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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Counter-culture

Tuesday, 08 August 2017 11:56
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Naga society is facing an alarming scenario of counter-culture as values and norms of behaviour of our youths deviate substantially from those of our mainstream Naga cultural mores. Notably counter-cultures can trigger dramatic cultural changes. In the last more than a decade, a sea change in our cultural values is in motion where we are fast losing our values under the garb of modernization. And the drivers of this cultural change, which is nothing but deterioration of our values, are our youth, most of those who are dispatched by their parents to institutions outside the state for higher studies. In the last one decade or so, a trend is fast catching up among parents to plan study period of their kids outside the state, whether they can afford it or not, even as our state is equipped to cater to their educational needs. So in their teenage, a stage where there is high risk of falling prey to deteriorating values, these young ones miss the handholding of their parents. And it is here most of our youths get engulfed in counter-culture scenario. Once back home, these young ones show a sort of disrespect to their own cultural values, which lead to a conflict situation in their families and ultimately in the society. This situation simply is a case of deracination. Normally enemies use this act to target societies and uproot them from their native environment and get them into a foreign environment. Deracination involves inculcating false sense of history among the target societies which alienates them from their native narrative, sowing seeds of doubt about the efficacy of native linguistic, religio-socio-cultural and politico-economic systems and institutions and then gradually replacing them with alien systems. When completed successfully in target population, people lose their sense of direction. Once the society, may be not whole society, is deracinated to large degree, the next step of subversion comes into force. This step is demoralization. In succinct, our young minds are programmed thoroughly to behave and make decisions accordingly for rest of their lives at the cost of their centuries old cultural values. The question is: are we ourselves promoting fall of cultural values from grace? Our society has witnessed tremendous change in social structure over the past few decades. Modernization, in its wake, has brought breathless hurry and endless worry to our society. Mass emigration of families from villages to upper regions of towns has practically divided our towns into two halves - downtown and upper towns. While the former still holds some essence of our past, the latter are mere clones of foreign culture. Increasing literacy and better economic standards, no doubt, have put us on road to prosperity and development, but increasing living standard has also made us slaves to foreign culture. We have become indifferent to our own social values which are based on love, respect and mutual understanding. Another reason for this social shift is the change in work pattern. Over the past few years our youth are taking up jobs in other states and outside the country. They always return with the flavours of the places they have been working in, and then try to replicate them here. Sure, more business ventures, setting up of enterprises and more entrepreneurs are needed. But our plans for development and prosperity should not destroy our roots and our culture. Social values and progress must go hand-in-hand.


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