Shillong: Politicians battling it out with no holds barred has been the hallmark of Meghalaya’s political history. Seldom have they got together to work on genuine issues bothering the people. This has been the story in other states in the North East as well.
Many important issues like unemployment have been hardly addressed in the process. Even if some measures were taken, they followed the usual policies and pick and choose and adhocism. And there was the usual menace – corruption.
The BJP now says if elected to power after February 27 polls, it will establish the much-needed Meghalaya Combined Recruitment Commission and expedite filling vacancies in different Government departments.
Meghalaya BJP spokesperson M Kharkrang, a former IPS officer, said Meghalaya is the only state conducting recruitment interviews for Grade IV posts. Of course, what he has shown is only the tip of the iceberg of the problem. Kharkrang is also the saffron party candidate for the prestigious Shillong North assembly constituency.
Needless to add, all candidates and irrespective of party affiliations, now raise the issue of unemployment. Individually several candidates in Meghalaya have their own way of diagnosis and even offering remedial measures.
L. Michael Kharsyntiew, who was interested in the BJP ticket from Shillong North, says, “No developing society or a nation in the modern world is only looking for Government jobs”.
“We have a very long line of international border with Bangladesh. We have so many forest and horticulture products. Khasia pan from Meghalaya is sold in London by Bangladeshi businessmen. These avenues need to be tapped”.
Congress candidate from East Shillong Manuel Badwar, 42, told ‘Organiser’ that: “Even soft skills like making of Parathas could be used for generating jobs and preparing packed food. Most of these do immense business in Shillong and other places in Meghalaya come from Assam or other states”.
The BJP says it will go for a seamless recruitment policy. Thus, the party promises transparency in the recruitment process under the new dispensation.
M Kharkrang says, “We have decided that interviews for recruitment to Grade III and IV posts in various Government departments will soon be a thing of the past in Meghalaya”.
Kharkrang has also slammed Trinamool Congress, and in reference to Mukul Sangma, a former CM, he said, “The leaders of the TMC are the same bunch of people who ruled Meghalaya for eight years before 2018.”
He pointed out that the Trinamool Congress is itself caught in the West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam and maintained that the Meghalaya Youth Employment (MYE) Card by the Mamata Banerjee-led outfit is only a “false promise” to deceive the voters of Meghalaya.
Meanwhile, with regard to jobs – according to BJP MP Ravi Kishan, who campaigned in this North Eastern State, the Lotus party in Meghalaya will build a film city.
“Just as the party did in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP will do the same in Meghalaya,” he said. Other BJP leaders also maintained that the film industry policy in Jammu and Kashmir could be used as a model for a small hilly State like Meghalaya.
The music and art of Meghalaya could be showcased better through a film city; they say adding this will also help create jobs for the youths in the state.
From support staff to soundman to technician, a wide variety of job vacancies could be created in the state.
Jammu & Kashmir Film Development Council (JKFDC). Steps will be taken to create and develop “ancillary business opportunities that co-exist with film making”.
The Jammu and Kashmir Film Development Council (JKFDC), as a part of the 2021 policy decision, shall be the single point of contact to achieve the objectives of the Film Policy in the UT.
Sources say it shall be authorised to make and issue detailed guidelines, rules, checklist and all required formats and agreements etc, essential to implement the Film Policy, including guidelines for the disbursement of the subsidy /financial incentives.
Of course, a lot of it will depend on the February 27 mandate and how the new Government takes up the initiatives to boost job opportunities in Meghalaya. There are instances engineering graduates settle for jobs for payments of Rs 15,000 or so.
In the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “There is something special about this place. When I think of Meghalaya, I think of the talented people. I think of the vibrant traditions. I also think of the amazing natural beauty. We are all proud of Meghalaya’s culture.” He made these remarks on February 24.
All these need to be nurtured effectively for Meghalaya’s development and the prosperity of the local youths, and these will ultimately help India excel in scaling new heights of success.