Why Rehbar-i-Taleem is the sole aspirational job of majority of our youth?
POINT OF VIEW
It is great to be a Rehbar-i-Taleem girl in Valley these days. No sooner is she chosen for the job with meagre wages of Rs 2500, her family attracts a beeline of marriage brokers with choicest of suitors. On the other hand, it is other way round for her peers without a government employment of any kind. They struggle for a decent match and pay the brokers to run errands for them.
This is not true alone for the girls who are RTs – short for Rehbar-i-Taleem in the state. RT boys enjoy a similar envious social standing. Like girls, an RT boy, in the vicinity of his locality, becomes the overnight apple of an eye of the scores of distraught parents looking to marry their daughter off. An RT, in case of both the sexes, has become the new Kashmiri passport to a secure life - that of a school teacher. And this job is a truncated version of the government employment of contractual nature with steeply reduced salary. But five years later, the job grows up to be permanent with promise of assured monthly salary until the age of 58.
While India grows and becomes a place churning out a host of creative new jobs for the modern economy, Kashmir remains stuck, in fact going back in time, with RT the sole aspirational job of a majority of its youth. And what is even more galling is that this doesn’t even shock anybody in Valley, nor is it an issue with people, let alone the politicians. In fact, RT and its extensions like RZ (Rehbar-i-Zirat) and RS (Rehbar-e-Sehat) has become symbolic of not only our economic but mental backwardness as well. It shows how much of an un-aspirational society we have become. It also shows Valley as a land of no –opportunity, where the best that a majority of youth can dream of is a lower rung government job – that of a clerk, a teacher, a patwari or even pettier a class IV job.
The government’s new job policy which offers employment to youth on a stipendiary mode takes RT approach to unemployment to a new absurd level. It offers all new recruitment on the more or less RT terms with a paltry interim salary of Rs 3000, of course with promise of regularization after a fixed period. However, it is difficult to fault the government policy beyond a point. This is its political response to the rampant levels of unemployment in the state. But the tragedy is that the response is so bleakly adhocist and shorn of imagination. It is merely an attempt to defer the problem facing it by a few more years but in doing so it is only offering a false panacea to the youth to their search for livelihood. What is more, it again turns them inward rather than outward and ambitious in their outlook.
What is needed is that together with the adhoc response, which can be a political necessity, government really needs to set in motion the policies that act at a more fundamental level and rework the priorities and the outlook of youth - a full-scale reform of the economy and society. Only government is in position to do that. True, Kashmir is not a normal place and the reigning political conflict has hit the youth the most, virtually poisoning their best years of life and reducing their existence to grappling with the fears and uncertainties of the everyday life in Kashmir. But at the same time, youth have also let the conflict become an excuse and circumscribe their world. The size of their dream is RT big. And this is suicidal not only for their own future but also for the idea or the political cause they espouse.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 27 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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