BJP government: Withdraw Agnipath NOW! Come out with a jobs plan immediately!

New Delhi, 17 June 2022: Scores of young people all across the country have spoken and what they have said is that they will not be fooled by the BJP government.

The widespread spontaneous protests over the last two days reflect the anger over the ever-growing jobs crisis in the country.

Having failed to deliver 2 million jobs a year, as promised in the 2014 general election, the BJP government has led the economy to destruction causing an employment crisis graver than any over five decades.

Recognising people’s resentment but confident that it can deceive them the BJP government announced the Angnipath Scheme for recruitment in the armed forces.
Agnipath will recruit 46,000 youngsters aged between 17.5 to 21 years on a 4 year-long fixed term contract with a salary between Rs. 30,000 and Rs. 40,000 per month over the four years. At the end of service these candidates will get a lump sum of Rs. 11 lakh out of the contributory pay and a promise that one in four recruits will be regularised in the non-commissioned ranks of the armed forces for 15 more years.

The BJP government will go to any length in its effort to fool people in order to advance its crass pro-super rich agenda while dividing people through religious bigotry.
Agnipath seeks effectively to introduce fixed term contracts and casual employment into the armed forces in line with the writing down of workers rights under the Labour Codes legislated by the BJP under the cover of the Coronavirus.

Extremely short service contracts in the armed forces, with virtually no hope of employment thereafter, will also effectively create a government trained reserve army of foot soldiers being placed at the service of mercenaries, militias and private armies akin to what Israeli conscripts are contributing to growing violence in the world.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of creating 1 million public sector jobs over the next eighteen months along with Agnipath is an admission of failure that the private sector, which the BJP remains ideologically aligned to cannot create jobs. Further, it is an admission that the fiscal situation in the country is so precarious that the government cannot pay for regular jobs. And hence, from now on it will only create contractual and causal jobs with meagre wages, no pension and social security.

The New Trade Union Initiate joins all democratic militant trade unions in calling upon the BJP government to withdraw the ‘Agnipath’ scheme immediately.

The NTUI also calls upon the union government to present an employment plan to parliament within 90 days from today which includes filling of all positions in government, including in the armed forces, with regular jobs along with the regularisation of all honorarium, contract and casual workers whose names appear on the rolls of government on 1 January 2022.

Gautam Mody
General Secretary