Anna Direction and Youth Directionless

Power thrives on division. It feeds on disharmony. History is replete with examples how lines have been used strategically to get people into subordination. The powerful create façade of lines amongst themselves. And people are robbed of their power by imposition of lines in imagination that create divisions. Lines on the other hand are blurred in the corridor of power (how certain family and relations have presence in more than one political group). The crossing over does not carry legal or moral baggage (defections and collective support on certain matters of power dilution). It is a cartel at work- monopoly with a face of competition. But lines drawn are real in corridors of powerless. Here crossing over is tantamount to ‘conversion’. And conversion is abhorred. The lines so drawn are impermeable. Certainly a superior mind competes with minds rendered incompetent by division of faculty. The divisions are engrossing and life consuming. The subjects are individuals without a collective existence. There is constancy in people who enjoy power (how political baton is passed on to next generation) and perpetual fluidity on the other. A voice that seeks to obliterate the lines in imagination and create convergence in thinking is certainly dangerous.

The engrossing tactics that consume people in to the mundane and the worthless certainly create directionless-ness. The superficial can be engrossing but certainly not content giving. Beyond a point it is the nature of the ‘matter’ to rise up. The physics surrenders to metaphysics. The body surrenders to soul. Beyond the search of food the quest begins for meaning. Science gives way to faith. After all ‘to exist’ cannot be the purpose. The question is ‘what for’ to exist. Existence is instrumental to achieving something higher in life. Ascendance is inherent to human existence.

Critics argue that the youth today is directionless, consumerist and self centered. There are two issues here: is directionlessness an aspired state or is directionless ness absence of a well meaning cause? Is directionless ness a state of bliss or is it a source of discontentment? The youth is ‘energy contained’ which is waiting to flow but where is the cause? The ambiguity created by transition from traditional to modern to post modern existence is a terrible reality. The wrong signals are systematically revealed to exploit youth to the advantage of a few. But the hankering of the heart does not diminish. Where is the worthy cause ? The reality of modern day youth is that there is restlessness to transcend boundaries of achievement. The fulfillment is a much larger game. Consider how popular brands have harnessed this psychological reality: ‘Be More’ (Titan); ‘Be Yourself (Reebok); ‘Be Stupid’ (Diesel) and ‘Yeh Dil Mange More’ and ‘Yeh Pyaas Hai Badi’ (Pepsi), ‘Dar Ke Aage jeet Hai’ (Mountain Dew).

The icons that youth of today admires are not wealthy inheritors rather achievers who have crossed over classes, the people who have created empires out of their own efforts like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Youth is a lot more sensitive to humanity and environment. These are new type of social change agents who have redefined philanthropy. Society is becoming an integral part of business equation beyond revenue and profits. The paradigm is in a flux. Collaboration is the name of the game.

Why are so called directionless youth rallying behind Anna? Anna is certainly not a role model in the space of wealth generation like Ambani. Is Anna a product whose core value delivery is an opportunity to ‘be more’, or ‘be yourself’ or ‘the complete man’? Going by the surge of support that he has got from the youth of modern India it seems he certainly is a product/ brand worth chasing. After all is not today’s youth like Jimmy Porter of Osbone’s Look Back In Anger who angrily complained: ‘There are no good causes left to fight for’. Anna has given them that cause, that sense of mission that they must accomplish.

Skeptics and cynics would say ‘they don’t understand’ and ‘they are crazy’. This could be an easy conclusion to a complex reality. Dismissal is an easy response to a tough question.

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4 thoughts on “Anna Direction and Youth Directionless

  1. A forceful action is not necessarily motivated by a clear purpose. It could also be just a cathartic response. My action can also be motivated by finding a convenient cause without me that might explain why I couldn’t “Be More”, couldn’t “Be Myself”, couldn’t be a truly a “Complete Man”.
    Lok Pal issue pending discussion before the Parliament for more than 40 years has a high potency to be such a cause explaining away all the failings that I (we) couldn’t achieve. How wonderfully ego-gratifying the thought is: “But for corruption in the system, I could have been….. “ or “My country could have been a Number 1 country but for corruption; look how well my countrymen are doing in relatively corruption-free countries!”. The truth is that any such rhetoric, in any country, is always partly true! Therefore ALL political leaders in ALL COUNTRIES repeat such statements ALL ALONG keeping the illusion alive. But the over-exposure (words without action) by the politicians made the core issue as though it is a non-issue and left the field for non-political personalities to occupy the crease to continue with the game.

  2. Insightful take & beautifully written. Endorse the views on the youth and ‘the paradigm in flux’ in particular – great to find it on your blog, sure it comes from keen observation.

  3. The youth of India are a demoralised and disappointed lot. While they aspire towards breaking out of the shackles of “middle class’dom” that their parents and grandparents were constrained by, they lack role models who have been there and done that. The average middle class youth in a tier 2 city knows Facebook, but may not know who Mark Zuckerberg is, simply because he follows the herd instinct by following things that are “cool” and “with it”.

    Majority of the youth will not be able to speak more than 2 lines on the Lokpal Bill, but are rallying in support of Anna because the person next to them is…

    What is common though, is a thorough hatred of corruption, which has catalysed the youth and united the country and it is Anna Hazare who has brought this to the fore.

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