City youths not liberal, okay with gender inequality: study

  • Puja Pednekar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 22, 2015 00:31 IST

Mumbai’s youths have little knowledge of democracy and they favour an authoritarian rule, a recent survey has revealed.

City students scored the lowest — after Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai — in a national study that looked at acceptance of liberal values among the youths.

According to the survey, results of which were revealed on Wednesday, city youth scored only 22% on ‘The democratic citizenship scorecard’, with 62% college students expressing intolerance towards migrant workers, 65% saying yes to prohibiting boys and girls from different religions meeting in public places and only 13% voting for gender equality.

Delhi students scored the lowest with 15%, while Bangalore scored 16% and Chennai 19%. Performance of students across non-metros was better, with Guwahati highest at 26%, followed by Patna at 24%.

The study — conducted across 11 cities with 10,542 students — was conducted by Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA). Around 75% of the students did not know the legislature is responsible for enacting laws and only 37% understood the meaning of the fundamental right to equality. “This shows a negative attitude about governance and it is very disturbing,” said Manjunath Sadashiva, director, CMCA.

However, students’ attitude on gender equality was the most alarming. City students scored only 13%, while national average was even worse at 10%. Around 44% boys and 36% girls from college said they would accept dowry; 57% boys and 52% girls agreed women dress in a certain way to provoke violent reactions from men and 39% girls and 43% boys agreed women have to accept some violence. “I am not surprised. What else can be expected when parents and teachers themselves are not yet democratic,” said Arundhati Chavan, principal of Swayyam Siddhi College of Education, Kalyan.

Social studies teachers are also to blame, found the survey. Around 60% of teachers have not undergone a refresher course since they began teaching and 77% agreed authoritarian government is acceptable under certain situations.

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