I hope all of us have seen an ad campaign by The Hindu which shows a batch of young men and women from colleges, some working professionals among others, answering a few questions.
If you have not seen it yet, please go to YouTube and search for The Hindu ad. And watch the ad at least three times.
At first it will appear very funny and that will lead you to a replay. You will watch it and laugh on it. And may be, as a sudden urge from the core of your matter, you will share it as well.
But I request you to see it one more time and watch the ad with all your sensory organs open. You will suddenly fall silent if you are able to appreciate the soul punching satire in that.
The ad opens with frames showing some rather busy individuals, totally focussed in a fallacy of their own- tapping their touch screen phones, moving aimlessly towards ‘nowhere’, made-up faces et al.
The first kick in the face is this fake-ness of the majority of this generation from which I and you belong- the busy without business generation.
Then the voice asks one question to different individuals and it shows their responses. Questions are very basic from ‘what does UPA stand for’, to ‘what did Dhyanchand play’, to ‘who will succeed Ratan Tata’, to ‘what is the pet name of Hritik Roshan’ and the last ‘which paper do you read?’.
I am not going into the answers here. The questions are basic and should be known to a fifth grader. I am not lecturing why don’t they know.
The question is what do they know? A whole generation ignorant of the name of the leading political alliance, the biggest corporate story, the glorious wizard…
But what all of them seem to answer correctly is Hritik’s pet name- Duggoo!
God! Save this world! These people are going to march to Parliament for political reforms.
It is evident from the response that they are not really interested in these ‘unimportant’ information. After all, this is not going to feed them and how does knowing what Dhyanchand played, flute or hockey, will help him/her get a date.
Dates and ‘spending quality time’ is the immediate aim for this generation devoid of any exposure to polity, arts, literature or any creative things.
This ad campaign is a slap in our face and speaks volumes of what we read and why we read. Question is not whether The Hindu is better paper or The Times Of India, rather it’s a question of quality of journalism and who shapes what!
Is the journalism shaping youth’s mindset or vice-versa?
But being human beings capable of thinking and taking decisions we get tempted into ‘pleasure’ which is momentary. We don’t even know what is the real stuff.
Knowing the names of all the politicians or having a great general knowledge is not a reason of celebration either. The need is how do we put that in practise.
How does it shape our thinking process and how does that help the society at large…
It’s a wake up call not to read a certain newspaper but to read something that brings out our brains to action. Knowing Hritik’s nick name is not harmful but if you knew Pratibha Patil is the President of India, it would be great.
This generation is going to dogs and our wits are visiting some morgue. When you search for reasons to spend time, you are gone.
Expose yourselves to the outside, have an outlook for things. That will help make the society a better place.