Odishatv Bureau

Is our society going through political hypnotism? Intellectuals in Odisha have been deeply concerned over many sensitive social and economic issues that have been emerging during the time of the General Elections. They are deeply saddened as these issues have not been politically addressed elaborately.

According to Nobel award-winning Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, "Modern society is hypnotized by socialism. It can also be saved from the huge threat through socialism. The most dangerous threat is that you have lost all the thoughts about threat. You are also not able to see from where it is emerging as it is rushing quickly towards you."

It seems as if a complicated situation has been created due to two parallel lines emerging out of various social issues amid political chaos. Several people in the society have been deeply perturbed over grave issues like massive unemployment, price rise of many essential commodities, drinking water crisis in rural and urban areas, destruction of natural resources and dying rivers. However, neither political issues nor social awareness are being created over these grave concerns. While topics like advance election, alliance politics, conflict inside political parties, swapping of political parties and squabbling over tickets are the main points of discussions throughout the year, discussions about the problems of people and society are taking back seats.

Silence in political and social spheres over the ‘electoral bond’ issue is the most surprising thing and a matter of concern. As per reports, when the livelihood of lakhs of people were at stake during Covid-19 in India, political parties were busy in collecting donations amounting to crores of rupees for the elections.

As per an International Labour Organisation (ILO) 2024 report, the rate of unemployed youth in India is higher than the global rate. ILO survey 2022 stated that 83 per cent youth of India’s total population are unemployed and most of them are educated. As per a report published in an English newspaper, the number of unemployed people in Odisha is the highest. The rate of educated unemployed people in Odisha witnessed an increase of 35.93 per cent in 2022. When the number of young voters is the highest in the State, this kind of grave situation is a matter of concern for the society. However, it has not been raised as a political issue in the upcoming election.

Meanwhile, concerns have been raised over the unemployment crisis in prestigious institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). The students of IITs wait for placement seasons in December and February every year to bag lucrative jobs. However, as many as 712 IIT students were not able to secure their jobs out of the total 2,000 registered students. While considering unemployment, we have to take into account the struggle of the guardians while providing costly education to their children.

Moreover, with an increase in unemployment, the costs of essential commodities are skyrocketing with each passing day. While the prices of pulses have increased, from Rs 300 to Rs 400 per quintal, the prices of edible oil and vegetables have skyrocketed. The price of potatoes has gone up to Rs 40 per kg in April and it is likely to surge further in the coming days.

It is still a dream to set up cold storage facilities in every Gram Panchayat. As a result, farmers are losing control over their produce. The prices of petrol and diesel are still over Rs 100. The price of unrefined oil may touch Rs 100 in the international market due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. As a result, the prices of petrol and diesel may surge further in the coming days.

Meanwhile, people in many parts of the State are currently grappling with drinking water crisis due to the prevailing scorching summer. Residents in many parts of the State have threatened poll boycott over the issue which is a matter of concern.

Following observation of the above issues, it is quite evident that the State politics is not centered around the problems and issues that the people are facing. Though resentment is brewing among them over their various problems, it is less likely to affect the upcoming election.

By Dilip Sabat

(He can be reached out at: dksawat@gmail.com)

(DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are the author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)