LIFE

It is true

ONE DOES not know whether the much talked about "digital divide" exists in other cities. It certainly does, in the property scene in Bangalore.

Land prices and the cost of owning houses in certain suburbs have gone up steeply because of the large disposable incomes many information technology (IT) professionals have.

As to the merits of pub-disco culture, it is just a sign of changing times.

Even in the "old economy" nightclubs were popular with some sections of citizens. The new rich cannot always get into some of the older clubs; they have to create their own.

Karen Anand, Austin Town

I DO not know whether the crowds at pubs and nightclubs really mean we have lost touch with our roots. Festivals in places of worship also attract large crowds.

I believe the younger generation has admirably combined its leisure time activities along with a healthy respect for things traditional.

Many in the high-tech sectors work long hours all through the week.

They do need a break during weekends. Nothing is wrong with the "work hard, play hard" culture provided a balance is maintained.

S. Raghunath, Jayanagar

UPMARKET MALLS and restaurants, multiplexes with unbelievably expensive tickets, these are all part of what the new economy has gifted us.

The middle-income groups feel compelled to keep up with the wealthy and the result is debts.

Many of the younger generation really do not know what their roots are.

But, there are an equal number who feel they can get the best in life, career opportunities included, right here and feel no need to go abroad.

S. Krishnamurthy, Malleswaram

IF THE young are in danger of losing their roots, the elders have to share the blame. Have we really bothered to spend enough time with our growing or grown-up children to tell them about what it was to be a typical, Indian middle class family?

The negative aspects led to the break-up of extended families and today, children have little contact with grandparents who could, perhaps, have told them more about their moorings.

R. Parthasarathy, J.P. Nagar

GIVE THEM some credit; the young are beginning to discover their own roots.

There is an increasing interest in celebrating festivals in the traditional manner and in going to classical music and dance performances.

Just because a young man or woman spends some time with friends in a pub does not mean they have lost all touch with their own cultural roots.

The elders in the family too have some responsibilities in this regard.

Sudha Nagaraj, Malleswaram

IT IS for the older generation to inculcate the right value systems in the young. One can be trendy and fashionable and still keep in touch with one's cultural roots.

If it is not happening, parents and teachers are failing in their duty.

As for the new generation of people without an identity of their own, give them time, and eventually they will pause in their pursuit of material wealth to do some introspection and come up with the right answers.

K. Eshwaramurthy, R.T. Nagar

THERE CAN be two responses to the problems of many of the younger generation losing touch with its cultural moorings. One will be to condemn them outright and the other to find out why. Unfortunate but true, many of us turn to things such as religion or spirituality late in life when all the wealth and possessions we have fail to make us happy and content.

To their credit, many young people are volunteering time and money for social causes. From there to help them get connected to their cultural roots is not all that difficult.

S. Guruprasad, Basavanagudi

LARGE DISPOSABLE incomes lead to the pursuit of pleasure as one goal in life. Added to this is the stress many in the high-tech careers go through, and you can understand why they prefer the pub to say a classical music concert.

Actually, going back to one's roots is fast becoming fashionable.

This alone may induce many of the youth to at least try to understand what Indian culture is really about: an all-inclusive pluralistic culture that respects and tries to understand other cultures.

R. Krishnan, Jayanagar

THESE DAYS one is not sure what cultural roots really mean. Is it just going to temples and bhajan sessions and listening to Indian classical music? If so, many of our young are much into all that.

Our culture and traditions have assimilated changes and outside influences admirably. We adopt what is best in other cultures while retaining the best in our own. If the younger generation can do this, they will be happier as they grow older.

G. Mahesh, HAL II Stage

ONE CAN have the best of Western education, understand their languages, culture and history and still go back to the Indian roots.

Perhaps, even with better understanding because of the Western learning. Sri Aurobindo was an example. Leisure time activities such as dancing in a disco or attending a rock show or even quaffing a few mugs at a pub, does not necessarily mean a person has lost touch with his or her roots. External influences do not take away one's own origins. Many of the young have realised this already.

Sheila Raj, Cox Town

INDIAN CULTURE has many facets, not easily understood by even scholars from the West. It has been our practice to learn the best things from other countries and cultures and adapt these to our own ethos.

The changes now taking place in our society are part of the changes the whole world is going through in the beginning of a new century. The knowledge economy has its own value system which need not be in conflict with what is essentially Indian: respect and tolerance for all.

K. Shankar, Koramangala

ONE SHOULD not judge people by the externals; the dress they wear or the kind of leisure activities they prefer does not make them any less Indian than others. Many young people frequenting pubs are also to be seen at "satsangs" on some weekends. This kind of lifestyle is very much Indian. And it can only happen in this country. Let us not pass judgments hastily about the young losing their cultural roots. It is just that they have less hypocrisy.

K.R. Manohar, Jeevan Bima Nagar

NEXT WEEK: Will the largesse announced in the State Budget with a promise of more to follow help improve the infrastructure in Bangalore? Some feel the funds are inadequate considering the pressing needs of the city. Readers are invited to send their responses to The Hindu, 19&21, Bhagwan Mahaveer (Infantry Road) Road, Bangalore 560001 or email at bglreflections@thehindu.co.in.