Why and what drives them to such drastic steps?
Idealism of the youth confronts the gross realities of corruption and fall in governance standards. The issues are complex and they invite an in-depth debate!
India is a country with a lot of aspirational youth. We say we are a young nation. There are millions of aspirations in every one of the youngsters. In sports too, P.V.Sindhu and other women athletes have come to catch our imagination as a successful nation of achievers. And when it comes to education attainments and jobs and careers there is such a vast pool of talents in diverse fields and employment opportunities are also emerging in diverse fields.
Our very education has been turned into commercial hubs and the very many career training institutes have completely changed the educational goals. India has a history of job seeking education and that is how the Macaulay Ghost has come to symbolize all that is good and equally bad in our national trait and character. And Indians were also turned into low-aspiring clerical careers and that is one reason why we are still a nation of job seekers at all times.
In this long history of serfdom and low aspirations, the one career much sought after was once the ICS career and now the IAS. How many IAS training Academies are there? May be as there are any numbers of small and big streets where you can spot an IAS training Academy! In this heaven-born IAS Academy are made the current crop of youngsters. It is a welcome development but there are critical issues.
Recently some four or more young and aspiring and idealistic IAS officers in their start of their careers suddenly came forward and resigned their jobs! This made headline news!
When education has become a trade and an outright business where you see in many of the prominent universities, as in TN, degrees are for sale and no more education qualification is taken seriously, what sort of idealism you can see in youngsters?
First it started with engineering colleges in the state where there are even now more than 500 odd colleges of this poor quality where the degrees go a begging! Next, big corruption scandal in education may very well be in the much more lucrative medical education sector! The latest resignations of young IAS officers in Karnataka and elsewhere show the undercurrents of large scale corruption in administration and politics.
Now, the new recruits in the IAS cadre, one can imagine, might very well face the many hurdles like political interference. For those of us who live in the villages or in touch with rural India, the first thing a new IAS recruit is likely to face is about dispensing with favors with the rural realities. There is outright corruption in some states, outright in the sense; the district Collector – the supposed boss has to interact with the district level political boss.
Only those who had lived and interacted with these political strong men would realize that even if you are an IAS in the administrative hierarchy you have to take orders from the political bosses, sometimes the very minister representing the district, or his party colleague as secretary or even at the still lower level the minister has to interact with the political party cadres who make a combination of the good, not so good or plain undesirables in the traditional society.
Once the district level officials, be they the revenue or police or other sectors. Even here, there is the block development officer who is running the local government agencies like allocation of funds to develop the roads, electric supply or drinking water; these are all at the mercy of the Collector.
The IAS, we are sure very well will soon learn to bend and oblige some unreasonable requests, most often these requests for favor would be unreasonable, sometimes, plain corruption! How, then the idealistic new IAS recruit, as found in the just resigned ones who said that they came into the service with the building blocks of democracy and democratic institutions would function as they expected but alas! They soon realize they have to turn a blind eye! May be many IAS recruits might soon learn to fall in line! But surely there would be a few idealists who might consider giving up altogether these sorts of corrupt practices.
So, to cut the story short, there would be more and more heartburns and the society might see more of the breakdown of law and order, more resorts to more corrupt practices. TN is one state where we have seen Chief Ministers climbing up the steps of courts of law and also spending time in jails. So, education is now no more than exclusive domain for exclusive experts. Education is now part of the larger democratic practices.
Populist politics has taken a toll of all values of truth and honesty and had become another form of social corruption. You enter an education portal with a bundle of currency to pay a bribe, yes, let us be honest enough to call this a bribe and what is the use to cite valuable statistics on education progress.
Unemployment is very high now. 2.5 million jobs are vacant and everywhere there is this cry of too many job seekers changing the vacancies from teachers jobs to various private and public and government jobs.