By Dr Navin Chandra Joshi
It is unfortunate that making fast buck has become the philosophy of life of most of the youth who seem to hold firmly to the view that the extent of one'shappiness is directly proportional to the extent of one'swealth and possessions. At the same time, people have divergent views on the imperatives of changes that have taken place in the value system of the last three generations. There is, nevertheless, also a consensus that many of these were the outcome of the developments that permeated in the sphere of social, cultural, economic and political activities.
To define the value system, it can be said that values, in a broader sense, mean beliefs in the good and bad things of life. As such, the value system of a society is highly subjective, depending on traditions of older times. What is considered a good thing in one society may not be so in another society. The same is the case with countries. Touching the feet of elders is a ritual and a customary expression of respect in the Hindu society of India, but it is not prevalent amongst some other commu-nities. Living together in a joint family with someone as head of the family is also because of the values in Indian society, but it is not so in the Western world.
EDUCATED YOUTH AND VALUE SYSTEM
In the world of stiff competitions that are turning stiffer with each passing day, the desire for gaining material benefits in touchstone position has also its own share in this sordid state of affairs. In this mad race, the capabilities of discarding the unclean ways in preference to upright methods hold the sway. The cult of getting rich quick becomes almost an obsession, so much so that even dowry in marriage is accepted as a means to gain material comforts.
Surely, nothing else could be more unfortunate than making monetary negotiations for arranging one'slife partner. But then, why blame the youngsters for this situation when parents themselves encourage the evil practice of dowry as a method of compensation for what has been invested in one'seducation. The perpetrators of dowry leave a very thorny path for the youngsters to emulate. Caught in the mesh of uncanny social existence, the idealist gets easily overpowered by the demon of money.
Stressed by the strains of mechanical life and squeezed by pressures of admission tests, capitation fee, etc., the young student has all the mental make-up for getting ensnared by the lure of drugs. Thus, tensions of daily drudgery exacerbate this situation for his getting initiated by a friendly puff of smack, heroin and other slow poisons. Once caught in this trap, the innocent delinquent willy nilly does everything from theft to pick-pocketing, to get his daily dose of drugs.
Besides, the style of politics sans principles that is in vogue today adds fuel to the fire of dilemma. The moral fabric prese-nted before the growing adult of the country is thus torn asunder. With no leaders to follow, no mentors to guide and no friends to console, the vitiated personality of an educated youth gains the size of a Frankenstein. And this monster of one'screation can never be controlled even by a external influence.
The moral fabric presented before the growing adult of the country is thus torn asunder. With no leaders to follow, no mentors to guide and no friends to console, the vitiated personality of an educated youth gains the size of a Frankenstein.
The titilating influence of the indecencies and the tantalising trauma of inexplicable fights and vendetta in the films that are shown today also add to the list of major culprits. The small screen is not far behind in rattling out episodes of prevalent syndromes afflicting the society. With social binders slowly vanishing, and the TV and video programmes making part of the daily routine of the majority, the lessons of negative trait get firmly entrenched in the young minds and these gain malignant proportions over time.
The other side of the coin is that today'seducated youth is more tolerant as far as religion is concerned. Likewise, he does not look down upon a Harijan in a hotel or a temple as was the case earlier. Also, scientific reasoning on the relations between man and man has developed. Progressive ideas make the present generation of youth much more engrossed in doing things which are outstanding rather than wasting time on petty issues. There is also a sense of achieving excellence in various fields of human activity. The youth are much better informed today than were their forefathers. They read a lot, travel a lot and are more inquisitive.
With social binders slowly vanishing, and the TV and video programmes making part of the daily routine of the majority, the lessons of negative trait get firmly entrenched in the young minds.
Unfortunately, the political life of the country has not had a healthy effect on the minds of young men and women. Indeed, the way our politicians have behaved amongst themselves and the many wrong ways applied by them in the society are too well-known. These have left an indelible impression on their minds that politics is a game of men who do not have principles or scruples at all. This has been an unhealthy trend as every sphere of human activity has its own quota of good and bad people. But then the bad politicians get a lot of publicity. There has, therefore, been a tremendous dilution in the value system of the younger generation insofar as patriotism is concerned. Today, the attitude towards life reflects an obsession with things mundane. No effort may be spared in getting rich quick by fair or foul means. This trend is ominous. The earlier we reverse it the better it would be for the young people themselves.
The National Youth Policy needs to adopt an integral and inter-disciplinary approach for all-round development of youth. Moreover, it is the duty of every citizen to assist the youth in getting their due share in the country'slife and progress, and equip them
to meet their obligations adequately. It is an uphill task in which not only the government but the whole nation, including individuals, institutions and organisations need to strive for creating confidence in the minds of the young regarding their future, so that out of sheer frustration they do not dissipate their vitality. The youth of India have to march forward with confidence in themselves and faith in the future, basing their convictions on our ancient heritage. They must utilise their skills, knowledge, energies and idealism to harness the fruits of science and technology in building a new and vibrant India. Today an important aspect to decide is as to how to promote social awareness in India'syouth in keeping with our ancient heritage, culture and emerging human values. Surely, this is a big challenge and it has to be accepted by well-meaning persons so that the present and future youth of the country are shown the right path for living and making the country proud of them.