I am a 22-year old young man. Man – ‘cause I can get married next tuesday & Young - ‘cause I’ll always be young (at least in the inside) even on the verge of a mid life crisis at 45! Indian by birth, Indian by heart. Reasonably intelligent, a little laidback, ambitious, a born daydreamer…
Well this is me but the above may just be the profile of any of the countless of young impressionable Indians who having just crossed the threshold of being a carefree teen or a young adult & are just rushing out to take on the world & create their own destinies.
Young India is getting younger as the clock keeps ticking. A little number crunching will show that almost as much as 55% of India is under the age group of 18-25. Now that to me is a staggering statistical fact! Our country is witnessing a transformational phase, a change in identity if you will.
Gone are the days when the outside world used to perceive us as a third world nation, the land of snake charmers & variety of spices. Today we are a global destination for all kinds of activities.
India has arrived ladies & gentlemen!
This shift in global perspective has a lot of tangible benefits, both in terms of economic advantages & cultural mindsets. The average Indian 20-something year old is a lot more optimistic, confident & hopeful about his future & his place in the new market economy.
Armed with a solid knowledge base & with the requisite soft skills with the ability to sell oneself, the youth of today knows that the world is their oyster. With India Inc. going global in the truest sense of the word, there are no limits as to where dedicated hard work, a passionate drive & the ability to rise above your comfort zone can take you.
Gone are the days when university life was characterized by a reckless sense of rebellion & undiluted idealism & individuality. There’s a sense of real world practicality in the young today. Politics is for the ruthless. Be aware but don’t get your hands dirty seems to be the credo. But I wish there was a greater level of participation & involvement by the young in the political process & the way we govern ourselves.
The technological revolution that has spun the entire globe in a dizzy has brought these young people of diverse nationalities together collaborating with each other blurring cultural as well as geographical boundaries. The internet & mobile technology has forever changed the way people gather & absorb information & the way they entertain themselves.
But this over indulgence in technological wizardry has a few caveats as well. Psychologists & sociologists argue that attention spans are diminishing & that real human interaction is being replaced by spending more time in the digital dungeons. But the pros hugely outnumber the cons.
Google, sms, blogging, mp3, I-pod, Playsation, Nokia are not just products, they’ve become a way of life for this brand conscious, always on the move generation.
Along with all the material aspirations is also the need to grow, to learn, to be enlightened.
Education is not merely about adding a degree after your name, it’s about making the appropriate choices which would enable you to realize your true potential. Technical studies are not pursued today just to quench your intellectual curiosity but so that you can identify real world problems & devise solutions which are cost effective & are market oriented. But one should not let market driven economics to dictate ones passion for a career in science or humanities. Unfortunately our rigid & inflexible education system leaves less to imagination.
The young & the restless are changing the social, economic & cultural fabric of India & the people high up there in the political system would be too naïve to disregard the fact.
On the whole, we are living in interesting times where opportunities are right there in front of us. All we need to do is grab them by the collar & go kiss the world!