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Nikhil Taneja @tanejamainhoon
, 13 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I recently met a really smart, well-informed young traveller from Canada who earns his living by planting trees & then spends the money he earns there in travelling the world. We had a long chat on how in India there's a snobbery on the kind of jobs young people *should* do. 1/n
No matter the class you belong to in India, society has conditioned all Indian families to think that doing traditional 'jobs' at 'offices' is the only way to success and happiness, and the only way to find pride. There's little respect for any other form of earning a living. 2/n
And so we have hundreds and thousands of young Indians who are coaxed into studying engineering, MBA, medicine and all the other 'well-respected' professions but discouraged from doing anything else that they might actually be good at, because it's not 'respected enough'.
But here's the problem: if there's a way to find success & happiness in these traditional fields, it's only if you are the best at them. Only if you rise to the top. It's okay to be average at them if you are actually interested in the fields, but when you have been forced.. 4/n
.. You realise that you have spent your life in chasing this impossible dream of confirmed happiness that's led you to frustration and not enough success or money, because you aren't good, or even interested in it. You are 26-27-28 when you realise this, what do you do next? 5/n
If you are privileged, you may get the confidence to take the leap and start something of your own or find another source of money, but what if you are not? What if you were in this for money, & you realise that you won't ever get enough in this because you just aren't good? 6/n
You are screwed because your aspirational parents and society tell you that any job that's not an office job is not for you. So you are frustrated, aimless, purposeless, and you have no chance at success, but much worse, 'respect' from society. 7/n
In the most economically under-privileged, it's even worse because after doing these courses, they don't even get entry-level jobs because the middle class AND the privileged are all vying for these SAME 10 jobs. So these jobless graduates every year look for a way to belong. 8/n
Enter religion, politics, community, caste, country: all the other ways you can find 'respect' that you aren't finding in your career. They are gifted a calling through impassioned recruitment & this is exactly what's happening in India today: young people trying to belong. 9/n
And then same privileged people like us who can at least land jobs, good or bad, & sometimes even have the means to 'search for a calling', sit on social media looking down upon these young people who have well and truly been fucked over by society, for no fault of theirs. 10/n
The point I've been trying to make is this: We need to encourage young people to take up non-traditional work; we need to not look down upon careers that do not involve sitting in offices, we need to support entrepreneurial spirit especially if it involves unskilled labour. 11/n
If hooliganism from purposeless youth are to stop, & to progress as a country, we need to undo years of conditioning abt office jobs being the only ones worth doing & quash the snobbery that comes w/ them. Encourage the youth to choose their line of work, however atypical. 12/12
P.S. I've only made a point about the not-so-privileged who may act out, frustrated; there's a whole thread I can write on the mental health problems the REST go through because of the SAME DAMN REASON. We are ruining our young by forcing societal norms on them. Let's stop NOW.
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