Wings of Youth

by Milind Gogate

There has been a lot of unrest of late, which was evident through various agitations and protests.  The protesters were mostly youth, who were unhappy about a certain Film (Padmavat) or a Battle between our own Peshwa Kingdom and Colonial British or Conviction of a certain Spiritual (??) Guru.  The result was Colossal Loss of Lives and (Mostly Public) Property.  Add to that wastage of Lakhs of otherwise Productive Man hours.

Such protests are mostly the handiwork of a handful of Anti-national Elements who have absolutely NO LOVE LOST for either of the key players involved. 

We are an extremely emotional and sentimental people.  The Anti-national Elements shamelessly make use these qualities of the Youth to reach their ulterior goals, Successfully. 

That brings me to the title above.  The Indian youth participating in such protests can be easily divided into two clear categories.

  • "The Green horns" -
    • These youngsters are Pure, Unbiased, Innocent, mostly Naive and have more or less led a sheltered life.  They are fresh out of the Higher Secondary School and on the threshold, about to cross over to the real life.  They are bubbling with unlimited energy and a plethora of ideas.  This is the stage I guess, when college going youth romanticise about the Utopian Society... 
    • You know that "सारे घर के बदल डालूँगा", "हम साथ साथ हैं", "अन्याय के खिलाफ लडाई", "समाज सेवा"….. etc variety.  
    • They are enamored by the sheer idea of "Rebellion".  That Rebellion is against the established norms in various spheres of life; personal, professional, political etc.  They perceive this new found status "Very Liberating"…  
    • The Adolescent Hormonal surge sends their blood in all the corners of their body in equal measures.  The brain does get its share of this distribution which is just about adequate to keep it ticking, nothing more.  The thinking capacity and capability although in abundance mostly take a back seat due to OTHER Considerations.  
    • इस उम्र में उनका व्यक्तिमत्व कुछ गिली मिट्टी कि तरहा होता है.. जैसे ढाल दो, ढल जाता है...  I can say this with some conviction Because I have "Been There, Done That", some 30 years ago.
  • "The Professionals"-
    • These so called "Students" who continue to enroll year after year into some or the other course in order to propagate their mostly Political Ambitions.  
    • They are offered patronage by the various politico – religious  organisations, in return of favours, mostly in terms of show of strength, agitations, strikes etc.
    • They carryout research in some obscure and abstract fields like "African Studies", "Medieval Europe", "American Civil War" etc.  
    • They DONOT indulge in any local issues like "Untouchability", "Gender Discrimination", "Poor Health Infrastructure" etc, that have plagued our society for decades . for the obvious reasons.  
    • They are actually NOT pursuing any serious studies in most cases.  They are mere front ends, which facilitate execution of various ulterior agendas of their respective Patron Political Parties.

 

That reminds me of an event a few years back.  I happened to attend a Film Festival on the theme "Global Peace".  There I got to interact with a team of young boys and girls.  Most of them were pursuing their respective graduation and were mostly below 20 years of age.  The flock perfectly fit the description of "The Green Horns" as given above.  

I have been in the Armed Forces for close to 30 years and was introduced to them as such.  Due to this introduction they were a little skeptical to begin with.  They were then told that despite being in the uniformed profession I was on their side (? ! ?).  In other words, despite being part of the Establishment (read Government), I was a tacit sympathiser of various issue based movements.   

It took me considerable time and efforts to tell the group that there is nothing like "Us" and "Them".  We are all integral parts of one system and we all have to make all possible attempts to realise our dreams in all the spheres of life; whether social or economical. 


There I experienced firsthand the mold-ability and gullibility of the "Green Horns", yet again.  I realised that the times may have changed, the socio-economic changes may have brought about a revolution in the society, but the youth and their thought process remained unchanged.

Now let's go back to the title "WINGS of Youth".  

The "Green Horns" are perched on the threshold of life ready to take-off with the newfound freedom (of movement, from school uniforms etc).  Their WINGS are all set to take them to newer heights and places; they have never been to so far.  At this stage, they have "BOTH WINGS" Intact. They mostly CAN NOT differentiate between "Right Wing" and / or "Left Wing".  They consider "BOTH WINGS" as essential part of their identity, their Being.

The self proclaimed champions of Socialism, Communism, Communalism and various such "isms" have always capitalised on this... The gullible youth (read "Green Horns") invariably gets sucked into it, due to Sheer Romanticism...  The reality does dawn on most of them, sooner or later.... This realisation guides these "Green Horns" into following channels.

  • The Lucky Ones who realise it sooner... They have a chance to take a call and alter their course of life, if they wish to...  Many of them DO Decide and chart their respective course of life.
  • The Unlucky Ones who realise it and yet are unable to decide or procrastinate the decision on their future course of action. They get disillusioned / frustrated and often fall prey to various nefarious Anti National designs...
  • The Opportunists which are the Smartest of the lot... They capitalise on their own experience and mostly Consolidate political patronage to further their personal aspirations and goals.... AND the largest Democracy affords them adequate opportunity to live a life Less Ordinary.....

 

The lure of social media and the urge for Instant (though short lived) fame have complicated the matter further.  The Peer Pressure and Mob Psyche pushe them to dangerous levels and many get onto the Self-Destruct mode.  The common sense deserts them at such times.

The most common argument put forth by all the TV Studio Champions is that various Universities and colleges are the nurseries which facilitate identification, development and growth of future leaders, which will take the nation to further heights.  They also cite examples from the modern history.  They are not far off form the reality.  The various youth organisations do throw up leaders of varying degrees. However, such Serious Leaders are a rarity.  Ultimately, most of them turn out to be materialistic and work for their respective families and personal gains.  One look at the current mediocre political leadership and you will understand what I said. 

The nefarious designs ultimately result in the youth losing their sense of balance of "BOTH WINGS".  Depending upon the circumstances either of the "Wings" gains more power and the person is categorised as a "LEFT WINGER" or a "RIGHT WINGER".  

The more resilient ones manage to Balance their "WINGS" in time and fly away to their respective destinations.

Let us pray and hope that more and more youth recognise their own potential and the Nefarious designs of various Anti-National Elements, Sooner.  May they Achieve a Sense of Balance and Soar into the skies of Abundant Opportunities.

        
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