23% of Indian students say they want to be a doctor. Another 23% wants to be an engineer. And 16 percent of them wants to be a software engineer.
Here’s the biggest question: Do they REALLY want to be doctors, engineers and software engineers?
The compulsive and extra-protectiveness of Indian parents have been dragged in satires so much that the topic has lost its exclusive connection to the seriousness of the topic that it underlines.
Many Indian parents, in the name of love and care, manipulate their grown-up kids’ freedom of choice. It’s a fact.
(Source: Family - The New York Times)
In the name of societal norms, they force their kids to opt for career streams that ‘Sharma Ji ka beta’ has opted for. Another fact!
Yes, just ask the school student appearing for their board exams.
Ask them about their ambitions. At large, you will find that their answers are influenced by their parents’ choice.
Now, not that kids shouldn’t consider parents’ opinions. They should, without any doubt. But this becomes extremely unhealthy if they put their own happiness and freedom on the line for parents’ obsessiveness with the society and “Sharma Ji ka beta”.
There’s a reason why, according to ONE survey, a whopping 62 percent of Indian students are willing to take up conventional stream like MBBS and B.Tech. But in other surveys and studies:
· Adventure traveling has seen a massive 178% jump in our country; and
· 83% of the Indian workforce prefers to be entrepreneurs
It’s hard to connect the dots here. But the path evidently takes us to one simple word “choice”.
The difference between these figures is “Choice”—what teens and youths choose, and what their parents choose for them.
It’s not a cliché when pop culture bashes – albeit in a funny way – the intrusion of Indian parents in their children’s life.
Again, care and love aren’t bad. When western countries are struggling with teen pregnancy and addictions, the bond between Indian parents and their sons and daughters is possibly one of the best things about our culture.
But there’s a line. There has to be a line.
There MUST be a line when you look at the student suicide rates in India.
According to a report of the Ministry of Home Affairs:
· One student commits suicide every one hour.
· 26,000 students have killed themselves in Indian in 3 years since 2014.
· In 2016, 9,474 students committed suicide, which is one suicide every 55 minutes.
These numbers are frightful. They underline the darker side of the traditional bond that Indian parents and kids share.
Not so funny those memes are now, are they?
When they should be living and enjoying, thousands of students are killing themselves. The age that’s supposed to be free and BEST—students are ending their lives.
The reasons behind this are aplenty. Failure is one of the biggest ones. Followed by career choices and the fear of failure.
Parents aren’t alone to be blamed, of course. This also puts a big onus on our higher education infrastructure. You don’t need to compare it with other countries to understand just how shallow and crumbling our education system is.
Our CBSE and ICSE schools teach students to be sheep. The curriculums force-feed them a cruel image of the society to every student—‘life ek race hai’.
Students are taught to take a large part of their lives – perhaps the best one – and call it “career”. They are then taught how to build a “career”.
It’s fascinating how less our schools focus on life, happiness, values, and ethics.
Perhaps this is the reason why we’re an ocean of people who are stressed, depressed, and just so unhappy with their lives.
India is ranked at the 133rd position out of 156 countries on World Happiness Index.
A large part of the blame is to go to the education system and Indian parents for raising a completely ***** generation.
Here… do an experiment:
Approach a CBSE student who is about to appear for her or his class 12th exam. Ask them:
· Why do they want to score well in their exams? (The answer will also make you realize that anything less than “99%” is now NOT treated as “good”)
· What do they want to become in the future?
· Why are they choosing the career stream that they are choosing?
The answers of the majority will shock you. One, because of the parents’ influence on them,
Two, because of the *****-up idea of “success” they have been fed all these years.
And third, because of their casualness of treating the best years of their lives trying to build a superficial career that they have no interest in.
And if you’re NOT shocked, there’s a good chance that you’re the part of the same crowd.
So, what’s the solution?
Honestly, it’s not simple. But then, as they say, charity begins at home—and so should this one.
Indian parents must change. Instead of dwarfing off self-accountability and holding schools responsible for the success and failure of their wards, they need self-introspection.
Indian parents need to understand the pressure and intrusion they are putting into the lives of their grown-up kids.
This doesn’t mean they stop loving and caring about them. This simply means drawing a line.
Drawing a line between what’s fundamental parenting and what’s messing with your child’s life.
The paradigm of parenting in our country must shift from being obsessively protective and ambitious for the kids to “I trust my child. She will choose the best for herself.”
This change will be a success when a student wakes up to the news of him failing his board exam—but instead of planning his suicide, he thinks “it’s okay, there’s always the next time.”