Importance of inherited occupation in Bharat Aatm Nirbhar

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Everybody needs a career/profession/occupation (or a source of livelihood) to lead his and his family comfortably though there is no limit to this comfort ability.  Inherited occupation (profession adopted by families from generations) has always been a proven guarantee of a decent livelihood with time.  However, with the growth of educational opportunities, each one started to take educational degrees as a promise towards white collar career instead of taking education as an assurance of being a good human being.

No doubt education can open avenues to different career opportunities in life but with rising population, industrial atomization and dwindling job opportunities, the competition for career is ever increasing. Therefore, mass migration of people not only from villages to urban places but to foreign countries looking for green pastures has created a big problem to family people living behind as well as to migrant labour in general and in times of crisis like COVID-19 pandemic in particular.

The process of choosing a profession that will continue to be meaningful to every one of us is forced upon us at a relatively early age. As soon as we clear the school exams most children need to choose whether our career path will be based on science, arts or commerce and it is completely unfair to expect anyone to be able to exercise choice for “inherited occupation”. In India, career counseling generally means helping the person deciding career choices based on job opportunities benchmarked as successful by family and society. We all know of doctors, engineers, educators, actors and politicians whose progeny generally follow in the footsteps of the parents but young people are not interested nor they are motivated and encouraged by their parents to follow their inherited occupations which were at one time the basic back bone of Indian social fabric of employment. The main drivers for following in a parent’s footsteps are emulation, security and necessity.  If a parent has an all-consuming career then it’s natural that a child will probably grow up in that framework. Such parents want the best for their child, and may see an inherited career as the securest - because most familiar – option. Though, there is nothing more to get a conspicuous inherited career but among commoners the tendency to follow in a parent’s footsteps is arguably less now. One of the drawbacks of an inherited career is the perception that one can have it easy or haven’t had to work that hard and another danger of an inherited career is a parent pushing a child into a particular field for which the child may have no aptitude for or desire to work in. The truth is that most parents always try to give their children the best start towards his career. But no matter the early advantage, ultimately children will always have to demonstrate competence to succeed.

People start looking for a white collar employment in government or private sector after coming out of school or colleges with basic or professional education. At one hand, the number of diploma and degree holders in the country is increasing day by day where as employment opportunities are shrinking.  On the other hand, industries suffering from worker’s inefficiency and rising continuous demands for more facilities, are going for major atomization also leading to loss of employment. There were times in the country when educated youth used to get not promptly but good employment after getting educational degrees. But, with the commercialization of education sector, a study on youth employment and social inequality offers surprising evidence that a parent's financial support can launch a child to better education and thus towards career success. When earlier people used to be perfect in inherited professions because young people always thrive when parents support their cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development, in the present scenario of profession, studies suggest that young people with affluent parents get an advantage at the starting line of career success. Thus people with low income group are left with the no other choice than to do labour jobs and migrate for looking employment opportunities. Problems with rising demands and shortages of employment have surfaced to a great extent during lockdown period of COVID-19. Migration of people from villages to urban for employment is a well established phenomenon.  Everything seemed to be fine on paper related to migrant labor unless it is exposed by lockdown.

Job/Career so called in modern times is also popularly known as “Naukari” in Hindi heartland of India and it was spelled by wise people in villages like “Na-Kari”. According to them, “naukari” was never a good thing whereas a traditional family employment or livelihood was taken as a much better option.  This is very much evident from a common proverb said by village people that “Uttam Kheti, Madhyam Ban; Neech Chakri, Kookar Nidan”   i.e., agriculture at own land holdings (small or big) is the best profession, second best is the business of any type (rightly said by our respected Prime Minister that it is better even to do a business with small tea stall), Job (Chakri, may be in worst case a bounded labour) is the worst and is just like a dog always obeying the orders of his master. It means, there was plenty for a good living in every family traditional career (i.e., inherited source of livelihood). Professions as per the requirement of local people were so imbibed in the social system that people used to perform these careers like priests, agriculture, carpentry, shoemaking, iron-smith, gold-smith, businesses, painting, weaving, pottery, etc. from generation to generation and many times they used to have expertise in one or more professions also to cater to the needs of local people.  For example, a Brahmin not only performs worships/puja’s but many times clubbing more expertise to their profession like cooking for functions and astrology etc. Similar was the case with other professional people also. Their each and every professional activity was associated with the demand and requirement of local people. Moreover, intelligence never comes from books but comes by experience and intelligent old generation people were always accommodating and encouraging people of different professions in their villages to cater to the daily needs of village people and surrounding villages also even by providing them land resources not only to construct their homes but also to make their all daily needs possible. With all such traits (inherited profession for all) India in general and village India in particular, was known as “Sone ki Chirya” which does not mean “Gold all over” but happy living with prosperity and contentment and was an excellent example of  “Aatmnirbhar Bharat”.

Most unwanted outcome of human profession in the society was its designation/labeling as per the caste system in society which with time started to have its unwanted effects. Therefore, things started to change with time (many decades back) when new generation people started to look upon their inherited professional careers as inefficient, insufficient and socially non-respectable. Neither the government policies nor the society gave timely protection and encouragement to people of different occupations to continue further. Further, the trend of quitting of these inherited careers for simple manual jobs even far away from homes picked up with the increasing population, advanced technology, picking of use-and-throw culture, fast and easy life syndrome and increasing educational opportunities taken by people as a misconception towards a bright career.  With the phenomenal growth in awarding of educational degrees by government and private educational institutions due to commercialization of education, it is a well known concept that educational degrees are no more a guarantee of making a man competent & knowledgeable enough otherwise a Ph.D. holder should not stand for a peon job.  The change in educational paradigm from conventional to professional also could not make educational degrees a guarantee of career.

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