India. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, it is one nation. The largest democracy in the world. Ever since India broke free from the British rule in 1947, it has been beseeched by a lot of problems that any new nation faces. However, one of the biggest problems that India has faced since its independence is unemployment.
In 1947, when British India was divided into independent India and Pakistan, both the countries faced unemployment as their biggest problem. With the support of Lord Mountbatten, Jawarhlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India advocated various policies which brought about an employment surge in India. After Nehru’s demise, Lal Bahadur Shastri, took further steps to establish the employment surge in India. He initiated and popularized the ‘white revolution’, operation flood and various other schemes which not only increased the milk production in India but also gave employment to several people.
His motto of “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” (Hail Soldier Hail Farmer) received tremendous support not just from the citizens of India but the opposition as well. The magnitudes of these revolutions were a revolution itself as the employment sector began to grow in India.
In 1947, India’s unemployment rate was a whopping 48% which reduced to 39% in 1965. But in the late 1970s and early 1980s when Indira Gandhi reformed various policies, the employment took a backseat due to various factors such as the Indo-Pak war, Sikh communal riots and declaring of an emergency when the opposition was about to usurp her from the PM seat.
In contrast, when Rajiv Gandhi, after Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984, came to power he started the technological revolution in India and is often credited as the first person to bring the computer technology to India. Though many people thought Rajiv Gandhi, was doing this to please and impress the global leaders, many stood by him, thus making the revolution quite a success. With Vajpayee becoming the prime minister in 1996, India slowly but steadily began to climb the ladder facing upwards which made India a force to reckon with and on par with the rest of the countries in the world.
Today, the unemployment rates in India hovers around the 10-12% mark or maybe even less. But the reality tells a different story all together. Many people live in slum areas, inhabitable and unhygienic conditions that make it unfit for human hygiene. Though people are making efforts to educate and live in better conditions, it will not happen overnight.
If India has to overcome its unemployment problems, then India must be a 100% literate nation, which does not look to happen in the immediate future.