Hope is the key

Amit Chanda

The menace of drugs, beyond a shadow of doubt, is one of the most concerning, disturbing and destabilising trend for the society. And a severe and vigorous crackdown against it, with the aim of making the state drug-free, by the BJP-led government and spearheaded by Mr. Biplab Deb, while is a laudable effort, but, is focusing only on one side of the problem - the supply side.

The assumption in this line of reasoning is that, people, particularly the youngsters, are attracted towards this ill, as in case of other social ills like porn etc, because of its easy access. And, hence, the remedy is a cut in the supply side which would automatically lead to a decline in the demand.

This line of reasoning, in my humble opinion, has a fundamental flaw - it only focuses on the symptom and not on the root of the disease, which, among other thing, is joblessness. In one of his interview, quite candidly, former chief minister, Manik Sarkar, admitted that one of the main reason why the Left-Front government could not come back to power this time around was because of the growing dissatisfaction among the educated youth, who looked for respectable employment opportunities and that the government of Manik Sarkar was simply unable to meet the burgeoning expectations.

As the saying goes - "An idle brain is the devil's workshop". Evil thoughts enter our brain easily when we remain idle. The mind of a man, therefore, cannot remain vacant for a long time and unless it is occupied with fruitful ideas, it will turn to bad thoughts.
Though, I am not trying to draw a sweeping conclusion saying that all unemployed youths turns towards drugs, but, also true is the fact that unemployment, inter alia, is a cause why youths are attracted towards drugs. The way out, therefore, is to create opportunities of employment which would provide these distracted youths a purpose not to turn towards drugs.
Therefore, it is imperative that, while addressing the supply side of the problem, simultaneously, government should tackle the demand side of the problem. Government should, therefore, try to create new avenues of employment by reviving both public and private investments in the state, by generously forwarding MUDRA loans, by unveiling a business-friendly policy in which Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as well as large businesses can thrive, etc
Only when the government would be successful in sending out the message that a beautiful future awaits in store for the youths is that the demand side of the menace be addressed successfully. Generating Hope is, therefore, the key.    

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