What is the Craze for Government jobs all about? – Amenla Jamir, Asst. Professor, Dept of Education

Amenla Jamir

The attraction and lure of government jobs in our Naga society is extremely huge. People are reluctant to take up anything much other than government jobs. But what could be the reasons for this? Societal pressure, lack of attractive alternatives, inclination towards the traditional employment sector or fear of venturing into new fields could be some reasons for this. Perhaps, it is time that we start looking beyond for other opportunities and alternatives to overcome the unemployment issues in our State.

What is the Craze for Government jobs all about?

I was travelling through a local taxi a few months back, sitting in the front enjoying the dusty and bumpy ride through Assam road. My taxi driver happened to be a middle-aged man from my own tribe and came across as someone who loves to talk. Our conversation began, and as a part of a typical Naga conversation, he asked about my profession, to which I replied that I am in a teaching profession. His next question was Private or Government? In my mind, I was like here we go again but out of courtesy I had to reply, I told him that I am working in a private institution. Then came the mother of all questions that is always there in the mind of our beloved Naga parents. His literal words in my dialect, “Na government job mebushir na? Exam makatsür na?”(Are you not searching for government jobs, are you not writing any exams?). This is not the first time that I am being asked these questions and surely not the last time. This question made me ponder again on the craze of government job among the Naga people particularly our elders. It’s not for the lack of trying that more than 70,000(2016 survey) Nagas are not employed and by employed I mean government jobs.

In any social gatherings when we meet our relatives or an old acquaintance the question of whether one is working in a private/government sector becomes the topic of conversation. Family and church prayer meetings always make a point to put it in their prayer agendas to pray for their sons/daughters to secure government job even if it’s the fourth grade. A prayer warrior once visited a friend of mine and started praying for my friend, the depressing part of this encounter was that my friend was not even eying for any government job but the prayer warrior frantically prayed for a government job for my friend, what this incident communicates is that our Naga elders think that once someone gets Bachelors/Master’s degree then they need to start searching for government jobs. Sitting for NPSC exams is a must if you are born in a Naga family. But now the question is can a small state like Nagaland create and provide so many jobs as for every Naga graduates? Every year around 50,000 students graduates in Nagaland whereas only 70-80 post is advertised by NPSC leaving thousands frustrated and unemployed just waiting for the government to create new posts while their skills and potentialities begin to wane. There are many instances where young men/women not able to secure government jobs end up as drunkards and anti-social. Who is to blame for all these? The individual themselves or society? We are all living in a society so undeniably we all fall prey to the norms of the society and what the society expects of us. Getting married and starting a family is also a predicament by and large among the middle-class Naga family, we have to go through the hurdle of answering the question that is always there in the minds of our loving relatives. The burning question in the minds of our elders when one decides to settle down is; does he/she have a government job?

Those people who work in private institutions or those who run their own business not working at all? But just wasting away their precious time doing charitable work! To all those parents who always prefer to send their children to the best private schools/colleges, why send them to private institutions when you have such high regard for government sector when it comes to the job. Teachers working in private institutions are not just killing their time teaching your children while waiting for government jobs, many are doing it because they love what they are doing and give their 110%; sometimes even to the extent of sacrificing their own personal life to see your children succeed in life and still many think that it’s not a real job. People talk about ‘DIGNITY OF LABOUR’. But, again when we meet those people who preach about the dignity of labour, their words leave us wondering about the irony of their philosophy. The question now is what is a real job? Is it a real job when someone earns a 5 figure salary and is able to buy land, cars and afford all the luxuries? Take expensive vacations abroad? Is there no such thing as job satisfaction? There are acquaintances of mine who gave up their prized government jobs for the sole reason that they don’t love what they were made to do and they prefer doing what they love and now they are enjoying what they are doing and living a contented life. What an ironic situation!

One reason why we Naga people always target for a government job is that we are not willing to sweat and work hard instead we all want to enjoy the benefit that comes along with government jobs. If one is able to secure government job well and good for them and their family but life does go on if one is not fortunate enough to do so, it is not the end of their lives. Our life is more than government jobs. There are more than hundreds of job opportunities that one can aim for in today’s world so why just stick for government jobs. We should change our mindsets and start thinking beyond government jobs because “the grass is not always greener on the other side”.

Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Aniruddha, Meren and Kvulo Lorin.
For feedback or comments please email:  dot@tetsocollege.org

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