A nation which was considered a land of snake charmers, villages and elephant riders has come a long way to be recognized as the global hub of intellect in almost all major fields. Even villages which were just inconsequential dots on the map now have an identity of their own and are progressing towards urbanization through various channels.
Today’s generation is the product of the incredible sociological change which has happened because of eight years of liberalization. The scenario has changed from one party Socialist rule to free markets.
A look at our country and we observe that it is a “work in progress”. The generation of today is a product of it. The changing value system overridden by a liberal outlook and a strict business sense has overtaken what was once a disciplined ‘Gurukul’ thinking. Rationale has overtaken blind following of any rule.
Arguments for and against the changing scenario are many and can be contested in numerous different ways. But one thing is for sure, the youth today does not behold its thought; though born with a stiff upper lip, they shoot straight from the hip.
Young India, a term coined because of the huge number of citizens in the age group of 13-35(approx. 54%, 542 million out of 1.2 billion population) is on a roll like never before.
An ancient civilization which was considered rich in traditions and values have now changed to the best developing country which can provide assistance to major countries in every sphere be it in the field of engineering, medicine, automobile etc.
Well, as we all know (if we read the economic news) India has been on a roll, tracking GDP of 7-8%. In fact it has been 9% in 2009. Even when the ‘recession times’ have bestowed their curse on us, we are still managing a strong 6%. One of the major contributions to this strong GDP growth is the booming IT industry. And take a bow young minds, it is all because of you.
How it contributes to the economy is a question one may ask. The answer lies in the changing value system. The viewpoint to save all the money and enjoy it after retirement has undergone a massive change to spend it now and enjoy the present times.
The spending to procure the luxuries assists the economy. This is the sole reason why there are so many brands which focus on youth today. The ‘independents’ have decided to purchase what suffices their desire and means regardless of its impact on their savings.
The other aspect is ‘job mobility’. Since most of the major hubs for employment lie in the metros, the youth is not afraid to leave their hometowns and live in these cities. There is a change in the mindset of the older fellows. They are supportive towards their children’s decision to move to larger cities.
Even the civil service exams have undergone a change. The examiners have understood that the talent base is broad. With the economic downturn, government jobs have become more attractive. With the advent of the 6th pay commission the pay has grown tenfold to match with the corporate sector.
It helps in rural to urban migration. It is observed all the time in case of UPSC exams. It lures the youth to step out of their areas, come to metros, and study in coaching centers and work towards these exams.
The contemporary issues for the youth today are globalization, cultural clashes with the older generation, environment, population, materialism and lack of spirituality. There are many instances which can cite the concern of youth for the above mentioned issues. They have a positive outlook towards life though a minority exist who go for substance abuse and are a misfit.
They are very concerned about family, education and work. They have a keen desire to make some contribution in nation building and are more aware of their surroundings than ever before. They are concerned and well informed about the politics of the nation and want to contribute both vocally and physically (Anna Hazare’s anti corruption movement).
As societies have become more complex, family circles and relatives are no longer the only options for socializing. Social media (websites like facebook, twitter, etc.) has come up a big way in closing the distances, have brought many people together and play a huge part in their daily lives. These media of communication are also a perfect channel for marketing and opinion formers.
Caste barriers which used to influence majorly in the past are almost non-existent. In terms of a college going student – “We are not aware of such things. They only come to our minds when we are filling application forms.” Education and literacy are eradicating these barriers.
This generational shift in choices, attitude seems so prominent because of the growing rate of the youth population of the country. Analysts say that by 2020 some 55% of the total population will be under the age of 35. This group is has more globally informed opinions, demand a more cosmopolitan society and want to be fully functional members of the global economy.
The choice from being a humble servant of the government and live a safe and sustainable life has taken a paradigm shift with many young people opting to become entrepreneurs and contribute to a more vibrant economy.
The foundation of every state, every nation, is educating its youth. I hope we show them the path to be different and unique. The elder regard the choices made by the youth, guide and instruct them to hold themselves in high esteem. All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward. The current change in the value system has brought good opportunities. Let us hope we embrace it and reach to the zenith; the place where we deserve to be.
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