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Why UP's Youth Are Unhappy With BJP

By Nitin Kumar
March 04, 2022 10:46 IST
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'I have been trying for the past five years to get a government job.'

Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Lady candidates participate in the military police recruitment for the Indian Army in Lucknow. Photograph: ANI Photo

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has brought back the 'Jai Jawan Jai Kisan' slogan in its campaign for the ongoing UP polls.

However, a large section of the state's youth is not convinced.

"Paanch saal mein army ka ek hi baar recruitment hui hai. Hum toh border pe khada hone ke liye tayyar hain, par khet ke beech hi fasey hue hain. (There has just been one recruitment drive for positions in the army in the past five years. We are ready to stand guard at the border, but are stranded in the fields instead)," says 26-year-old Rajdeep Kumar.

He has been working on his exercise regimen at Ratibhanpur village in Mainpuri district.

Mainpuri is among a dozen rural districts in UP that provides thousands of soldiers to the armed forces every year.

But for the past two years, the district has not seen even a hundred people get recruited into the Indian Army.

The reason: Hold on recruitment since the pandemic in January 2022.

Also, delay in completion of the recruitment process is another reason.

This is for vacancies for which physical and medical tests have taken place before Covid.

This has not only increased the number of unemployed in the state, but also made thousands overage for government jobs.

Naresh Maurya, a 26-year-old army aspirant, who is preparing for the territorial army exam, after crossing the age limit for other government jobs, feels that the Centre should increase the age limit for army and other recruitments.

"I have been trying for the past five years to get a government job. For the majority of them (jobs), I am overage. If the government doesn't increase the age limit, my future will be under wraps."

The age limit for general duty soldiers, tradesmen, and the territorial army is 21 years, 23 years, and 42 years, respectively.

Majority of the youth that Business Standard spoke to had crossed the age limit for the entrance exams.

Shyam Singh, an 18-year-old Class 12 student, says "I have been preparing for the past six months. There are people who have been practising for written exams and physical tests for the past six years. How will I compete with them?"

Those who have either cleared or not cleared the physical exams are waiting for the government's decision on unfreezing the recruitment drives.

Vishesh Yadav, a 24 year old in Mainpuri district, who has qualified for physical and medical tests, is awaiting the dates of the written exam.

"I have cleared both the physical and medical tests but there is no update on the written exams dates. I have been waiting for it for the past three years. This is my only chance."

Shankar Singh, a farmer in Etawah's Akbarpur village, says, "They (politicians) come to us to fulfil their dreams of becoming MLAs, MPs and ministers. However, they forget us after elections. Seeing our kids join the army is the only dream for us," says Sankar.

In 2017, the BJP won 312 of UP's 403 assembly seats, riding on the same pitch of nationalism and jobs to youth.

Meanwhile, Akhilesh Yadav, former UP CM and Samajwadi Party chief, has promised to send a special request to the army to increase the age limit for recruitments.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

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Nitin Kumar
Source: source