Sunday, June 04, 2006

Youth today! Misguided? Directionless?

Rahul Mahajan: A victim of circumstances?

‘Chor vohi jo pakda jaaye’

As a backdrop to the story: Pramod Mahajan, a well regarded BJP guy is shot dead by his brother. His son is embroiled in a drug controversy, in which he was snorting cocaine/heroine and allegedly celebrating with his friends shaking a cocktail of drugs mixed with champagne! The cause for celebration could be any or possibly it was an escapade out of his depression after his father’s death. (His doctors mentioned that he was quite depressed and taking medication for the same!)

Apollo tried a cover up act, but failed and further complicated the issue. Now, from an idol who had the makings of a leader in his early age itself, who demonstrated his capabilities in varied situations, Rahul is turned into a devil, a spoilt brat, as the natural consequence of the large unaccounted wealth accrued by his father by allegedly unscrupulous means! It’s an awesome world, isn’t it? Rahul Mahajan is a criminal overnight, a symbol of misguided youth, a 'Bade baap ki bigdi aulaad’ all because he’s caught in the act? As long as the act is on behind the curtain, we have nothing against anybody, and now that it’s come out in the open, just about everyone seems to want to distance himself from the entire thing. BJP, except a very few sympathizers, completely washed its hands off anything to do with Rahul Mahajan. So did most other people. And why not, who would want the stink of someone’s misdeeds to stay on their hands and mar their reputation as the high moral ones!

What is it with people that makes them want to live in denial? Perhaps the fear that the truth might overwhelm them they might not be able to handle it. Champagne is a rather mild and somewhat standard beverage in several circles and in fact, harder drinks and even drugs have become more common in urban circles than we’re willing to accept. Now, blame it on the excess money in the fathers’ coffers, on the influence of the west and subsequent rise in consumerism, this is how it is. And one Rahul Mahanjan doesn’t have to be typecast as a descendant of Satan just because he’s caught in the act. Moreover, the trends in intoxication do not really have a direct correlation with the amount of wealth as it is normally assumed. Yes, the higher society people drink in costlier bars but the not so higher ones would still frequent the not so costly bars! And what’s not happening in dimly lit cheap liquor bars spread out across the country.

And possibly to your surprise, this is what is happening in the highest echelons of knowledge, the IITs and the IIMs. Now this is a cause of concern, but not so much as the self appointed burghers of Indian culture might like to claim! I am probably not in a position to talk on behalf of the entire youth at large and neither am I too keen to advocate their escapades. All I am trying to point out, is that the trends have more to do with the times than the directionless-ness. Whatever the connotation might seem to be, the youth can’t generally be dismissed as directionless drug freaks who have no attachment or respect for their country or who are bound to fail in life! Eventually, it’s the same people, who, very soon will take up positions of responsibility in global corporations and who’ll do well at their jobs and who’ll make a difference to the society.

Yes, we are the RDB generation, who probably doesn’t subscribe to the depth of thought as high morality commands, who’s frivolous and who seeks pleasure in indulgence. Yes, we might have abandoned the conventional morality of abstinence from drinks, drugs and relationships. We indulge, and we enjoy life. But we do have our social responsibilities in mind as well. We too at times feel disturbed by the dismal state of affairs, we too wish to make a difference and we too are willing and prepared to shoulder the burden of carrying this nation and the humanity forward!

The deeper thinkers would want to dismiss our indulgence as mindless pursuit of selfish interests and claim that we’re too attached to our own self to even think for the good of the society, but it can be better understood in the perspective of living a wholesome life. I do not want to look back from my death bed and feel that I missed out something in life! Yes, doing something for the society and the nation would give me the proud feeling which is an essential component of this 'one life' , but I’ve got just one life and I wish to fit in everything that’s possible.

For a more generic understanding of the youth of today, we need to ask whether all this indulgence is capable of making us lose our direction in life. Is there anything more to us beyond what looks like a spoilt generation? Given our way of life and indulgence and may it be left to us, are we capable of shouldering our nation and carrying it forward to the future?

No comments: