Essay on the Important Causes of Youth Unrest – Student unrest in this country has earned a peculiar connotation because of the unprecedented social dimension achieved by the student leadership at least in some instances.
The unrest is there no doubt but the student movement is not in sight anywhere. The leftist slogan of the sixties, ‘Students today and workers tomorrow’ seems to have become hollow.
The students are no more visualised as ‘ Vanguards in a revolution led by and controlled under the hegemony of the working class’. The students do not constitute a ‘revolutionary class’ as such. ‘The promise held out by the activism in the sixties was, however, belied by the apathy in the seventies’.
The American student activism has slowly evaporated. The Japanese student enthusiasm has gone dormant. The student energy in India is dissipated. Lack of proper leadership, absence of clear national goal, lack of guidance and inspiring model have all made the youth power in India become idle.
Youth Unrest – A Reflection of Society:
It is true that social situation breeds frustration. It is also true that there is no national goal beckoning the spirit of the youth. It is a fact that the present education has failed to give any direction or purpose to the life of the student.
The student is always asked to behave without any guidance as to how he should behave. He has tremendous energy but there is no consciousness as to his rights and responsibilities. By and large, he is apathetic, drawn in struggle only when mass frenzy grips his mind.
There is no connection between his struggle for survival and the education which is supposed to help him in the matter. He is not interested in knowledge in the abstract. He goes to the college because he has no alternative. He must get a degree if he has to ‘make it’. He has no options.
‘Therefore, his only aim is to get in, get out and get on with it’. The university is no more an isolated community of scholars but is more community of young people. The reality of the world today involves serious problems and the universities just are not doing much about it.
Various factors have contributed to the problems of youth unrest. Some of them may be noted here.
1. Improper Socialisation and Family Problems:
The failure on the part of parents to bring up their children, in accordance with the culture expectations of the society has made the youth to go astray. The evil habits and bad qualities of the parents also have a harmful effect on the personality growth of the children. The family problems spoil the mental peace and the emotionality of the growing children.
2. Political, Social and Economic Inequalities:
The young people are more sensitive to the political, economic and social inequalities and exploitation. They have contempt for the existing ‘system’. They are disillusioned with what they are having and are pessimistic about the future.
3. Defective Educational System:
The students do not have any respect for the present defective educational system. The outdated, uninspiring, unintegrated and irrelevant educational system cannot make the students to become disciplined and responsible.
The unemployment of the educated youths is on the increase. The education that they receive does not enable them to become economically self-reliant. On the other hand, the government is not in a position to provide employment to all the educated youth. As a result, the youth are losing confidence in themselves and are becoming more and more restless.
5. Corrupt and Discredited Authority:
The youth are disappointed with the corrupt and discredited authority. Corruption, craziness for power, moral lapses, opportunism, nepotism, discrimination, etc., found among the political and social leaders has made the youth to have nothing but contempt for them. The leadership has failed to set a good model for the students to emulate.
6. Misuse of Student Power by the Politicians:
The corrupt and unscrupulous politicians, who are making use of student power to further their partisan political interests, are also contributing to the problem. Students are becoming puppets in the hands of some disgruntled politicians to serve their selfish ends.
7. Administrative Failures:
Youth unrest is often caused by administrative errors and miscalculations. The indifference and lack of sympathy for the student demands on the part of the administrations (of the university as well as the government) many times force the students, to resort to strikes.
8. Communication Gap:
Lack of understanding and lack of proper communication between the students and teachers on the one hand, parents and children on the other also cause youth unrest. The failure on the part of the parents to understand the aspirations of their young children also adds to the problem.
9. Value Differences and Conflict of Values:
The value differences in society, the changes and conflicts of values also contribute to youth unrest,
(i) Some of the old values are at conflict now, the traditional beliefs, practices, ideas, ideals and values appear to be outmoded, unscientific, irrelevant and irrational for the modern youths.
(ii) The youths are becoming more and more rationalistic. They are impressed by the modern values based on science and rationalism. Still, they are not in a position to give up the traditional values completely. They are in a state of confusion. They can neither accept the new completely nor do away with the old once and for all. This has made them to become restless.
(iii) The youth are influenced by values of individualism and democracy. Hence they are revolting against the old traditional order.
(iv) The youths feel they are also matured, responsible and sensible. They resent their elders treating them as ‘immatured’ and ‘ irresponsible lot’. They feel annoyed and embarrassed to find themselves in a helpless situation. They do not want to remain dumb witnesses to all the unfortunate and unwanted events that happen in society.
(v) Some of the youths are carried away by the hedonistic values or pleasure philosophy. They want to take the maximum benefit out of the disturbed social situations. They have no respect for any values for they have lost faith in them.
10. Lack of Opportunities:
The youths do not get proper opportunities, to express their talents, cultivate their interests and develop their personality. This has contributed to their dissatisfaction.
11. Gap between the Aspirations and Achievement:
The youths are likely to have their own aspirations and ambitions. They will be dreaming about it all the while. But the reality of life makes them to become disgusted. The youths with unfulfilled desires and aspirations can hardly be at rest.
12. Lack of Determination and Self-Responsibility:
Some of the youths lack will power and self-determination. They depend more on others rather than on their intrinsic abilities and talents. They apishly imitate others and fail to develop the spirit of self-reliance. They are hesitant to assume responsibilities. Such youths are highly vulnerable for any kind of use.
13. Influence of Movies:
The modern movies which mostly portray violence, arson, loot, rape, murder, immorality, crimes, etc. have a great demoralising effect on the modern youths. Students, in particular, imitate their pet film actors and actresses with all their frailties. Scant respect for their cultural values and the apish imitation of the Western tendencies has further contributed to the problem.