India’s youth and democratic citizenship

It is a matter of concern that India’s Youth are losing their faith in Democracy. This startling fact was revealed in a recent survey by Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA). This survey results were published on 21st Januray, 2015 in Mumbai.

This survey was aimed at understanding influences of formal education, socio economic factors, media, parenting and related factors on Democratic Citizenship of India’s school and college students.

This survey was conducted to understand Knowledge, Comprehension, Attitude and Values of India’s Youth in the following areas –

  1. Rights and Responsibilities

  2. Democratic Governance

  3. Adherence to Civic Rules

  4. Environmental Conservation

  5. Gender Equality

  6. Diversity and Social Justice

Facts revealed by this survey are –

Rights and Responsibility

Children

26% correctly understand the meaning of the Fundamental Right Against Exploitation

Oh! good that India’s Youth do not understand this. Else they would have known how politicians are exploiting them everyday and how in the name of women empowerment some life changing Laws are created only to exploit common people. You don’t believe me? Well, think why in-spite of such a large scale of misuse of dowry Laws, false complainants are not punished? You think it is women empowerment? Okay, then why was Shashi Tharoor never arrested after suspicious death of his wife? He got a clean chit from a judicial panel stating it was a suicide and only after the govt. has changed, the suicide turned out to be a murder. In case of a common man, he would have been arrested the day his wife was found dead under mysterious circumstances.

If you are still not convinced, just remember the recent comment by Arun Jaitley. He said media trial should stop in hi profile cases.  Well, you know different Rules of Law are being created and forced upon us by our Rulers.

35% of high school students consider themselves as “citizens” of India

In other words, 65% of our Youth do not consider themselves to be citizens of India. It seems, that only on Republic day we feel proud as Indians, else the bitter reality is our Youth do not even consider them as Indians.

But why is this? Is this due to regionalism promoted by our politicians for their vote bank politics so that regional undercurrent subverts our nationalist mindset? Or it is because these young minds are so advanced that they are already considering citizenship of other countries? In any case this signals that our Youth are not at all proud to be Indians. Politicians have done too much damage to our young minds so that they already belonged to somewhere else.

37% correctly understand the meaning of the Fundamental Right to Equality

Again, it is good for the politicians that our Youth do not understand this. If they did, they would have asked uncomfortable questions like why separate Laws based on our caste, religion or gender, they would have asked why only facilities are given to one gender and it is said that they are oppressed, they would have asked why men in the country have no recourse of getting justice in gender biased Laws even after being proven innocent, or why a man becomes guilty simply on accusation or why only Rights of women are discussed and not their responsibilities.

Democratic governance

Ballot, Democracy

37% have a fuller understanding of Democracy – that it is all about Rule of Law, equality, human Rights, and elections

Oh great, that the larger chunk didn’t understand this. Because Rule of Law, human Rights etc are only for the elite today and only they can exploit the Law to their advantage. Equality is a myth, human Rights do not exist for our poor and elections are won with the help of paid media. The day India’s Youth understand these facts, there will be a revolution.

74% do not know that the Legislature is responsible for enacting Laws

This is because a clear idea is never given to our Youth about how this Democracy works, unless one takes up specific subjects like political science.  In an age of competition for going for easy money making courses, who wants to know these unless one wants to join politics? People still think politics is dirty and all good students stay out of that, however, they don’t understand that it is the politicians who make most money. But politics is no career option for our Youth because of high rate of corruption there.

53% of college students “agreed” that military should Rule India for some years

When the Youth is not interested in our political Democracy, then why shouldn’t they agree? When they see our politicians can simply change sides and join the opposite party based on their convenience and profit, when there is high corruption, a military Rule is always preferable.

67% of college students “agreed” that India should have only one strong Political Party at the Centre to Rule the entire country

So that other regional parties can not blackmail the ruling party for their regional benefits. We see the fruits of this in current situation. BJP having absolute power at centre can Rule the country at peace. This situation does have demerits too as there is no sizeable opponent to oppose the ruling party’s whimsical policies and bring good governance. That is why even our PM once said, he needed critics for better governance as there is no opposition.

Adherence to Civic Rules

Ruler, boss

38% “agreed” that it is alright to violate Rules because the penalty is small

This is what we see everywhere today. The way certain gender specific Laws are misused and the Law abusers get more cover for abusing the Law, this feeling is no surprise to me. It is a failure of our judiciary to stop being a puppet in the hands of politicians and punish the Law abusers. Because it is only the police and judiciary that can invoke such sections once a complaint is found false. Currently adequate punishment is given in some rare cases, but in most gender biased Laws there is no punishment for false complaints.

43%”agreed” that it is alright to violate Rules because one can always get away bribing the officials

Self explanatory. Corruption issues run high in everybody’s mind. Our Laws and Law enacting bodies have failed to instil a sense of confidence in our minds.

51% of college students “agreed” that it is difficult to follow Rules when others are violating the same

It is not an eye opener for me at least. May be our politicians should take lessons from this finding. Unless blatant misuse of Law is severely punished (like in the case of Rohtak sisters, they are still not punished), the message going to India’s Youth is – unless they can exploit others, they are not empowered.

Rohtak criminals got rewarded by women’s commission for their shameful act and the real male victims were denied a seat in the army admission test. These incidents leave permanent scars on the face of our justice system.

Environmental Conservation

72% feel it is “important” that everyone must collect and use rain water

81% feel it is “important” that people must reduce the wastage of water

78% feel it is “important” that people and government must protect lakes and tanks

Good to see the awareness. Hope to see it increase.

Gender Equality

Gender equality52% girls and 57% boys “agreed” that women dress and behave in certain ways to provoke violent reactions from men

No matter how much the male gender is shamed for their sexual behaviour of getting attracted to women for their physical beauty, the biological truth can’t be denied. Even scientific examinations in the west have proved that men get more attracted to women for their physical beauty. The reason why women want to flaunt their curves, are same why men get attracted to them.

But the question is attraction to opposite sex can’t be justified with violence. Well, we are in a conservative society where proper sex education is not provided. Here everyday the distance between the genders is deliberately increased. As the distance between the sexes increases, so does the curiosity about the opposite sex. In a highly sexualized environment, where men naturally get attracted to women for their physical beauty, it is difficult to control emotions. The statistics gets even more skewed with a lot of false cases.  When we encourage women to display their sexuality everywhere as their empowerment, we shun men to get attracted to that. This creates a systematic sexual frustration that leads to crime.

39% girls and 43% boys “agreed” that women have no choice but to accept a certain degree of violence

Is this surprising? Not at all. Why shouldn’t the women tolerate violence when men are tolerating the same everyday?

Men are discriminated against in education and everyday it is made tough for them to get proper earning in the name of reservation for girls, but the expectation of being a provider and protector still lies with them.  In this situation they are made vulnerable to whole lot of cruelty from the society but crime against men is not even a serious concern for anyone. They have no choice but to accept them. Many of them get extreme cruelty at home from the women (wives) they protect. They have no recourse but to tolerate, until they commit suicide.

When men undergo so much violence everyday and they accept such violence, why can’t women? When the definition of violence in our Laws is made gynocentric, so that the acts done against women are considered as crime and the same acts done against men are not, how can we even be concerned about this?

36% girls and 44% boys from college admitted that dowry is a practice in their community and felt they should “accept” this practice

Did you think dowry is illegal and should be shunned? Well, I thought so until I realized that Indian women in fact have no responsibility in their families. The husband is forced to set up the house, feed his wife, children and everyone else and if the marriage somehow breaks, he is also forced to pay alimony to the wife. Thanks to our Rulers, now the husbands are asked to pay a part of their ancestral property and their hard earned property during marriage to their wife simply because they got married.

If dowry is considered illegal then alimony too needs to be considered illegal. Otherwise, Indian women have no contribution fixed for their families and they will only be considered as burdens on their husbands.

71% agreed that women can perform equally well or better than men in all professions

Great. I liked this. Hope now alimony will become illegal and women will be asked to contribute to their families or get punished.

52% of them also “agreed” that the main role of women is to take care of the household and bring up their children

Is it a matter of concern that majority of Youth think of a woman’s role in the society. Probably the surveyors and media think otherwise as I have seen a concern raised in media over this issue. Probably no role for women would have been better like the way we see today. It is said women do everything, but nothing is their responsibility, no not even taking care of their homes.

Diversity and Social Justice

Group of men
Source – Pixabay

50% of college students express “intolerance” regarding migrant workers from other States

 This is a real concern for me as I have been a migrant worker for most of my life. But students need to understand that today’s workforce is global not even national. In an open economy they don’t have a choice but to accept this because this is what will lead to efficiency.

Another reason for this goes to our politicians too. They failed to ensure growth in all parts of India. If they did the problem of migrant workers would have been less. Hopefully, PM’s agenda of ‘Make in India’ will solve this problem to some extent. Another solution is to create entrepreneurship friendly business situation that encourages both the genders to be entrepreneurs and create jobs.

45% of college students “agreed” that people who work as construction workers cannot have the Right to demand proper housing and toilets at the construction site

49% of college students “agreed” that people who work as domestic workers for household help cannot have the Right to demand minimum wages and other facilities

65% of college students favour prohibition of meeting between boys and girls belonging to different religions in public places

All the above three findings are shocking to me. Are we really so conservative and ignorant? Well serious issues indeed.

Experience at home and college

Abuse of Indian Boys

49% high-schoolers admitted that their parents often punish them physically e.g. beating, pinching

82% high-schoolers said they are worried about exams most of the time at home

61% high-schoolers said students do get beaten at school for various reasons

81% college students admitted that they not only get often scolded by parents/elders even for small mistakes but also are worried about their future most of the time at home

81% college students and 63% high schoolers admitted that they are scared to express their ideas/opinions in class

The above findings tell me that our parents really need coaching on how to raise their children and make them better citizens. When a kid experience violence at home s/he is likely to be violent in his / her life or become introvert. While parents also may be concerned about the future of their kids in this highly competitive world, they need to instill confidence in their kids so that those kids can become winners in their life.

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2 thoughts on “India’s youth and democratic citizenship

  1. Beti bachao is good but I think by doing all this we r creating male hatred in society and unnecessarily creating gender war .Instead we can educate r daughters and inculcate awareness to respect both genders from the childhood .

    Like

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