it over night by magic. Patience, hard work and co-operation are all very essential for the re-construction of a nation that has tasted a prolonged period of slavery.
The growing population of India is baffling the best brains of India. Production is not keeping pace with our population. Industries have not opened sufficient new avenues for employing people. Consequently, there is an increasing pressure on the agriculture, and at present India has more mouths than can be fed. Then, how to check the growth of births ? Graphically it is on an ascending scale. So we need planned parenthood or family planning as it is often suggested. We need under the present circumstances family spacing to check the rate of birth and regulate population. We, should try to maintain the uniformity in the size of the average family.
The faulty system of education in India has increased the number of unemployed among the educated classes. There are not enough posts to be filled up by those who clamor for employment. The universities have turning out a mushroom growth of graduates who have no definite goal before them. They detest their ancestral manual labour in farms and factories. The educational system needs a radical change. The whole set-up is at present basically wrong. It should aim at imparting technical and specialized training to young men so that they may help to augment the wealth of the nation and make the nation building plans a success. We do not require day—dreamers. We need today such education as may stand them in good stead in farms, in factories and in so many nation-building projects. Education should be practical and vocational.
Then, our agricultural industry being a seasonal one provides employment only for a few months of the year. Thus, most of the agricultural labour remains unemployed for the rest of the period. Hence, our agricultural policy needs an over-hauling.
Again, due to an unprecedented slump in markets a crisis of social relation has ensued. There exists a conflict between the power of capital and power of labour. Workers are facing imminent danger of being thrown out of employment because there is no work for them in the slump period. We need today a balanced economy. Agricultural and industrial potentials should be developed band and glove. At the same time there should be an integrated economy for the development of village and small-scale industries to provide gainful occupation to the country’s large population.
Abolition of machinery, as conceived by Mahatma Gandhi, is no solution to the problem of unemployment. First the population should be controlled because it is increasing beyond expectations: .Secondly, cottage industries should be established in the form of a network. Thirdly, means of communication should be improved. Fourthly, technical education should be given preference to literary education. Fifthly, ceiling on land should be brought into force as early as possible and the extra land should be distributed among the landless who could utilize it more profitably. Lastly, a radical change should be brought about in the outlook of the boys and girls by inculcating the dignity of labour in them so that they may give up their love for clerical jobs and feel attracted towards manual labour. This change in our mentality is urgently needed.
The working of Employment Exchanges should be regulated. It should be made an institution to provide relief to the unemployed and be empowered to force employees to engage persons recommended by them.
The salvation of India lies in giving employment to every unemployed Indian, old or young, uneducated or educated, and in bringing every it of land under the plough. All this needs planning and hard work. The young men and women of today should join hands to bring about a revolution based on co-operation. This will change the face of our ancient land where once poverty was unknown. Let us spare no pains to bring back glory to our land and prosperity to our people by providing employment to all.