The youth in our society are faced with a dilemma of identity crisis. They have played no role in molding the society in which they are living and they have practically no hope of playing a vital role in shaping a society of their dreams. What with criminals, moneybags, corrupt politicians ruling the roost? Do the young armed only with their undiluted idealism, have a chance? Alienation is in vogue these days. It has gained currency in writing and discussions of intellectuals. It is fashionable to use the expression. But, what is the reason? Academic achievements of the young are something to be proud of. The swelling numbers of annual convocations, an amazing display of versatility at cultural functions are proof.

They have neither confusion nor uncertainty about what they aspire for and their careers. Elders do not decide for “submissive” adolescents academic choices. Youths today are awakened and enlightened. They are forthright and fearless. What is to become of this chiseled product? Where and how to utilize his bursting talent? Frustration and disenchantment result because of the rampant corruption, nepotism, red-tapism, hypocrisy and unashamed scramble for spoils. In short they are living in a twilight society.

Discordant note is struck when they raise an accusing finger at outmoded and stereotyped modes of thought and action. Much to the chagrin of elders, they even take upon themselves to expose the inanity of our beliefs, the nullity of our value structure, socioeconomic system and educational set up. The despair of “the masters of their destiny” is writ large at the flouting by the fledglings”.

The elders simply Wink at the fact that the youngsters are trying to ‘discover’ themselves, not revolting against them. They are testing the waters, as goes the saying. Consequently, they get tired up at what they think is the disrespect and want of veneration of the youth. Conflict and alienation lead to accusations. The cold war between the two ensures.

They are in a predicament. They have no power to change the society and they are not allowed freedom to live their own life. The emotional and economic ’embrace’ of the elders is strangling. The elders bemoan: if the young could think. The young lament: if elders could act out of their street-frames.

Introspection will bring home the necessity of changed life precepts. Simultaneously it is for youth to place trust an age and experience. There is no substitute for experience in life. Lord Chesterfield wrote to his young son: a time will come when you will rule and sag to yourself; I wish I had heeded my father’s words then.

Despair lulls us into depression. But to survive, positive, action and understanding are a must. We will then echo Milton’s adage “Time will run back and fetch the age of gold.”