What I am about to describe here may be offensive to some, simply common knowledge not worth writing about to some, or disagreeable to some who may argue that it is only my private individual perception. How do we describe the generation of today? It is not easy because no two people are the same and we all have our own experiences which inform how we would generalize a generation. But as I look at the people around me and assess how people speak, behave, or think, I think a kind of pattern emerges which marks our generation. Although our interactions are limited to the people we come in contact with, the internet has provided a good platform where we can observe the behaviour of people that we don’t even know. What people post in facebook are not all true about them, but they surely tell something about the type of people they are.
I think one emerging trend which is a matter of concern is that there is a group of young people who are very difficult to deal with. With the risk of offending, this is how I would describe the young generation. There is a generation of half-educated, middle-middle class, unemployed and angry young men and women who are turning into cynics, nihilists, and anarchists. They are educated enough to understand the news headlines and billboard signs, but not enough to critically analyze, weigh and measure, or think through the issues and factors beneath the surface. They are too restless to stay and listen to the various sides of an argument. They run wild in the internet demolishing the government, defaming the politicians, and unleashing their rage and frustration on others. The sun rises in the morning on them and sets in the evening leaving them behind with nothing being accomplished for the day, yet they won’t take any blame or responsibility. The problem is always something else (e.g. government), or someone else (e.g. politicians).
In our Naga society, life is not easy except for a small privileged group. After having finished school and college, life is still uncertain for the majority of the people. In the past, it was more straightforward; you and everyone will be farmers. But the expectations of young people have changed. In competitive exams, there are limited seats and only the best will get selected. In the government sector, if you are not well connected, you cannot get even an assistant job. If you want to start a business, you need capital money but your parents can’t help you and you don’t want to start small. For the privileged, it is much easier. One can start well by going to a good school, ending up in a good college/university. For competitive exam, one can afford the best coaching centres. If one wants to start a business, there is huge resource to start with. Many times, everything is laid out on a platter by parents. The privileged group enjoys a lot of ‘indirect-Reservation’ in this sense. Although one may come out in a competitive examination in unreserved category, all the privileges in the background amounts to a position of advantage over other people. A competitive examination in this sense is actually not a level playing field for everyone. The opportunities and resources meant for the people are grabbed and siphoned off from the privileged at the top. All of these add up to the frustration of the average young men and women, turning them into critics and cynics.
But despite the circumstances and where one is at the moment, it is time for the angry young men and women to face up to oneself and see what one is actually made of, and what one is going to do about it. The biggest problem may not be out there. The biggest battle may have to be fought within.
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