Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We can only Criticize

It is always easy to criticize, when one is away from it. But then, if you look at it from the other side:  constructive criticism remains a better choice as compared to a stoned  indifference.

A common allegation that binds many of us, who stay away from Silchar, is that ‘we can only criticize’. We are accused of running away from the hardships; from roots and responsibilities; from possibilities of a hope called change; and so we are thought to be among those ‘who pacify our guilt through excuses like greater exposure and higher opportunities for a better living.”

The question remains, are they really excuses?
Let’s revisit.
Silchar has almost all possible educational institutes that a district headquarter can have. A central University, National Institute of Technology, Government Medical College, Polytechnic, Teachers’ Training college, Law college, Few Bachelors’ Degree Colleges and a host of English, Hindi and Bengali medium schools. But do we have enough resources to absorb these students when they graduate out of their respective courses?
Apart from Teaching, Sales and a few Banking/Insurance jobs, sadly Silchar doesn’t have much to offer. The absorbing capacity of academia in Silchar is also reaching its saturation soon with over 1000 students graduating in Masters’ Courses from University every year. Agreed that only 50% of the total students are from Barak Valley (as most of the crowd heads out before), Nevertheless, the scenario isn’t much promising.
Historically, people have moved out of Silchar but the trend has intensified in last two decades. Technical (Medical/ Engineering ) graduates were the trendsetters , way back in early 80's when the absorbing  capacity of the government sector was beginning to diminish. Gradually it spread across all segments of students and job seekers. The 1990's saw a sudden influx of private companies and MNCs in major cities across India. Similarly in the educational front a whole new set of vocational and professional courses came in.This spurred up the migration.Today, most of the youth  come out of Silchar after graduation. Others, after class 10 or 12, to pursue courses that would fetch them better job opportunities.

Primary reasons for the rise can be attributed to an ever-degrading quality of education, declining employment opportunities, redefinitions of middle class(increased susistance income  to sustain a family in these tougher times of competition), and most importantly, increased aspiration among youth to work on what they like and earn a better living through that.
In this age of cut throat competition, quality education is seen to be a weapon to help aid the job hunt and increase possibilities of a better living. Sadly the standards are incomparably impoverished.
So, “The earlier the better” - is what everyone has come to  believe and aim at. Difference in academic course structures at every educational level creates shameful problems for both students and Job seekers. The later one moves out of Silchar, the harder it becomes for him or her to match up with the standards and requirements of the new place. And even tougher the ability to penetrate through entrances and job opportunities in premier institutes and organizations, he/she chooses to study or work with.
With these as a backdrop, the one way flow of students and job seekers from Silchar to major cities across India have gradually become a natural theory for subsistence.
Economics says quality migration is a natural phenomenon in LDCs. The growth opportunities in centers would attract resources from periphery. But creating growth centers and avenues for employment can create rebound effect, which would entail much of the periphery’s resources to come back to its source, over time.
Sadly, the avenues have only reduced and got hazy over time. The only thing that increased was the percentage of people who streamed out of Silchar- Some came out fearing a jobless life, some with absolute reluctance, some were driven out by the frustrations and politics of academia, few others coz their siblings were already outside. So as you see, it was never an excuse rather a lack of choice.
But then the sadness remains. The sadness remains the same. 
Most of us would love to go back,only if we could.


  1. gr8 post. brings out the emotions of those staying outside beautifully. carry on........

  2. This is sad but true. Wish there were more opportunities. But then who looks for the solution? The politicians voted year after year who are supposedly representing this region in The House. Who??


Silchar through the Lense