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NRI, Dr. Prem Joshi, University of Bahrain


Are Today's Indian Youth Lacking Proper Direction?

Bahrain, May 12, 2006
Dr. Prem Joshi

Recently, a few articles have appeared in the print and online media such as The Hindu, The Hindustan Times etc. regarding the issue whether today's youth in India lack proper direction (Dishaheen)? I don't fully concur with those who say that "youth of India are useless, selfish and lackadaisical and money minded. There are no role models or youth icons anymore" and also with their unconvincing arguments.

The youth are not useless rather they have great potentials if they are directed and guided properly. But, they have certainly developed a tendency to be selfish and interested in making quick buck in short span of time without much struggle. There is gradual deterioration in them to show respect to their elders, preservance to their traditional values, and perservance toward achieving gradual results. Today, they want to live alone and not with the parents because of the changing social and economic environment in cities. Don't say that it depends how they are brought up in their childhood and what values have been given to them. I can quote thousands of examples in which children are given the best education, values and environment. Once they start working and experience the metros fast and glamorous in the new environment, their thinking and lifestyle changes. The faulty policies of government towards reservation and decline in the quality education also contribute to their frustration.

On a larger scale, they become money minded and enjoy luxury. Exceptions are there. Someone has said about B-School students "The placement mania makes MBA students regard jobs and salaries as the be-all and end-all of things. This attitude is inculcated into very bright, young and impressionable students right from the time they enter the B-schools. Instead of imbibing a spirit of idealism and developing a strong desire to change the world for the better, students leave their B-school after graduation, totally obsessed with making money and progressing in their career."

It is true that the societal pressures have made the today youth money-minded and career-focused. However, the brightest students do not opt for teaching and research. They instead take up lucrative jobs in multinational firms and end up serving college dropouts like Bill Gates and Michael Dell.

Our youth is financially growing, advancing in technical skills but still lagging behind in intellectual growth. Recently, when my inclusion in the list of outstanding intellectuals of 21st Century in UK appeared, several well placed ex-students of mine congratulated me and many of them also remarked "Sir, it seems you have made a lot of money". I was really shocked to see how today's educated youth measure the success in life mainly in terms of wealth accumulation.

Regarding the political youth leaders of the contemporary India like Rahul Gandhi, Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Milind Deora etc. they have still to taste all holy rivers' waters of India. Once they become matured politicians and hungry for political power, you may see some of them may be in horrible news like Bofors.

On the top of it, all of them will be carrying forward the family dynasty of politics. How many of them have really come out into politics on their own like Lal Bahadur Shastri? With ample resources and facilities at their disposal, they were groomed right from the beginning at college life to be the future leaders of this country.

One can say that in the era of globalisation, fast means of communication and easy access to information and knowledge-based economy, today youth are getting exposure to several things and becoming more sagacious. However, due to less exposure to ethical values, a growing tendency of selfishness, commercialisation of education, an environment of corrupt practices etc are leaving them behind to have true role models from whom they get inspired.

In contemporary India, my suggestion would be to get inspired from Dr. Manmohan Singh, an intellectual, researcher, thinker, missionary personality, bureaucrat, clean leader, competent administrator, the brain and father of Indian economic reforms.

His only goal is to take India into the 21st century as an economic power of the world.


Dr. Prem Joshi, University of Bahrain

  • Professor (Dr.) Prem Lal Joshi, University of Bahrain . The author is also Editor-in-Chief: IJAAPE, UK and on the Board of Directors of World Accounting Forum. He is listed in Maquis Who's Who in the World (23rd ed.) and International Who's Who (2005-06)
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