WHERE HAVE THE BOYS GONE?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In Orissa, the top twenty positions in this year’s higher secondary examination in Arts stream have gone only to the girl students. We congratulate them and wish them success as they desire in life.

But where have the boys gone? Ever since the State is seen as a stooge of private industry, we have marked that the boys are less shining than the girls. In every stream majority of the toppers are the girl students.

Society must pay attention to this. The reason of boys thus lagging behind must be located and remedied.

A major reason is the sense of insecurity that now engulfs intelligent boys in their adolescence. When we analyze the class base of students who have topped in various examinations so far, it transpires that, barring a few exceptionally exceptional cases, they come from the middle class families. A middle class family expects much more from the son than the daughter. Therefore the boy grows with the consciousness that he is to shoulder the burden of parental family. This puts him under a stress constantly from the start. And, stress eats away his ability. In the past this was not happening. State services were in abundance. Commitment to socialism in India’s constitution was giving this assurance that no qualified person shall go without an employment and no citizen uncared for. With an assured future, our boys were free to concentrate in their studies and doing excellent. But assured future has evaporated as the country has jettisoned socialism and slipped into a state of commissionism. Employment avenues in public sector have shrunk to the lowest ebb. Private sector has its inherent instability. When future is thus unsettled, it is well settled that the boy child in a middle class family is to take up responsibility of his father’s family in future. How can he manage? The fearsome pose of this question spooks him into utter mismanagement of his daily life including his study schedule. But a girl in a middle class family is comparatively less disturbed. She is assured of a more stable life and hence, pays more attention to studies. So, to say the least, plutocratic conduct of our country has tampered with academic pursuit of our boys leading to driftage of their winning instinct. This poses a great threat to the nation’s future.

Orissa’s higher secondary results should be studies in this light so as to find out how to save our future from utter chaos.

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