Place a book in their hands

We are living in a state of disruption and we desperately need to disrupt the way of our thinking to change our fortunes.
Place a book in their hands
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Contemporary times are marked by the dominance of western culture. With some exceptions, nitizens throughout the globe try to imitate the west in their thoughts and actions.

Western culture is being taken as a reference culture. Similarly in case of our Kashmir valley one can see the influence of other cultures, like western ideas, their way of living and their materialistic outlook of life. There is no harm the way an individual, being a part of society, getting inspired by the technological, scientific and the development of literature and the other values of these countries and would have led our people to cling, adhere and indulge in learning these worth learning sciences.

Unfortunately rather than these things (mentioned above) other things which in no way help and are to any logical person worthless, are being copied and adopted in their lives. This is being observed especially in younger generation. It resembles in their day in and day out lives, like in their way of dressing, walking, talking even eating and drinking and they believe that they have become modern. In fact they seem completely ignorant of the positive and worthy stuff for which the western countries are known. Perhaps they believe that, the life is just an amusement like the one they experience in their early life.

Their behaviour clearly resemble that they are in some kind of misapprehension and seem not prepared to accept the way existent world works, and this misapprehension has led us to end up with backwardness in every aspect of life. Even our thoughts are so much limited that we haven’t yet been able to give a thought which could confer us with a purpose at least at individual level.

For this Swami Vivekananda says, “Get up, and set your shoulder to the wheel – how long is this life for? As you have come into this world leave some mark behind. Otherwise where is the difference between you and the trees and the stones? They also come into existence, decay and die”. We are living in a state of disruption and we desperately need to disrupt the way of our thinking to change our fortunes.

APJ Abdul Kalam says, “You cannot change your future but you can change your habits, and surely your habits will change your future”. I cannot help but strongly agree with this saying of APJ, because I believe that success is not like a thing set somewhere which needs to be acquired by reaching there. Success lies in the things we do daily. It is our everyday habits and doings which determine the course of our life which in long run has its influence over our society.

Now the question arises, what has led our younger generation to dip in such illusion and does not permit them to give a thought and pounder over what is needed. It is due to approach of life they learn from the society. It is due to the devices used by them which are laced with unproductive and wasteful characteristics, which directly affect the mentality of youngsters, used instead of having lots of positive features (but negatives takeover the positives due to immature minds) and above all it is due to values prevailing in social, political and economic life of our society.

The ways to acquire and learn worthy and positive things, and to develop the values were the schools, which for most of the year remain closed, libraries which hardly we have any, even if we have any, only a microscopic percentage of our population have access to it.

On the other hand the ways which lead to delusion and fantasy are often easily accessible to almost every one. The sources for them being many electronic devices, contemporary trends and mainly cultural imperialism, and it has led our younger generation to remain concerned only about their looks rather than developing their personality, which in turn limit their mental sphere and thoughts.

The young people are the capital asset of any society and nation, thus should not get waste. History has witnessed that it has always been youth who have brought any revolution but it should be also kept in mind that these revolutions often got inspiration from any thinker who might have been an elderly person.

Population is the capital asset of any territory. It is only people who have transformed raw material into tools, barren land in to crop yielding fields, barren grounds into cities, small tribes into great civilizations. Thus it is clear that the population is the most valuable asset of any nation. This population particularly youth needs guidance and direction for which the curriculum of our institutions has failed.

Surely the theories on education are being paid lot of lip service but we have not been able to bring out expected outcome. “Education aims at all-round development of personality”, the said quotation is almost on everyone’s tongue when it comes to discussing the purpose of education but we have been unable to cite it in most of the cases. Neither has it been able to develop the students emotionally and spiritually nor has it been able to make them capable of earning their bread and butter which according to Gandhi is the basic aim of education in under developed and developing countries.

I do suggest and request the intelligentsia to pay some heed and encourage the youth to adopt ways and habits which will bring them to purposeful life and discourage the ways and habits which lead them to astray. Especially do I suggest refraining kids from watching movies because this kind of stuff encourage people to become increasingly preoccupied with their private fantasies and less and less with real life. It is the obligation of the intelligentsia of our society to pay some heed to the trends presently prevailing among our youth.

To parents who have foremost role to play in this affair, I do request to place a book in the hands of their children preferring it as a gift for them comparing anything else and making them understand its value. Many times people underestimate the influence of environment and things around an individual over him/her. The creator of the world has let us free to choose the right or the wrong path, but at the same time has warned us of the ill effects of choosing the wrong one. For illustration; every adult employee is well aware of the fact that taking bribe is wrong, still many of them take it. Similarly modern day devices like smart phones & TV sets have both merits and demerits but a young person often gets attracted by its disadvantageous part. It is in human psychology that the behavior of an individual is always influenced by what he sees, what he listens to, what he feels, and what he says.

The root cause for all this is certainly cultural imperialism which has led the people of orient to adopt the occidental fallacies only, and these fallacies provide the false pride rather than providing them humility. Definitely we cannot change what has already happened in the past but surely our present and our future is in our hands.

AADIL MAJID MIR is a post graduate student from department of Islamic Studies,University of Kashmir.

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