A young graduate came up to me one day and complained that his father refuses to accept his ideas or help in the family business. He snubs him by commenting that he is a mere boy, incapable of any mature opinion. Another junior colleague remarked that nobody back home valued his opinion either, even though he gets advice from his parents and older relatives on his friends, his career, what he eats, and of course, the girl he will choose for life-partner.
Even at age 25, a vast majority of Indian males are not considered adults (I’m sure it’s worse for women.) As a result these boys fail to consider themselves adults. Some of them even tell me they are happy to be looked after by their doting parents, just as they were in their school or college days.
While youth in the west live on their own after they begin to work, here it is looked upon as almost a criminal act to leave your parents in order to discover the strength of your inner self. The realisation, the slow discovery of what we truly are, what we want to become and where we want to go is thus sacrificed at the altar of the beliefs of our close-minded society.
And most of these men carry the same attitude to work. We have in our offices, therefore, young men who have very little creative power or the capability of free thought. A lot of them seem nervous, unsure of their ideas and lack in team building capabilities. They rush to their parents for every little decision before they’ve even thought about it themselves.
Not they, nor their parents nor we employers have even thought for once: what happens to their growing up? What never happened at 24 — does that ever happen again for them?
(Prajnaparamita Mitra Padhi is an entrepreneur in the field of animation/ graphics/ creative content generation. She has a 10 year old daughter and lives in Kolkata)