Youth’s the season made for joys;
To fall in love is its only duty—John Gay
Being a youth myself, it’s a very difficult task to comment on my peer group, least I give the impression that I am promoting sycophancy. But it is a great feeling to be called a youth. It’s a time when one can indulge in all kinds of troubles, ideas, yet come out unscratched. To quote Benjamin Disraeli, the great statesman; Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle and old age a Regret. So we can safely assume that even great statesman of yesteryears have accepted that the youths are prone to commit mistakes, and they are not to be blamed, because it’s the age which forces the youths to throw all caution to the wind.
Sania Mirza too is a member of my clan, the youth clan. So is Dhoni, Nagesh Kuknoor, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiran Desai, etc. The whole country specially the first person of our country, the ever adorable Kalam Chacha, has bestowed so much faith, responsibility and hope in us that sometimes we can’t help but think that we are just like Atlas who according to legends was punished by Zeus and ordered to stand forever holding the heavens and earth on his shoulders. We are the bearer of our country, just like Atlas was.
It’s obvious that we are flattered and honored, but as in the words of Uncle Ben (remember Spiderman) ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. Our elders are watching us with keen eyes, so are our would be successors, the next lot of the clan. The only difference between the two perspectives is that while the elders have completed their journey, the juniors’ are yet to start theirs. So that leaves “Us’ in motion.
It’s the youth that drives the country, and I can’t agree more. The Karizmas, the CBZs and the SUVs aren’t meant for those who have passed their prime. It’s the youth that drives the economy bringing in foreign currency worth millions through remittance; and its the youths who are responsible for the boom in the higher education sector, a boom which has resulted in virtually every part of the country boasting of a management, engineering or a hotel management college or a university.
Our next door dragon, sometimes also called China is way ahead of us in all aspects, save one. The numbers of youths are less in China as compared to India. It’s so nice to see that the Chings and the Pings the Maos and the Taos haven’t yet found any answer to the Chantus and Bantus, and the Bunties. (Have to keep in mind the 33% reservation for women)
Still questions are raised, like why are we still shy while exercising our Adult franchise? Why there weren’t more Rajeev Goswami’s during the recent anti-reservation campaign? or why are we still promoting Brain Drain? I have a list of ‘Whys’ which were mailed to me by someone from the elder clan, and to be honest, I haven’t been able to figure out the answers to any of those whys yet. Why? I don’t know.
Similarly one of the psychologist of those good old days met me on way to a temple and expressed her concern that the age old philosophies like falling in love, age-old friendship (Jai-Veeru kind), respecting religion etc, were vanishing from the vocabulary of today’s youth. Her concern became more grave when I told her all those notions were still there, but they have been modified and replaced by a more convenient and suitable One night stand, Internet friendship or E-pal’ism and honoring religion by way of Godhras.
Another of my ‘Youth brothers’ who call themselves the Boyzone, once famously said that ‘Words are all I have to take your heart away’. In the medieval time, suitors were more towards singing poems which would run into hundreds of pages. Poems which incorporated in themselves sorrows of unfathomable proportion, and which were more than enough to make their ladylove fall for them head over heel.
When our elders say that today’s youths have forgotten their golden age old tradition, I give them the example of Boyzone. Fifty years ago words were used to romanticize and express feelings and now also words are used. The tradition still goes on.
Earlier they use to have Akashwanis, now we have 94.3. Similarly earlier it was Tagore’s Geetanjali, now we have Chetan’s 5.1 someone. So, we see that nothing has changed; a typical Youth still suffer from a ‘Je ne sais quoi’ which in itself is difficult to describe and to comprehend.
When emergency was imposed in India way back in 1977, it was the youths who forced Ms.Gandhi to take back the emergency. Though it’s a different matter that it was the youths in the first place along with another young leader JP, who forced Ms.Gandhi to impose the emergency. Similarly the Youth For equality (YFE), gave a new meaning to youth power when they repeatedly though not very successfully raised their voice against Arjun Singh against the second wave of Mandalization. This was a time when students and youth from all the strata of the society came together and declared in one voice that they won’t go down without a fight. Whenever we have been given a larger social objective, we have rallied around each other, to fight and to say to the whole world that we are the young bloods and we deny to bow down to the atrocities and to the unjust.
So it seems that the youths are not as bad as they are sometimes projected to be (Pun intended). Everyone has the freedom to fall in love, flaunt the N series, booze and drive, practice infidelity. Everyone except the youth!