The lost generation

Posted: August 10, 2010 in Opinions

Bhutan is no more caught in a time warp. It is a nation in transition – from medieval to modern, closed, isolated economy to being a member of the global trading economy. Change has been introduced gradually, the pace of which will only get dizzier with time.

Already we know, there are cracks appearing. Beneath the calm surface, there is an unruly turbulence brewing up. And any time this could erupt into a fierce display of chaos.

We have a generation treading the wrong path. Some call it the ultimate influence of western culture deteriorating our own time tested traditions. Perhaps this is the cost of our development or is it just a few break away examples of youth going astray, mimicking alien ways of life in denial of our own and making mockery of the very civilization we belong to.

Drugs have become a pathological infliction to the generation next. How many times and how often do we hear of a young man die of drug overdose? It is a pity, a life has been lost. How many more are there unaware that they are treading a path that will eventually end in misery and death?

There is a generation now who has started living a borrowed life. They emulate the glitzy and glamorous lifestyle of people who they see through the idiot box that has now swept every drawing room in Bhutan. They find amusement in putting up a show wearing hip-hop dresses with hippie hairdos and tattooed necks and arms. In doing so, in living a free life, they reject the very identity of what makes them Bhutanese.

We have heard enough of youth violence, of gangs, young thugs and hooliganism. Ask the police who patrol the dark concrete jungle that Thimphu becomes on a Saturday night. This group of young, potential outlaws has become a threat to the rest of the community. How many times have we heard of older men and women getting mugged up by the so called ‘gangs’? Some getting harassed and others looted.

And then we hear of young girls willing to do ‘anything’ for money. Sing, dance, sit on your lap, sleep with you, anything. For them the amount of money dictates everything. The values have gone to the dogs.

There is a whole drama of violence, drug abuse, crime, and promiscuity that is being played out right before our eyes. Youth comprise the most important segment of any demography. As a small nation, we cannot lose our youth, not to drugs, crime, alcoholism or prostitution.

We will blame ourselves and the generation after will blame us for our indifference if we do not have the courage to change things right now. Let’s look at the issues, problems, and reasons that are misleading youth. Unemployment, family problems, lack of education, rural-urban drift, lack of parental guidance. Where are we going wrong?


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