No Takers For Ideas
(LSS Chandigarh 2005, University Business School, Chandigarh,
“If a man hasn’t discovered something that he
would die for, he isn’t fit to live‘”
It seems a majority of our youth couldn’t care less what Martin Luther
King said about idealism five decades back. With seventy five percent of
our population below forty, we are on the verge of becoming a cynical
nation. With lesser restrictions and rules they have lost the ability to
question and disagree. Most them claim to have, been there and done that
by the time they are in their mid twenties. Bombarded with a volley of
media images: MMS scandals, sleaze, pornography. Our youngsters take it
all with a pinch of salt, without even batting an eyelid.
Over the years zeal, passion and idealism that were the very essence of
youth are giving way to silent acceptance, pragmatism and sadly enough….
It wasn’t very long back when youth was synonymous with the desire to
make a difference: to the system, politics or simply the wish to replace
the existing order with a new one. Youngsters rebelled without a pause
and with (out) a cause. American students came marching into the streets
to raise their voice against the Vietnam War in the 1960’s. In the
spring of 1968 students all over Europe rose in rebellion against
inhibiting standards of social conformity. Ideas were exchanged
animatedly for hours on end over steaming cups of coffee.
But… all this seems a eons ago. Ideas have no takers. Youngsters are so
caught up in the pursuit of a coveted degree and then a high profile
job, a fat pay packet…the list simply goes on.
Generation next might be more self-assured and focussed than its
predecessors but it is also more confused than ever. What with a
mind-boggling range of choices and sources of information whether it is
television, print, Internet etal. They are even getting more aggressive
than ever. According to the National Bureau of Crime forty one percent
of heinous crimes have been committed in the 18-30 years age group,
which is six percent higher than last time.
Who is to blame? Media, politicians, faulty parenting or lack of
appropriate role models. It’s hard to pinpoint one particular reason.
Its time we slowed down, if only to mull over why the age of innocence
and idealism has given way to pragmatism and conformity. The end of
dissent and rebellion and the birth of blind acceptance spells doom for
Remember “ The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of
their dreams”-Eleanor Roosevelt.