About half a century ago, soon after World War II, there was the generation of rebels that gave birth to jazz and rock in the west, and a socialist movement (which later became naxalism) in India. This bunch of rebels had a set of social and political values that they stood for; an anti-war sentiment, socialism and equality being their favorites.
The generation of rebels saw Jayaprakash Narayan, Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon as their Gods. This generation advocated free love, freedom of speech and human rights. This generation had its own bunch of thinkers that made them intellectually respectable. They were too naive and simplistic in their outlook. But they had hope. They believed that they could save the world!
Like every other revolution in the history of human civilization, this revolution too, fell - at our very doorsteps. Hope turned into cynicism. It is sad but true, that the ideas of freedom, laid by some of the greatest thinkers of our time, have since gone down the drain.
In India, a vast majority of our urban youth wants to be cool. I often wonder, what does it mean to be cool? In the context of India, someone who is cool must have a terrific body, should be confident, and be dressed in line with the latest fashion trends. The ‘cool’ dude or diva should (ironically) appear to be uninterested in fashion and in being cool.
It is cool to hang around with friends, preferably of the opposite gender who, in turn, are all cool. It is cool to be seen drinking the right stuff. It is cool to speak the right version of English slang with obscene abusive words. A whole generation is becoming pretentious. Well, pretention is the ‘non-cool’ word for ‘cool’.
This is the case with most metros in India. In every nook and corner of Indian metros, you’ll find groups of young men and women who despise everything Indian. They criticize Indian roads, Indian traffic, Indian trains, Indian politicians and even Indian food (too oily, too spicy, too down-market).
They watch the latest Hollywood films no matter how stupid some of them are. They dance to the tune of the same rock music which is rocking across night clubs in USA. Well, this is the cool, mean, time-pass generation, which drinks beer, utters the f*** word in every other sentence and cracks jokes about everything and everyone.
It is ironic that these cool dudes and divas consider themselves intellectually superior than the poor countryside counterparts, who speak English with a regional accent, do not know how to use cosmetics the right way, do not read the latest junk literature, and believe in this land and its values. These poor young men and women believe in hard work, personal sacrifice, devotion, submission and love.
Well, all said and done, not every metro boy or girl is mean, selfish, bitchy, reckless, vulgar, obnoxious and profane. While the number of cool mean guys and gals is growing, they surely don’t outnumber the majority of the youth of India. Unless you are living in a rich locality in Mumbai, Bangalore or Delhi, you can look around and see that these dudes and divas are far outnumbered by the cultured, family-oriented, well-behaved, nice boys and girls. These are the people who contribute in the development of society, the nation building process.
Unfortunately, the media; both print and television, is busy glorifying the degenerate crowd. Films and TV shows seem to convey the impression that modern life is valueless and unethical, which is not the right thing to do. Advertisements promote this. It is understandable that many young and insecure boys and girls are falling prey to the grand carpet bombing of propaganda, just to fit in.
Yet, there is still hope. Nothing based on pretention can last long. The roots of this culture and its values run deep in our veins. Clouds cannot prohibit sunrise. With this hope, and with simple living and high thinking, let’s march ahead towards a better and glorious future.
Photo credit: outlookindia.com