India has been reeling under economic slowdown since the Modi 2.0 government took over the regime in 2019. This has only become worse given the global pandemic and lockdowns in 2020. The economy had just started to take a slight heave of respite after the nation unlocked that it was further struck with unemployment and the 2nd wave of coronavirus. Many are yet to get back their jobs which they lost during the lockdown and the number of youth lying unemployed is increasing drastically. As if all this was not enough to be managed, the government further came up with the new Amended Labour Laws which has now become another issue for protests and unrest. With the May Day approaching, which celebrates the long struggle for an eight-hour working day won in 1889, there is nothing much sense in observing the day in India today. The new labour code today demolishes all the rights for the toiling masses that were achieved after long struggles and sacrifices. Now jobs are scarce, working hours are limitless, salaries are reduced and all that – if only there is a job in the first place.
The policies set forth by the NDA for the last few years have miserably failed to address the core issues of unemployment and income generation. The Make in India, AtmaNirbhar, etc look solid and all glittery on paper but in ground reality have not been able to make any difference in the ever depreciating economy of the nation. In February 2021 the unemployment rose to 6.53 percent and in March further escalated to 6.9 percent according to latest data released by private Think Tank Centre for monitoring Indian economy – CMIE. All the political parties are planking on the unemployment issue but none, as of yet, have any concrete plan to address it. The NDA who has been ruling the nation for over 6 years now seems to have no clue in managing the problem and rather have asked the youth to be ‘AtmaNirbhar’. However, the main problem with the all ‘AtmaNirbhar’ concept is – How? One section of the people has lost their jobs and others are in search of one and with the government sitting helplessly at the Centre and the state, there is not much that can be done about the situation.
As far as the private sector is concerned, the majority lot is busy exploiting its workforce taking advantage of the chaotic period. Post lockdown, many companies refused to take back employees and cut wages, increasing working hours of those who remained. A vast number of small industries and business establishments down their shutters for good as the pandemic and economic slowdown hit them hard. As a last ditch effort the Union government is trying its best to woo big businessmen and industrialists to help it get out of this tough economic position. This may explain the government’s tough stance on farm and labour laws, both of which majorly help private entities. With unemployment rising everyday and no sight of the economy becoming better in the coming days, India is heading for a very dark future. It is high time that the government, leaders, bureaucrats, policy makers, among others come with a plan of action to rescue the nation.