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How society hampers entrepreneurial creativity

Anil Kshatriya
22nd May 2016
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Social circumstances play a huge role in shaping young aspiring minds. Social circles are no longer limited to family and friends within the scope of geography. Social networks in this era spread far and wide. As the web of social interactions is expanding, there is a need to discuss correlation between social norms and entrepreneurial thinking in the country.

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Young India is evolving. The role of parents and teachers in deciding career moves of youngsters is reducing. Today’s children like to nurture their independent thinking. In fact, it is inappropriate to look at adolescents as dependent and submissive individuals. Thanks to the power of ubiquitous information surrounding them, they are maturing into self-confident adults. They aspire to be in charge of their own lives.

Expectations set by society have tremendous impact on a country’s creative endeavours. This should bring us closer to more serious questions, such as: Why do developed nations perform better in terms of innovation? What cultural factors impact the way fresh talent develops an outlook towards the creation of new ventures? What can take us closer to countries that have created a legacy of accepting failures and encouraging risk-taking, open-minded thinking?

It all starts very early in primary schools and at our homes. Unknowingly, we in India like to create patterns in educating children. We want them to see things in a particular way. This makes us fall in love with conformity. Any non-conformity arising out of any context is therefore not appreciated by us. This barrier to free-thinking must be broken if we want young minds to welcome newness beyond the obvious. Building a boundary wall, under the garb of a disciplined approach that threatens creative thinking, must be discouraged. As a society, we need to celebrate failure as much as we celebrate success. That there is never only one ‘right way’ forward is something we should learn to accept.

In colleges, there is a fear psychosis at work. The ‘if-then’ philosophy of parents and coaches makes students take the path of least resistance. Because the cost of overriding social norms is considered to be very high, many youngsters pay the price of their originality to avoid a loss. Attitudes that emphasise ‘engineering from a top institute of technology’ or ‘B.Com with CA’ or ‘limited scope for humanities’ hamper the morale of potentially bright folks. They start questioning their inner quest. Simply directing them is capable of taking them forward. Fear of employability and earnings makes their thinking very rigid.

Graduate schools are the best places for young minds to make difference to their career. This is a stage in one’s life when he or she begins to fathom an inner calling to do or avoid things. A narrow focus on the job market or compulsive obsession with post graduation at this stage is counterproductive. But unfortunately, this is exactly how we train our graduates to think. We want them to be achievers. But our definition of achievement is restricted to ‘first pay package’ or ‘percentile score in PG entrance exam’.

The next Apple, Google or Facebook of the world can come from India only when our society starts treating average individuals with pride and respect. It’s high time that we realise that social upbringing and urge to implement innovative ideas are strongly correlated.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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