One of the most widely revered and iconic leaders in world history, Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) believed that a fanatic is one who can’t change his mind. The legendary British statesman has been quoted as saying “To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to change often”. The land has hosted for long in the past several centuries generations of its people known to loath changing its customs, beliefs, food habits, lifestyle, and last but not the least, attiring themselves in different regions across the land. While some sections of the country’s masses are still steadfastly holding on to their time-honoured way of living, unfazed by the disdainful outlook and behaviour of present generation, particularly the youth in urban space, the unchanging elderly are finding it hard, nay impossible, to grin and bear it even as they have to share the living space with jean-clad, pizza guzzling, noisily partying youth with boundless energy. It is another matter that the previous generation has no option but to defray the cost of youth’s pastime.
The factors behind the yawning gap on various counts between successive generations serve to make an interesting study that may help to zero in on the shape of future society. Breakdown of the joint family culture, exposure to Western ways of life, influence of cinema as well as the small screen, advancing technology-impacting society, demographic distress, and not to forget, the leadership of people of straw in the country make major list of such factors.
Scholars, delivering discourses drawing heavily from the land does ancient scriptures for their presentations before their captive audiences comprise mostly women in their middle age and men with their senior-citizen-identity, usually in the premises of places of worship, don’t hold any attraction for the urban youth, including girls in good measure. The compulsions of attiring in traditional style for such spiritual events, apart from the more exciting times at their favourite joints in the evenings cannot ensure the youth to join their ageing parents and grandparents to the venues of scholarly discourses any more. Further, given the rising presence of female species in virtually all male-dominated pursuits, it is naive to visualise the females as the weaker sex.
As the inter-generation gap is gaping in this modern age, a Haryana Panchayat has reportedly banned jeans and mobiles for women in its administrative territory. The teenage girls have shot back saying” If we have to wear Salwar suits, then the boys must wear Kurt-pyjama”. The girls have raised the point of why the boys be allowed to wear jeans? This has left the Panchayat top brass red faced.