We have all heard ‘sixteen is a dangerous age’ in every individual’s life. In fact, there is even a saying in Marathi that asserts ‘16’ as the most dangerous and destructive age in the life of a person. However, it seems, not only sixteen, but the entire teenage is becoming dangerous and destructive for individuals these days. No, this is not merely what I think! If we check out the crime diaries across the world, most of the crimes are committed by youngsters these days and the entire world is thinking what we can do to stop them!
Since the last few days the news of Rohith Vemula, a Dalit student studying at a university in Hyderabad, committing suicide has been making rounds in the media. While students across the country have made moves to show their support and raise voice, the suicide has now become a political affair. But what took me by surprise was a news report published by NDTV that I read 2 days ago. The report highlighted the suicide of 3 girls at a medical college allegedly because the college did not give them adequate infrastructure and facilities as compared to the heavy fees they charged. The report highlighted the pathetic situation of the students at the college and also the carelessness of the authorities who failed to take action against the college even after repeated complaints by the deceased girls.
Okay, I agree that it is depressing and distressing to not have people paying heed to your grievances even after repeated complaints. It is saddening to watch your parents work hard to pay your huge college fees and experience a lack of even basic amenities at college. But, ending one’s life for this? I don’t think it is justified! I mean, life is precious, c’mon and ending it for a petty reason like this is surely not worth it. The girls could have fought harder, made a union of students and taken more serious steps to get their grievances redressed by the concerned authorities. What did they achieve by ending their lives? Wouldn’t their parents be happier working hard to pay their fees rather than giving fire to their dead bodies? This is sad!
And this is not the case only in India. If we observe the statistics of crime happening in the world these days, most criminals are youngsters in teenage or twenties. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), considered to be one of the most dangerous terror groups today, is yet another proof of how youngsters and teenagers have been falling prey to extreme and destructive ideologies today.
If we take a close look at ISIS recruitment in the modern times, it is clearly evident that many teenagers and youngsters across the world have been leaving their homes and fleeing to Iraq and Syria to be a part of the terror organisation. Despite being aware of the terrorist activities of the group and the destructive ideology, youngsters are actually finding it fascinating to join the group and create a different identity for themselves.
Be it a failure in an exam or the fascination of creating a distinct identity for oneself, be it love or the feeling of revenge, youngsters nowadays have been employing criminal and violent ways which are a big threat to the world. Our youngsters are our future generations who have are going to have a lion’s share in the prosperity, development and growth of our nation. And, if this extreme ideology continues to grip teenagers, soon there will be a day when the entire nation will become like Syria and Iraq.
So what are we to do? Of course, it is very difficult to bring this behaviour of youngsters in control these days since most of them are heavily under the influence of television and movies, crime shows and, not to forget, peer pressure. But, if parents seek to mentor their children effectively since childhood, discuss sensitive matters with them, there is a chance that such behaviour can be controlled. Also, today’s youngsters need effective counselling which can help them become better citizens of the country.
Dear youngsters, failures are not the end of life. One has to keep fighting for the right. Remember, truth always triumphs. Do not lose hope and, if ever you feel the blues, talk to people. Talk to your parents, friends, cousins or even a stranger or counsellor. Believe it or not, it will surely help in reducing the stress!