GUWAHATI, June 29 � A majority of today�s youths (65 per cent) do not think that student bodies of varied hues have been able to represent their wishes and aspirations.
Almost half (47 per cent) of the youths still regard government jobs as the best livelihood option, while 79 per cent youths are not in favour of abandoning their home and family for the sake of their beloved.
These were some of the revelations from a Statewide survey on youths conducted by magazine Jeevan.
On the raging issue concerning the definition of the term Assamese required for providing constitutional safeguards for the State�s indigenous populace who risk marginalisation in the face of large-scale cross-border infiltration from Bangladesh, 38 per cent of the interviewed youths advocated having the 1951 NRC as the basis for the definition. While 36 per cent called for having March 25, 1971 as the base year for determining who an Assamese is, 20 per cent said they were not going to lose sleep over the issue.
Again, 31 per cent youths believe that the issue of illegal influx from Bangladesh can be resolved through the recent Indo-Bangla land-swap (boundary determination) agreement. Forty-eight per cent youths, however, are emotional over the handing over of Assam�s land to Bangladesh under the pact and regard it to be a mistake. Twelve per cent view it as a non-issue.
On unabated rhino poaching, 51 per cent youths say that the State government departments and agencies responsible for protecting the rhino are to blame for the spurt in rhino poaching, together with factors such as the powerful international racket in animal body part smuggling and the huge demand for rhino horn in the global market.
Seventy-one per cent youths regard the mighty Brahmaputra to be a boon for the State for shaping Assam�s civilisation, culture and economy over the centuries, whereas nine per cent feel the river has proved to be a curse in view of the recurring devastations by the twin menace of flood and erosion.
Self-styled ULFA c-in-c Paresh Barua who led the armed secessionist movement in the State since the later part of the last century is an unknown name for seven per cent youths, while a whopping 48 per cent feel that he is a spent force and whether he returns to Assam or not will have little bearing on the State. Seventeen per cent, however, believe that he would come back.
Only 29 per cent youths feel the slogan �Asom Akou Unnatir Pathat Joi Aai Asom Bol� � a stirring catchphrase during the emotive days of the Assam Movement (1979-1985) � to be of no relevance today. More than half of the youths (58 per cent) say that Assam is on a conspicuous downward slide. Four per cent of the youths have not heard the name of Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa � the icon of Assamese literature and nationalism and whose 150th birth anniversary was observed recently on a large scale.
Eighty-six per cent youths supported the demand for making Assamese a compulsory subject in schools and colleges.
Thirty-eight per cent of the youths conceded that mobile phones were having a distracting impact on the youth while 49 per cent admitted that social media was a wastage of time. Thirty per cent, however, believed that life would be dull and difficult without social media.
Fifty-two per cent youths were concerned over the future of river island Majuli, saying that the Brahmaputra would totally erode this nerve centre of Vaishnavite culture. Twenty-six per cent, though, believe that Majuli would be protected. Six per cent are indifferent.