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WITHER INDIAN YOUTH?
Some disturbing trends proliferating in society catch your attention and you can’t help mulling over them. My observation in two states in the span of a few months has convinced me that a particular malaise is widespread and a telling symptom of the moral collapse of the youth of our country. How our youth is increasingly being misguided into a self destructive mode, is a point worth pondering! There seems to be a complete erosion of values which guided all of us in the past.
The case in point is the increasing inclination towards irresponsible drinking habits amongst our young population. A few days back we were on our daily walking regime in the park, when I saw some littered stuff near a bench. On closure inspection, it became evident that some people had a drinking session in the safe twilight hour. There were plastic tumblers, left over of snacks and small liquor bottles scattered there. On enquiry it was revealed by the residents who have their residences around, that some boys invaded the peace at night, guzzled alcohol and were forced to leave by some brave hearts with a warning.
However such elements roam freely, indulge in questionable behaviour and pose a danger to the peace loving citizens. These are the ones who violate laws, snatch chains, commit day light robberies, and take part in kidnapping to make easy money. They indulge in drunken driving, cause accidents and take innocent lives. One can imagine the fate of their families suffering in silence. But can they absolve themselves of the blame? There are many such worrying examples reported in the press day in and day out.
A similar scenario, confronted me inHimachal Pradesh. One day, while enjoying a morning walk on Nahan road, we saw card board cases of branded liquor bottles, eatables and glasses thrown indiscriminately by the side of the newly constructed parapets. At many places empty bottles and food stuff containers are seen littered on the road itself. What impressions are created in the vulnerable minds of children, who pass by such scenes on their way to school? Once I saw stray dogs licking left out liquor in the abandoned glasses
The disillusioned youth take recourse to wrong choices and naively think that such actions make them trendy, in sync with the fickle world of movies. Most of the movies are harbingers of negative aspirations among the youth. They try to relate themselves to the larger than life images shown on celluloid and get a jolt, when these acts land them into trouble and public censure. For example drinking, sex and nudity are integrated in the screen play for its own sake, to titillate the youth who constitutes the large chunk of film goers.
Drinking has become a fashion these days even among highly educated and respectable families. There is always a danger of social drinking leading to alcoholism which has ruined many families. Murders, rapes, suicides and other forms of violence under the influence of liquor are daily occurrences these days. Women and Children are the worst victims of such episodes.
Since the excise duty on alcoholic drinks is high and also Governments earn huge amounts as revenue in the auctioning process of liquor joints, the ruinous effects of drinking are sidelined for the sake of taxes which get generated to fill the empty state coffers. Mushrooming of vends selling this stuff is evident every where, when you drive through the highways.
The easy availability of alcohol without any checks emboldens our youth, too young to gauge the consequences of their dangerous forays. A few months back(as reported in the newspaper) a couple of school girls, accompanied by boys, skipped their tuition classes and went in for experimenting with drinking and were found vomiting in a park by the police. In ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ and ‘Rock Star’ the heroines drink liquor neat and I’m sure, that was the inspiration for these girls to copy the act. These poor girls didn’t know perhaps that it was part of acting, at the most with coke filled bottles. One can imagine the stigma and lifelong mental scars which the girls and their families will have to suffer in a society which slanders rather than supports.
Many parents in their pursuit of glitzy possessions remain oblivious of the activities of their wards thinking that they’ve discharged their duty if they stuff their children’s pockets with moolah. Such an attitude of indifference and neglect results in the undoing of the children. Avoidable tragedies happen and the families are doomed for the rest of their lives.
Here are a few suggestions:
Parents must monitor their wards' lives to the extent possible. They should be weaned away from excessive use of addictive phone applications and virtual cyber world, which isolates them from the real world resulting in psychosomatic problems, which can wreak their lives.
Parents’ and teachers should always keep the communication channels open with the children and teens, creating a comfort zone where they can discuss their problems with them freely.
A provision of counselling for all kids should be there in the school curriculum, where such habits take birth.
The teachers must encourage children to frequent libraries and help them choose good motivational books.
Taking part in sports should be compulsory for youngsters to canalize their energies in healthy pursuits
T.V. viewing should be monitored and time limit put in place.
Rich parents in place of spoiling their kids with expensive gifts should take interest in their lives and imbibe in them the spirit of giving to the less fortunate.
Vocational education for teaching employable skills should be introduced from lower levels to ward off frustrations. All children are not made for higher education.
Elders should lead by example rather than by precept.
The Police must take stringent action against violators of law and judiciary must ensure speedy justice with deterrent sentence.
Members of civil society should not look the other way when they see teens indulging in unlawful acts. Concerted efforts by all sections of society are needed to steer the youth towards the right path.
Please feel free to share your comments on the link in Ms.Uppal's blog post.