Identity crisis: Indian Youth

Updated: Jul 25, 2011, 14:36 PM IST

With the world moving at jet speed and third world nations donning a ‘globalised’ avatar, India seems to have become a forerunner in showcasing the state of the Asian countries in times to come. East is no longer east, but is going the west way and the Indian subcontinent looks nothing less than a contemporary colony of America! <br><br>

I am a secular person having least intentions in disturbing global peace. But, at the end of the day, one must realise how important it is to remain rooted, for our cultural background gives us a unique identity- a recognition that makes us stand out from crowd. <br><br>

To begin with, I would like to throw light on the Indian film industry which is growing popular by the day. Indian cinema is gradually being followed by the world audiences and that’s great news! <br><br>

However, Bollywood, as Indian cinema has been christened as, is doing little to contribute to save the ideal Indian image from getting tarnished. Bollywood now is a lot about sleaze, glamour and Americanisation. Apart from the language that is spoken in the films, everything else is portrayed in a western avatar with <i>desi masala </i>loosely sprinkled on it. <br><br>

Gone are those days when Indian cinema dealt with relationships, the joint family culture, the villages and the beauty of being ‘simply’ Indian. No longer do we get to see “Indian women” in Bollywood- no properly draped sarees, no long hair, no red bindis and no coyness! All these have supposedly become ‘down market.’ Actresses wearing skimpy and inviting figure-hugging dresses are hot, happening and in demand! <br><br>

Indian landscape has gone missing from Bollywood in the literal sense. Many diehard fans of Bollywood might think I am being hypocritical. But I intend to throw light on what Bollywood can do to uphold the cause of ‘Indian cultural and traditional legacy’ and not on the kind of advancement it is making on the international platform! <br><br>

Now coming to the <i>aam janta</i>…..and the upper, upper-middle and even some middle-class youth of this nation…eating a burger is hip while gorging on <i>vada pav</i> is LS (low standard- A popular connotation)! And I am saying this after having had observed most youth’s attitude for over a period of years. It’s not only about the kind of choices people make when it comes to food, but having indigenous breakfast that includes a sumptuous package of parantha, curd, butter and achaar have become unhealthy to eat…for they are full of calories!!! How about sustaining on a can of diet cold drink, a pack of French fries made of stale frozen potatoes and burgers that are high on preservatives! <br><br>

Conversing in English even at home and with friends has become ‘a must’ for not only the elite, but the middle class youth in metropolitan cities. Reading vernacular or watching regional channels is embarrassing and listening to songs with desi beats barring ‘Munni Badnaam Hui’ and other such item songs a ‘not so happening thing’. <br><br>

Indian classical art forms are boring while dancing to salsa is the ‘in thing’. Slipping into a pair of jeans is far more ‘comfy’ and cool while Indian attires are being labelled as ‘traditional’ dresses. Rewinding 50 years from now, dhoti/pyjama and a kurta for the men and sarees/salwar kameez for women were regular wears! <br><br>

Aping Americans is not going to help us emerge as a strong nation. By following their lifestyle and culture, we are doing no good to ourselves. Having boyfriends and girlfriends at an age as young as 13-14 have become a trend of sorts and to indulge in sexual activities before attaining adulthood is a social norm. After having read results of several surveys post extensive research published in reputed newspapers, I feel scandalised to see the outcome. Teen sex, smoking, doping, late night parties, girlfriend and boyfriend swapping are very much in vogue among majority of the youth not only in big cities but even in developing towns. “He’s my guy,” “She’s my babe”, “the famous “F” word: if you don’t speak any of these you are a nerd…from some far off weird planet! <br><br>

I feel indebted to my country for giving yoga to the world. We have had mathematicians and scientists like Aryabhatta and Varahamihira, who were highly learned men. Our scientists discovered the galaxy and the solar system much before any modern scientist in the world could. Ayurveda is now being preferred over other advanced medicines. International celebrities like Katie Perry and Russell Brand chose to get married according to the Indian tradition and many more specimens to mention to elevate India’s image in the eyes of the modern youth of this nation. <br><br>

I feel resurrecting our original self is the need of the hour and to feel proud of who we are! As they say, prevention is better than cure, mindlessly copying the West should be discouraged, or else we would certainly suffer from an identity crisis! <br><br>

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