Off late I have been in to many discussions where the previous generation people are very much displeased with the current generation. The reasons cited include but not limited to no respect for elderly people, not knowing the value of money, no culture, etc…While they have every right to criticize the younger generation and guide them I think it would be the duty for the young ones to let them know their side of the story.
First of all it is very important to understand that we are in the middle of a revolution. India having missed the industrial revolution is now going through the information revolution. This information revolution has a unique property that it makes the world look very small and flat. This means that all the countries are in the same playing field and the economies are now highly inter dependant. While it is good for the economy of our country (we just joined the 1 trillion dollar GDP group of countries) we have to look at the culture aspect. This is the time when different culture meet very often and each one tries to get the best of the other. When the western culture are seeing our tolerance levels, strong bonded family, high educational values as advantage we as Indians are interacting more with an open society. This gives a lot of freedom in thinking and makes this generation to criticize all old ideologies and superstitions. The younger generation is criticizing the beliefs and superstitions of the previous generation; not the elders. Every young Indian today respects APJ and Ambani and take them as a role model. At the same time they would give a damn if they are dumped with old beliefs and superstitions.
The next thing I often hear is this generation spends a lot of time in cellphone, internet and other means of social networking. This is not something new which this generation alone is doing. When you look back couple of generations you would find youngsters spending most of their time in watching movies, going for dramas, etc…When any such advancement happen the youngsters obviously are attracted towards that. Today we might see a lot of youngsters spending time over phone and internet. But they do it only for couple of years where it would look as a entertainment, a way to relax and catch up with their friends. But as live moves on with added responsibilities they become more mature and use these technologies only as a matter of convenience. The youngsters now spend endless hours at office totally detached from outside world would definitely need to catch up with their friends. Technology comes handy at these times. These technologies help people to remain in touch with their loved ones despite of the distance between them. This is definitely a boon to the generation that is always on the move and lives in a fast paced world.
Well another complaint: too much money at too early age. Yeah agreed. The salaries that this generation starts with is almost equal to the retirement salary of the previous generation. But I would say this has done more good to the society than any harm. I would strongly suggest the previous generation to come out of their four walls and look at the revolution that is happening in Retail, Real estate, Telecom and other industries. Your sons and daughters are having houses at the age of 26 wherein you probably would have started your career. I am not finding fault with the previous generation but I am trying to emphasize on the change that has happened in less than 30years. At the age of 21 when our young Indians are shown the gateway to a better life through lucrative salaries and world class work environment they are obviously excited about the whole thing. Added to this they interact with other cultures, many of them are open in nature. He enjoys his youth, wants to make the best use of it, live every moment of it and the higher salaries helps him in doing that. But couple of years later he starts thinking about settling down in life, having a stress less future and comfortable life for him and his family. He then makes the best use of the hard earned money. Look at the middle class family now. You visit any home and you can hear conversations on stock market, mutual funds and real estate. I can without any doubt say, the previous generation knew how to make money and save it for future. But young Indian not only knows how to make money but he can multiply it in a shorter time frame, invest in different avenues for future, do better tax planning and at the same time live life to the fullest extent.
There are lot other developments that are happening right in front of our eyes. We no more get labor for doing household job. We do not get labor for ploughing fields anymore. Because every one wants to live a better life now and they have better avenues like joining the house keeping department of a IT company or work in a super market. We have machines now to do the house cleaning jobs and ploughing fields. These definitely are improvements in our way of living. There is more respect to every individual now. You go to any of the services company, the house keeping guy gets the same respect as any other employee. Because the young ones believe every one works for a job to earn a living and they deserve the respect for the work they do. Look at the open market now where private players are giving stiff competition to the government run services and because of which the govt services improve; BSNL is a good example in this. Look at the retail banking revolution. You can now do a funds transfer from your mobile phone. There are endless such developments across different sectors.
When all such developments bring lots of good things to the society and the lifestyle of people there is obviously another side of it. A whole lot of people who do not get access to these facilities are more frustrated than ever and this in turn leads to a lot of crime in the society. We hear increasing crimes of mobile phone thefts, street robbery and so on. And many investigations have revealed that people commit such crimes because they wanted a better lifestyle but were not able to access them. You cannot blame the young for these. An elected government, the cops and the judiciary are in place for doing this job. Better policies have to be framed so that every sector and every individual is thrown open to these opportunities and have every access to improve their life style.
For all the elderly people who are very much disappointed with the younger ones, I see this as the evergreen phenomenon of “generation gap”. So open your eyes a little wider and look at the world from your son’s/daughter’s perspective. They have not lost the culture and values that are deep rooted in the society. They still prefer a bonded family. Every son loves his mom as much his dad loved his mom. If there was a “Amma endru azhaikadha uyir illayae” song some time back we have “Kaalayil dhinamum kan vizhithaal kai thozhum devadhai amma” song now. There are so many responsile daughters now who have access to the high salaries only to provide a better life to her parents. And every young Indian in fact is proud of his previous generation. Because for all his childhood when his parents said “Study…study…study hard so that you could live better”, he did not understand the advantage of it. But today India sells more brains than anything else. The knowledge that got imparted in all those childhood days is now beginning to fructify. People now retire at the age of 45. Probably the previous generation started off with a company and served it for 30 long years and retired as a pensioner. Now, three jumps in 2 years with every jump increasing the salary by 30% is quite normal. Look at the number of entrepreneurs in India now. When friends meant relaxing times and emotional attachment a decade back there are lot of examples where friends can mean business too. A lot of successful businesses run by people who retire from salaried employment at early ages are by catching up with friends who have a common vision.
Before blaming or complaining I would suggest the previous generation to have a look at the other side of the coin and understand the big picture. The young ones definitely need your guidance for you would have almost lived through your life and he would have just begun. You can definitely help him out with the experiences you earned all these years but then do not stand as an obstacle for his future.