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            It is really a matter of raising your anger! At a time when several organizations are demanding, protesting and working out other ways to bring the matter to the notice of the government towards the unemployment situation and urging it to device some immediate way out; if someone says that Asom is unemployment-free, won’t it strike your veins? Various Colleges, Universities, ITIs, Computer Institutes, etc have been providing thousands of literates. Are they enough lucky to have a job? How many of them do get jobs? Some of them have crossed the upper-age limit for working while searching for a government job. No jobs still. Many who had thought of educating their children and grow them up into established beings are themselves losing their love for the world. Many others who had kept aside from unflurring the ‘Gamosa of Love’ woven with their lovers waiting for a job are today seeing their lovers as a helping hand for some other household! After having a degree, still others had roamed vigorously searching for a job and on getting a failure adopted ‘other means’ but still in vain, no jobs! No way of establishing oneself. Will it then be correct to say that there is no unemployment in Asom?  The number of actual unemployed youths rather than the few registered ones has become an issue of consideration for critics, socially active people. But on seeing a bunch of youths or their style of living, clothing, behaviour it becomes almost impossible to say that they are unemployed. Their life gets trapped between a free meal in their fathers’ hotel, mobile phone of a latest model and a stylish bike. No dreams, no planning for future and no readiness for hard work. But is it life?

            Many who come for business in Asom from outside say- it is very easy to earn in Asom than other parts of the nation. Just before our very eyes people of other states are earning their living and leading a peaceful life by their hard work. And we? We are approaching them happy heartedly for funds for our committees and clubs which we require in meetings, protests, processions or bihu and pujas. The inevitable truth is taking a dangerous shave from us- ‘If we cannot afford it, they can keep on giving funds and donations for our meetings, bihu functions, large public meetings, public meals, Delhi tours, Dispur tours, Asom-bandhs, District-bandhs, Municipal-bandhs, etc. And the dream of a self established, beautiful and cultured Asom gets crushed!

            I recall, when I was studying in the University we had to go to Bombay (presently Mumbai) for training session in a multi-medicine production company. That is about twenty years ago from now. Not going for the strict rules and regulations, discipline (a worker who is to come at 8 am will not be allowed to enter even if he is only five minutes late) I rather recall a common businessman. Once, only for a day, I didn’t go to my work-place due to physical weakness. My three colleagues went out early in the morning. Four of us stay in the small room of the hotel. Lunch is generally offered in our workplace. So we had only to dine in some good restaurant. That day I woke up late in the morning because I was having a fever. Hungry stomach- I cannot afford the costly meal of the hotel. So I got down. I bought some bread and fullmoons and as I was to pay the small shop-owner said- ‘Kiu Bhaiya, Aap Aavi Yeha? Duty Pe Nehi Giya?’ (Brother, you? At this time? Here? Did not you go to work today?) I replied- ‘I am unwell. So thought of taking a little rest.’ At that moment the face of the man selling bread, omlette, fullmoon bore a surprised look, as if he had seen the eighth wonder of the world. Can anyone stay away from work for such a minor illness? May be it is the custom of work. While I was writing this story (about 11 pm) the three boys came in. I forgot that I had given a contract of making new electric connections at our old house to one contractor titled ‘Poddar’. The boys are his. They had finished their work in two rooms and came here to keep their bags and tools! ‘Doota Room Hex Kori Dilu Sir, Etia Jaaogoi.’ (We finished our work in two rooms. We are leaving now.) I am sure- the three boys don’t call for bandhs, neither they give slogans in newspapers, nor do they shout lectures in public meetings; but at no cost they think themselves unemployed. Their salary is ten times that of an electrician doing a government job. The count of people trying to get a government job (even of a peon) by bribing lakhs is far high than people trying to establish themselves with that sum. And this  high count is providing the reason for immigrant businessmen in Asom and releasing the door of curse for our youths looking for success without hard work.

            Recently Bijoy Krishna Handique, the central minister from our state has announced that within 38 months the gas cracker project with be starting with preliminary operations. Three years and two months! May be appointments will be carried out six months beforehand. But do our Asom have enough qualified people (for a big industry qualified technicians is the utmost requirement) to fulfil cent percent requirements of the project? Its certain that there will be protests and discussions but lastly we will have to be satisfied with some third and fourth grade jobs, like most other organizations in Asom! In todays’ life we must be capable to be competitive. For the post a train driver one would appoint only those person who are suitable for the post and there will be competition only between five such person who are more or less capable for it. Only because the train will travel from ‘Lepetkata Station’, a person not capable of driving a train will not get the job of a driver. Hence the unemployed youths of today must try to search for the job oppurtunaties that will come forward after two and a half years and prepare themselves to be fully capable for getting the job. I too have no preparations, no knowledge, no experience but I need jobs- else Asom bandh! In this situation, the probability of neighbouring states snatching such job oppurtunaties is never weak.

            A businessman from the Upper Asom district of Tinsukia while communication with the writer had said- No, there is no Unemployment in Asom! If something is missing it is smart, educated youths with fluency in both English and Assamese. Mechanics? Our own? Nil- no candidates. Forget Chartered Accountants, Is there any candidate for jobs like daily account keeping from Asom? No. Senior Engineers and Officers- Assamese people! Oho- No candidates again! Then where is the unemployment in Asom? All cool, All happy- No hard work, No difficulties!

            This is a bad and sad situation!

            Without hard work and difficulties even Arjuna of Mahabharata would have been the same like others who saw everything except the fish’s eye. But he did not. Even a lot of pressure and clashes could not deflect his aim- And a happy success!

            Only such educated youths who are sharply aimed at their decision could bring success. Reversely saying, even bandhs for all the three hundred and sixty five days of a year if made to happen could not end the problem of unemployment and shortages.

            A few who don’t study, don’t follow discipline, don’t work hard but run holding the back of easy-money could never show their ability and keep on creating the feeling of ‘Asom is unemployment-free.’ And this very feeling is providing an invitation for outsiders here.

            If I do not know to ride the new bike which I bought, it is certain that my neighbour will ask for it and I could not deny him. This law is also applicable for every job appointment!

 This is a translation of the original 'Asomot Nibonua Nai!' by Hridayananda Mahanta in 'Addar Xonali Xapon'

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