Mumbai, (The Hindu): The corporate culture and digital influence are major concerns for the Indian youth, said 25-year-old Percival Holt, the national president of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM), the church’s national network of the youth. The Delhi resident was one of the 38 young people from various parts of the world who participated in a synod that concluded on October 28 in Vatican City. The synod theme this year was ‘Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment’.
“I represented all the youth in India, not just Catholic youth,” said Mr. Holt, who holds a masters in biotechnology. “It was a platform where we discussed our realities and concerns and spoke about the expectations from the church. For example, participants from Europe and the United States shared their concerns revolving around the diminishing family life, migration and religious beliefs; participants from the Middle East spoke about persecution and those from countries like China, Vietnam and Korea spoke about communalism,” he said.
Mr. Holt focused on how the Indian youth are being sucked into the corporate lifestyle, stress and long working hours, with many of them struggling to cope with competitive demands. He also stressed on the time youngsters are spending on gadgets, especially their mobile phones and very little time interacting with friends and families face to face. The dependence on machines poses a great threat, he said.
“In India, the concerns of the urban youth are related to lifestyle, competition etc. There is this constant imitation of the West. Whereas the rural youth are concerned with poverty, and immigration among other issues,” said Mr. Holt. The church should offer a space for these youngsters to speak out and understand their concerns, he said.
The synod brought together nearly 270 bishops, 50 auditors including the youngsters, nuns and priests and more than 23 experts from various fields like spirituality and religion. “The final document of the synod will be out in a week’s time,” he said.
A preparatory document released before the synod had said that young people are experiencing particular hardships, which pose difficulties for them in making real choices in life, because they have not even the minimal possibility to exercise freedom.
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