The latest edition of India’s famous magazine India Today carried an incisive article on the alcoholic youth. It had some startling facts and figures. The youth, who is supposed to take up the responsibility of shaping tomorrow’s India, is busy in drinking on all possible occasions: before exams, after exams, friend’s birthday party and just-for-fun occasions.
Let me directly put some figures which can make any sane person conclude that this practice has become a societal practice and a social malice.
- 100% rise in drinking among teenagers, aged 15-19, in the last 10 years across metros in India.
- 45% of class XII students in metro cities consume alcohol at least 5-6 times a month.
- The minimum drinking age in 1980 was 28 years compared to 15 years in 2011.
- A study carried out among 1000 students of top public schools across the capital two years ago says 22% thought having one drink at parties is something everyone does, 16% thought being ‘cool’ meant having 3-4 drinks.
Is this the true face of self-proclaimed ‘youngistan’? They don’t want anyone to curb their rights but they are indifferent to their duties. Recently when Maharashtra government pushed the age limit for drinking to 25 years, we saw myriad protests. These protests accused the policy makers of denying them of their ‘fundamental rights’.
It’s sad that when youth talks about rights, they tend to be oblivious towards their duties. They feel it’s their duty to enjoy their life as they want; with no rules and accountability. Drinking beer fetches them a ‘cool dude’ tag.
Almost 80% of hostels students living in metros are alcoholic. Even girls aren’t behind boys in this race and often consume to have fun and experience the no-state-mind. Students in their teenage are resorting to cheap tricks to conceal and continue with their drinking habit. It involves hiding vodka in water bottles and carrying them to schools, rock concerts or playgrounds. It also involves sneaking in alcohol from rum in fruit juice cartons to hip flask key chains.
The causes for this fad are many. It can be a long black bottle kept in your dad’s cupboard or mom’s friends at kitty parties or catching hold of your elder brother while he’s having it. It can be a break up in the relation or it can be a patch up. It can be to placate your stress or impress your boss for perks and pelf. It can be a persuasion or compulsion from closed ones. It can also be the desire to maintain the social status or the tool to flaunt your all-round ability.
The question that I would like to put forward is whether our youth is sinking by drinking? Most of the youth would disagree to the fact that drinking doesn’t thwart their ambitions and hamper their mindset. But we all know that’s not the truth. Many noted psychologists say that students start drinking for fun and often end up getting addicted to it. These people are either too assertive or too submissive; either of which is dangerous. These people try to run away from reality and conceive their own little world where they are allowed to say and do things according to their wish.
The addicts become impatient. This leads them to take whimsical decisions in their lives. One example can be driving the car after being heavily drunk. In metros, the traffic authorities claim that accidents happening at mid-nights mostly involve youths who are drunk. They often don’t care to stop at checkpoints. Is this the way a responsible citizen of India should behave? The same youth are always a step ahead to come out with candles as protesting campaign when the same authorities fail to fix the faults in the system. Why can’t they practice what they preach and stop being hypocrites?
I would like to end it by putting forward a simple logical question. When consuming alcohol makes them feel above-the-world i.e. to lose their mental and physical balance, then how can they contribute towards building a stable and prospering India?
Image Source [http://www.flickr.com/photos/andreasl/2610034366/sizes/z/in/photostream/]