Fifty-five per cent students in the age group of 15 to 19 agree that the way women dress and behave provokes men,” stated ‘Yuva Nagarik Metre’, a survey conducted by Mumbai-based NGO Childrens’ Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA). The survey report that was released at Welingkar’s Institute of Management Development and Research on Wednesday said, “There are alarmingly negative attitudes of youth across the country towards democracy and social diversity.”
CMCA’s survey shows a wide prevalence of gender-biased attitudes and stereotypes among the young population of urban India.
The survey was conducted among 6,168 students and 757 social science teachers from 330 high schools and 4,374 students from 220 junior colleges across 11 state capitals, including six metro cities (Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata) and five non-metro cities (Bhopal, Jaipur, Lucknow, Patna and Guwahati).
According to the findings: around 39% girls and 43% boys agreed that women had no choice but to accept a certain degree of violence, while 52% agreed that the main role of women was to do household chores and raise children. “Around 67% of college students said India should have only one strong political party at the Centre to rule the entire country and 53% students agreed that military should rule India for some years. Around 50% students across the country and 62% students in Mumbai showed intolerance towards migrant workers from other states. At the same time, 43% students said it was alright to violate rules because one could always get away by bribing official, while 38% said it was fine to violate rules because the penalty was small,” the survey said.
“The idea behind conducting the survey – Yuva Nagarik Meter – was not only to find out whether the young Indians knew and understood what democracy truly meant and to also show how these youngsters were growing up and what values and attitudes they possessed pertaining to Rights & Responsibilities, Democratic Governance, Adherence to Civic Rules, Gender Equality, Diversity & Social Justice and Environmental Conservation etc. Today, not a single organisation in the country has the data with regard to the above mentioned parametres. Furthermore, we also wanted to see the effect of formal education on youth and hence we chose two types of student groups – one from schools and the other from junior college,” said Manjunath Sadashiva, director of CMCA.
“The findings of the report show that there is a dire need to inculcate citizenship values and attitudes among the young population of India owing to their dismal performance on understanding democratic values. The civic education plays a crucial and integral part in the growth of youth and overall development of the country, but our education system sidelines it.”
According to Yuva Nagarik Meter, the overall democratic citizenship score of young India is merely 21%. The report also shows that non-metro cities fare better than metro cities in the aggregate scores. Along with the scores on basic domains of democratic citizens, the study also highlighted that positive experience at schools and colleges had a significantly positive influence, whereas, affiliation to political parties showed a possibility of a strong negative influence on cultivation of democratic citizenship.
Sadashiva said, “Only by studying and understanding where young Indians stood on democratic citizenship and what factors influenced the same, we as a society can think of measures to nurture and improve the same. Our aim to conduct the study was to reform and revitalise the civic education policies and practices in India. We were not only taken aback by some of the views and answers of the students, but worried for the country, especially about violence against women and about being ‘ok’ with violating rules.”
36% girls and 44% boys admit that dowry is a practice in the community and feel they should “accept it”.
65% of students favour prohibiton of meeting between boys and girls belonging to different religions at public places.
45% social science teachers agree that in urban areas most problems are caused by migrants
74% do not know that legislature is responsible for enacting laws
CMCA and Yuva Nagarik Meter
The Yuva Nagarik Meter of CMCA is a first of its kind study that maps and creates a national baseline of the level of democratic citizenship among Indian youth. The report was launched during a press conference prior to the 66th Republic Day of India.