Hundreds upon thousands of tweets flooded Twitter on Thursday with the youth demanding jobs using hashtags like #modi_job_do and #मोदी_रोजगार_दो. Aside from the hashtags – the former has over five and a half million tweets and quickly rising – other keywords like ‘Timely Results’, ‘Increase Vacancies’, ‘Timely Exam’ and ‘Reform in EXAM’ are also trending with the youth registering their grievances on a platform which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and the party’s IT cell have gamed far too often.
According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s (CMIE) tracker the unemployment rate in the country as of February 24 (Wednesday) was 7.0%. The urban rate of unemployment was at 7.3% while the same figure for the rural areas was 6.8%.
The unemployment rate touched record highs over the past year, especially in the months immediately following a nationwide lockdown announced at a four-hour notice in light of COVID-19 on March 24 last year. While it has recovered since the numbers are still staggering given that India has a workforce of about 50 crore people according to latest estimates.
Look past the memes and the jibes being taken at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter this afternoon and the picture that emerges is of a desperate young country clamouring for jobs at a time when the economy is already staggering and stuttering forward.
About one out of every five workers from the informal sector are either out of the labour market or are currently unemployed, a survey by the Azim Premji University for the post-lockdown October-December 2020 period had recently said.
With contractual jobs on the rise and companies laying off employees over the past year, the uncertainty around securing a decent future is making itself heard now.
Here are a few tweets from the hashtags:
The students and the youth have also not forgotten the fact that the mainstream media, which latches onto any trending hashtag to concoct a ‘news story’ out of it, has kept mum on the unemployment and jobs front.