A few days back I hit upon a headline blazoned across several newspapers and reported in a number of news channels. The headline was about one of our country’s revered minister’s statement that lack of job opportunities is a good thing as it would encourage India’s youngsters to become self-sufficient by taking up entrepreneurship. This statement was made in the context of the rising unemployment problem in India. First thing I wondered when I read this was, how far removed from ground realities can our netas be?
Let me state one thing at the outset. Becoming self-employed and thereby self-reliant is not everybody’s cup of tea. Consider what it takes to be a businessman. The very first basic requirement is good business acumen. Our ministers should keep in mind that not every youngster is cut out to be a businessman. Yes, I do agree that just like every other portfolio, if a person has the basic skills, in business too, experience and hard work can ensure that a person is successful.
But really, how many of us possess this basic skill in adequate quantities?
Let me take my own example. I can say with certainty that no matter how much training I receive, there is no way I can be an entrepreneur. I am suited to be a regular employee who works for someone and perhaps function in a managerial capacity: but me doing business? It is a big no all long the line. Taking such facts into account, I wonder what the minister had in mind when he made that statement?
Are we to believe that he sincerely feels that the teeming lakhs of unemployed youngsters in this country are bursting to the seams with business skills?
After suitability there is the question of capital. Business ventures are a risk. I know of umpteen starry eyed people who read rags to the riches stories, take heavy loans and start business ventures. Then all hell breaks loose. They find they simply do not have the talent for business. By the time they discover that business is not for them, it is too late. They fall in debt; their creditors hound them and they slide down the path to becoming absolute wrecks.
I am a man who believes in free enterprise. I believe in opportunities for all. But to suggest going into business while talking about unemployment is a bit ridiculous. On the other hand I am not very sure what the minister had in mind when he made that statement. Perhaps all he meant was that lack of jobs would encourage some of our better skilled youngsters to take up entrepreneurship which in turn would be good for the economy.
Whatever be the case, being in a position of responsibility our ministers should make an effort to be careful about the statements they make. To suggest what this particular minister has suggested would only serve to incense long suffering youngsters.
This blog is totally apolitical and I too am apolitical. I don’t usually post on topics that have political overtones. But for once, being a concerned citizen, I felt I should speak up. This post is not intended to hurt anybody’s feelings or in support of or against any political party. I am just writing this because I felt I had to say something.