Young Guns with Guns!

Akash and Vikas Yadav, eighth graders at Euro International School, Gurgaon took this quite literally too when they shocked the country by shooting five bullets, killing Abhishek Tyagi, fellow student and member of rival group in December 2007.


The number of such instances where in the youth is involved in committing crime is just unbelievable. It indeed is a worrying trend and can be seen in major cities like Delhi, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai to name a few.


You would also be surprised to know that a lot of educated youth are foraying into the circle of crime. Be it chain snatching, fraud or embezzlement, money or vehicle theft,
drug trafficking, cyber crimes, extortion, rape or even murder, they’re doing it all but why?


The reasons for you and me to ‘go figure’ are list-points such as frustration spawning from failed aspirations, impatient tempers, unemployment, easy money in crime, ready access to arms (for the rich spoilt in particular), negative influence from violent movies and media, craving for a lavish lifestyle, addiction to alcohol, drugs and the delay and lack of severity in punishment.


Greed and the desire to become rich overnight are largely responsible for luring intelligent youth to lead anti social lives. Another thing that plays an effective role on an educated person’s mind is that no one will suspect that he has committed a crime. Other factors include personality disorders, which make criminals out of highly qualified professionals.


Youngsters, ‘novices’ in the field of crime represent a vulnerable lot and easy prey to criminal gangs who use them for committing crimes.


A peculiarity about this issue worth pondering is that this tendency is a fairly recent phenomenon. Crime in the country has never really been under control, but the youth were far more disciplined and not motivated towards criminal and violent activities.


After the horrendous 26/11 attack in Mumbai, where we witnessed 62 hours of mindless terror by young terrorists who claimed to be ‘students’, the Minister for Youth Affairs M.S. Gill called upon the youth to carry forward the message of ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence) through which the menace of terror could be eliminated.
“We are the youngest nation in the world. America and the whole world are looking on us. We should be the torch-bearers of ahimsa. We should spread these words of Mahatma Gandhi in the entire world.” said Gill.


So now we know the possible ‘why’, the ‘what’ we can do and ‘how’ we can ensure our safety remains to be discussed.


A major responsibility lies on the parents’ shoulders; they need to be more active participants in their children’s daily lives. Monitoring internet usage and television viewing, discussing reasons of stress to alleviate the burden and refraining from having sky high expectations from the kids can go a long way. Counseling at school to deal with immense societal pressure and depression is also a good idea.


But the real challenges lie within society itself. The Government needs to step up the battle against drugs and work out ways to distribute wealth more equitably. More money should be poured into education and providing more opportunities for the young. Youngsters need to know that the society cares about them.


As far as guarding ourselves is concerned, simple things like always keeping your car locked while driving, being extra cautious while traveling with cash or other valuables, not using the cell phone and being attentive when alone on the streets, keeping a dog or installing a basic home security system when you’re working away from home most parts of the day, proper verification of household help, trusting only yourself with your banking passwords and credit cards, taking care of your belongings yourself, refusing to accept anything to eat or drink offered by a stranger, keeping helpline numbers handy, carrying a pepper spray or learning self defense techniques and combat tactics such as the relatively new Krav Maga, can make us more self confident and safe.


Vandita Naroola

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