These funny youngsters who refuse to think-III

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 20 May 2018 09:27:08






IN THE pre-dawn hour around 4:45 on Thursday, May 17, 2018, those five-six boys and girls near a street corner in a posh Nagpur locality presented a rather odd sight. So, returning from a full-night work in the newsroom covering the late-night hearing of Karnataka case by the Supreme Court, I chose to stop and stare. Those young people had parked their two-wheelers in a crude circle and were either sitting on or leaning against those, merrily smoking (without exception) and hugging one another every now and then. In the wee hours, I could not see their faces from the distance, but they appeared to be college youth who seemed to have spent a night out and were having the last smoke before the girls returned to their hostel (which I know is situated in the locality). That was, naturally, a strange and also undesirable sight by any standard, I felt.

A little distance from this odd group was a bigger crowd of college youths who had gathered at the square to have their morning cup of tea and poha, but this small group had nothing to do with other youngsters.
Such sights are not uncommon these days at least in cities. Until recently, I often drew solace that such bad trends had not touched Nagpur. But, of late, I encounter such sights more often. Even in restaurants or other public places, one can come across such groups in which girls can be seen enjoying a smoke.

Is not there anybody who can save the youngsters from such a wayward behaviour? Do the people in their homes know what the youngsters are doing? Isn’t there any system that would monitor the movements and actions of youngsters in college, or those living in hostels? For, as my experience of larger life shows, such youngsters do not stop just at smoking tobacco but often advance into more undesirable activities more often than not.

Picking up courage on a few occasions, I tried to establish a communication with such youngsters. They did talk well and agreed that they were not pursuing particularly good habits. One girl also said, in effect, “Uncle, I have many problems. Smoking helps me bust my stress”. Shocked by her candid admission, I suggested her physical exercise for stress-busting. Her boy-friend, too, agreed with my suggestion and both of them promised to start exercising soon. I do not know if they really did, but felt fairly sure that my talk must have disturbed them in a positive manner.

It is not possible to imagine families in which elders do not caution their youngsters against bad habits. But it is also common experience that countless numbers of youngsters do not bother to pay any heed to elders’ advice on most issues. They make up their mind against any such advice and ensure that they do exactly the opposite of what the elders tell them.

Parents of many such youngsters often grieve at their own
failure to control their youngsters. College and university teachers, too, share their grief in a similar manner. In most cases, the elders have a common refrain: “What should we do? The youngsters just refuse to listen to us, refuse to think rationally, and spoil their young years”.

This complaint is legitimate and demonstrates the helplessness of elders in the families or in colleges etc to exert a correct moral influence on youngsters. A few years ago, I would tend to blame the parents at least to some extent. Today, I hesitate doing that. For, experience has told me that the youngsters really refuse to think rationally when a proper elderly advice is offered to them in the hope of a correct conduct on all counts.

My question is simple: Can’t these youngsters think on rational and practical lines and save their young years from getting spoilt by their bad habits and wrong conduct?
This is a major social concern for which we as a society seem to have no answer. This makes me shudder within myself.