Posted by: kulanjiyil | May 9, 2008

INDIA’S ECONOMIC BOOM & THE EMERGING YOUTH CULTURE

             In a recent seventeen-nation survey, India won the international acclaim for having the most optimistic youth population. “The Indian youth are strikingly more optimistic about their own and also about the future of society,” said Math Lindgren, CEO and founder of Kairos Future Group, who funded the study. Some of the other countries that participated in this survey include Japan, France, Italy, Russia, and China(www.forbes.com/facesinthenews/2007/09/22/India-happiness-survey-face-cx_rd_092…).   

India’s booming economy and growing employment opportunities are said to be the primary contributors to this novel outlook. I remember the mounting unrest and disillusionment that prevailed among the Indian youth until about two decades ago, primarily because of the shortage of employment opportunities. It is reassuring to know that the strategic economic planning of the Indian government, along with the enhanced educational opportunities in the in the new millennia, are yielding positive results today.  The growing middle class is certainly a symbol of India’s accomplishment on the economic front.

Are there any downsides to this apparent economic achievement? India’s open entry to the global market has not only brought economic transformation in the Indian society but also cultural transformation. The impact of globalization on India’s youth is quite profound. With greater opportunities for interaction with the outside world India’s youth is in search for a new self-identity.  Further, there is a hunt for new social values.

             Many reports indicate a notable paradigm shift in the area of value system. For example, radical individualism is on the rise, something that thwarts the traditional values of community and interdependence. Another sway is in the area of priorities. Having a family and raising children is a least priority for most youth today. A good number of them choose to remain single or to marry late. What is most fulfilling to them is having “a good career and a position with high status,” and living and eating well and spending time with friends, as the Forbes report indicates. Beneath this attitude is the hedonistic philosophy that treats individual pleasure as the chief end in life. The new maxim is “make-me-happy.” This way of life, popularized by the satellite TV, mainly MTV, is catching the attention of more and more youth.

A few of the alarming new trends that are noticeable in major modern Indian cities include, an ever-increasing self-indulgent behaviors, lavish life-styles, growing sexual freedom, co-habitation with the opposite sex, and increased tolerance for divorce and re-marriage. One report states, “Parents in Delhi and Mumbai are just as worried as New York parents about the corruption of their children and it may jeopardize their future. Sex, drugs, and rock & roll translate to the same problems in both societies.” (newswing.com/?p=401). A new publication, Sociology of the Youth Culture in India, edited by S.P. Ruhela, (ISBN 81-7341-172-7) provides a revelaing account of these changing values and attitudes. I would recommend this book to the readers. 

Material prosperity alone cannot make a nation strong or its people happy. A nation is strong only relative to its moral foundations and spiritual values. In the absence of conscious efforts to protect the traditional cultural values and institutions, our mere material prosperity can lead us to colossal moral perils that would be too grave a price to pay. 

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Responses

  1. Hello there. I was sent a link to your blog by a friend a while ago. I have been reading a long for a while now. Just wanted to say HI. Thanks for putting in all the hard work.

    Jennifer Lancey

  2. Jennifer,

    Thanks for reading my blog. I just started developing the site. Keep checking.

    Dr. Kulanjiyil

  3. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Superior!


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