Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Bus Day

The yearly ritual of hooligans college students commandeering buses and causing mayhem on the streets of Chennai is not just a law and order issue. It's a symptom of a deeper problem: the government's desire to keep the youth off the list of job seekers for another three years by getting them enrolled in worthless degree programs (not to mention building a support base for political parties). Everyone knows that these degrees lead to nothing except dead-end jobs as sales representatives and collection/verification agents zooming around recklessly on two wheelers -- on the same streets that bring bring back nostalgic memories of beating up bus drivers and stoning passersby and policemen -- but people still enroll themselves in these programs. The pittance that is charged as fees probably contributes to this, but a more important reason is the disdain for blue collar work. The same three years, if they had been spent acquiring vocational skills like plumbing, auto repair, refrigerator repair, and so on, would provide them with a solid career with decent wage potential, but no, they would rather study a bachelor's degree in economics, get barely passing grades (if at all they don't retain a set of 'arrears' in perpetuity) and go to work selling Eureka Forbes vacuum cleaners.