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Indian Youth Survey & Perspective

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Idiosyncratic gadgets having synched into the lives of the youths have made more independent individuals who are hooked 24/7 to them, either it be on a Smart Phone or Tablet or iPod. Free apps which have flooded the markets are an easy access to anyone with a Smart Phone or a Tablet, who is even willing to BUY them for self gratification. Gone are the days when the urban teens were seen loitering in the neighbourhood or in the streets and hanging out with friends and were chided for malicious and outrageous behaviour. The modern technology has succeeded in keeping the teens and the youths hooked onto the gadgets, that it could be said that not only the world is in one’s palm, but sin too. A quick glance at the popular apps of Smart Phones makes one wonder at the rampant production and distribution of such explicit graphic material and also makes one question the intentions of such producers, who otherwise write and speak with gentleness using politically correct words. Whose boardroom meetings and marketing strategies tap into the indulgence of the youths and turn it into a good marketing avenue and make profit at the loss of the teen souls.

“Many consider the teens of today to be the Internet generation: Born roughly between 1990 and 1996, today’s teens grew up with a mouse in their hands. They are portrayed as Digital Natives, perpetually connected, guided by both the opportunities and constraints of worldwide connectivity” says ‘nielsen’ in its survey1. It is disheartening to know that a Patna youth was arrested this February for allegedly uploading an obscene video of two teens, describing them as students of two prestigious schools of the city, to YouTube2. When gadgets and internet have become a necessity it is necessary that the teens and the youth pray like David, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.” (Psalm 119:18, 37) ‘Times Life!’ in its article ‘What do teens read?’3 says, “Indian teens…. are hooked to titles from the West, which include chick-lit, teen sorcerer Harry Potter and the now ‘cult’ Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, where a young girl falls in love with a vampire.”

It goes on to say, “What makes young adults read? While many grow up on fairytales and epics, they quickly graduate to popular fiction. Like 15-year-old Ankit Jain, who has sampled Sherlock Holmes and Huckleberry Finn and moved on to Chetan Bhagat’s One Night @ The Call Centre and 2 States. Adds 12-year-old Soniksha Venkatesh, “I like reading vampire based novels, like The Twilight Saga and House of Night. The story is fascinating and gets very exciting as it unfolds.”” The article quoting Shobhaa De’s opinion says, “Clothes and what to wear is a constant battle. And of course, there are crushes and heartbreak.” It also quotes the controversial writer Salman Rushdie, “There’s a ‘Death’ character in Luka (his recently released book ‘Luka and the Fire of Life’), Nobodaddy, that I concerned about. Milan (his son) wanted more of him.”

It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition Teens and young people are graduating from fairytales to popular fiction, which are filled with subtle suggestions of immorality and perversity. It is like a two-way lane. The authors justify saying that they write what they see happening in the world and the readers justify their actions saying that it is popularly spoken about and written by popular writers. But the writers fail to remember that the characters that they depict in their writings set qualities to the readers – good or bad. And as Isaac Asimov very rightly said, “It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition.” Bookworms should pay careful attention to what books, fiction or non-fiction, they read. Because what they read has the power to influence their imagination, action, decision and behaviour. I am not suggesting to not read books but to “test all things; hold fast what is good.

Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, 22) An ‘India Youth Survey’4 was published in Hindustan Times this January, carried out among 10,000 urban youth in 18 state capitals and major towns in India. Isha writing on the survey says, “It’s a generation that loves television, hang out with friends and shop, enjoys Bollywood films and filmy music, doesn’t exercise too much, isn’t all enamoured of smoking or drinking and is either hostile or indifferent to drugs.” According to the survey, “… how do young Indians spend their spare time? By watching TV (34.3 %….), spending time with friends (18.4 %) and listening to music (16.9 %). But reading (8.5 %), surfing the internet (8.4 %) and sports (4.2 %) aren’t very popular past times.” The writer ends the article saying, “But one thing that’s clear is that this generation seems to be full of what our parents generally term “good kids””. Only an ignorant parent would say so, as the facts suggest otherwise!

A person gets greatly influenced by what he/she sees, so if you watch crap, you begin to talk it too Bindass, Zoom, MTV, Zee Next and Channel V are the top Youth Entertainment Channels (YEC) in India. In the name of Reality Shows, they subtly spew immorality. “Brand Bindass5” quoting on itself says, “is a celebration of being young in India and is all about being Fun, Frank, Fearless and valuing Freedom in all its forms.” One critic6 writing on the Bindass channel says, “A person gets greatly influenced by what he/she sees, so if you watch crap, you begin to talk it too. Contestants speak lewd language, hurl abuses at one another and that’s what the audience learn as well.” Bindass itself says about its show ‘Bindass Dadagiri7’ that it is the ‘TV’s Meanest Game Show’! How can the channel be so mean in producing and airing such a mean show and also be proud about its meanness? It makes one surprise at the shifting moral standards. ‘Socialyindia’, a blog that claims to bring expert insights into the Indian online trends writes8, “When it comes to music, entertainment and youth connect in India, the 2 biggest names that comes in everyone’s minds are Channel V and MTV India. Both started as a music channel but today they act as a voice of Indian youth and an ambassador for cultural change.”

When MTV was found guilty9 for child pornography in its show ‘Skins’, Sofia Black D’Elia, the actress who plays a promiscuous lesbian cheerleader (in that show) said10, “All I can say is that as an actor on the show I’m proud of everything that we’ve done. We created something that we really care about. We feel the show has so much heart and so much potential and can impact so many teenagers. For parents who are afraid to let their children watch the show, they probably have some serious trust issues with their kids if they think they can be that easily persuaded by a television series.” And MTV Spokesperson Jeannie Kedas also believes in the potential and impact of the show. She stated, “Skins is a show that addresses real-world issues confronting teens in a frank way.” See what they are proud of! The bible clearly says, “Professing to be wise, they became fools…. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.

Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” (Romans 1:22,26,27) Either it be on the Silver Screen or on the Big Screen, movies hook the teens for hours and movie actors become their role models. But these are such role models, whose models are not worth imitating as their stances and standards keep shifting. Aamir Khan who was known for giving a long row of movies with social concern, when was criticized for his movie ‘Delhi Belly’ which had lots of cuss words, ““I’m not a social activist. I am an entertainer,” he said justifying the theme of his expletive-ridden adult comedy film” reported India Today11. The Bible warns, “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” (Colossians 3:8 ESV) “But avoid all empty (vain, useless, idle) talk, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness.” (2 Timothy 2:16 AMP)

There was a time when directors and producers were willing to cut scenes so as to get a ‘U’ certificate. But now they are comfortable making such movies and as Aamir Khan says12 call it as “creative”, “entertainment” and “freedom”! And having found a new strategy to appease censorship, film makers make movies with item numbers and raunchy dances. No wonder that the present Chairperson of the Indian Censor Board, Leela Samson, is a renowned dancer! But sad it is when youths knowing all of this are still hooked on to The influence of media on the behaviour pattern of the youths is evidentially brought out in the India Youth Survey which gives alarming statistics13 on pre-marital sex and it says, “What is driving the sexual revolution in mufassil India? It’s the media…. Popular media, both films and television, impacts…”

Though the paper is right on the statistics, it is not right on its perspective and suggestions, as instead of condemning the practice it condones it by suggesting ways to get a partner! And knowing the context of the article one knows what sort of a partner the paper is talking about. Much of the entertainment, be it in any form is ungodly and every teen and youth needs to draw a clear line regarding this. While we need to explicitly say “no” to pornography we need to be very careful in choosing the other mediums, such as television shows, movies, magazines, music, etc., as there is much ungodliness in a very subtle manner in all forms of media and entertainment. It is best to be hooked on to Jesus, His Word and His purpose, because He is the best model, His Word is the best message and His purpose is the best motive! If Social Media is the cause of your Spiritual Malignancy,

Let Sorrowful Mourning be your Superior Motive, Because this Sinful Malady makes you to involve in Severe Sinful Mishaps and urges you towards Sinful Motives; Be Spiritual Minded and understand that this is Satan’s Mastery that makes sin look like Sweet Morsel. This Seemingly Momentary pleasure will hook you forever,

And it will lead you towards your Soul’s Martyrdom and you will find yourself one day in Satan’s Mansion, the Hell; Submit your life, Supplicate Meaningfully and receive the Saviour’s Mercy and you will find yourself one day in the Saviour’s Mansion, the Heaven!


1. Nielsen, June 2009, ‘How Teens Use Media’, http://www.nielsen.com 2. TNN, Feb 26, 2012, ‘Boy held for uploading obscene video to internet’, TOI, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com 3. Anuradha Verma, 24 Oct 2010, ‘What do teens read?’, Times Life!, Pp. 6 4. Hindustan Times Youth Survey, 2011, http://www.hindustantimes.com 5. ‘Bindass is India’s number 1 youth channel’, http://www.utvgroup.com 6. Shivani Bhattacharya, August 2011, ‘How Do The TV Shows Affect The Youth’, http://cupidspeaks.com 7. ‘Bindass is India’s number 1 youth channel’, http://www.utvgroup.com 8. March 2011, ‘MTV or Channel V? Which Brand connects more with the Indian Youth Online?’, http://socialyindia.wordpress.com 9. Sima Kotecha, January 2011, ‘Skins US version branded ‘dangerous’ by parents’ group’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/12264058 10. Keara Cormier-Hill, January 2011, ‘MTV’s “Skins” Accused Of Child Pornography’ http://www.kidult.com 11. ITGD Bureau, June 30, 2011, ‘I’m not a social activist…’, http://indiatoday.intoday.in 12. Ibid.

13. Sanchita Sharma, January 2011, ‘Small-town Indians are rocking’, http://www.hindustantimes.com

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