Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | Aug 01, 2021
A few years ago, a group of passengers who were waiting at the Modi railway station were horrified to see a young man (later identified as Ramesh Dhobi from Maharashtra) kneel down and stretch his arms across the railway line in the path of a fast-approaching train. It was too late for anyone to come to his assistance, and the inevitable happened – his arms were severed from his body. The passengers were fortunately able to rush him to the hospital so that at least his life should be saved. When the doctors had attended to him and he was finally in a condition to speak, they asked him what had caused him to do such a gruesome thing to himself. It seems that he had been so haunted by the spectre of continuing unemployment, that he had come to the railway station in a fit of severe depression. The repeated disappointments of never being able to find work had ultimately made him feel that his life was worthless. The Times of India of 14 August 1981, records him as saying, “My hands are useless as I can find no work, and living is shameful without work.”
I had no sooner finished reading this newspaper report than in walked a friend who also seemed to be in a state of mental distress. But, as it turned out, his problem was the opposite. Now that he was no longer able to farm his land himself, he needed a responsible person to take charge of his fields and their irrigation. His fields were fertile and numerous, and he had a good water supply from a canal, but there had to be someone who would effectively take over all the work from him. But up till then, no one had come forward to take on this responsibility. My friend lamented the fact that he would lose one lakh of rupee a year that the produce of his farm brought him, if his fields had perforce to lie fallow. What he had come to tell me, in effect, was that he had decided to sell his lands.
It is one of the great ironies of life that there are hundreds and thousands of unemployed, and yet many jobs just seem to go abegging. There is, in fact, no dearth of work in this world. The unemployed must simply cultivate two all-important qualities – diligence and perseverance – and they will find that the jobs come to seek them. One thing they must never do is give in to despair. If they do, they merely reduce themselves to the same crippled state – mentally, if not physically – as poor Ramesh Dhobi from Maharashtra.