HT Youth Survey: India’s young are self-centred, will do almost anything for themselves

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Oct 13, 2017 12:58 PM IST

In this age of instant coffee, noodles and gratification, Indian youth are not willing to wait patiently for anything. They’re determined to get what their hearts are set on, even if it means lying to their parents or violating rules

Today’s youth are self-centred, and will do almost anything as long as it benefits them. To top it all, impatience seems to have been woven into their DNA.

Indian youth are not willing to wait patiently for anything.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)
Indian youth are not willing to wait patiently for anything.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

“I will beg, borrow or steal to buy something I really want,” the Hindustan Times-MaRs Youth Survey recorded as many as 81.5% respondents as saying. While 68.3% youngsters confessed to doing things their parents would not approve of, as many as 66% confessed to lying to their folks.

Stay tuned with breaking news on HT Channel on Facebook. Join Now

Harshita Srivastava, a 22-year-old content writer with InstaOffice, has an explanation for the occasional untruth. “One’s sense of right and wrong should come from within. You lie only when you know you have made a mistake, and don’t want to hurt your parents. What matters is if there is sincere effort on your part to not make the mistake again,” she says.

Are you more progressive than the average Indian? Take our quiz to find out

Nearly 80% of the respondents polled by the Hindustan Times-MaRs Youth Survey said they would do anything to win the approval of their friends. Srivastava, however, was surprised by such an attitude. “If you have to go out of your way to gain the approval of your friends by changing who you are, then it is high time you asked yourself if it’s worth being friends with such people. Seeking anyone’s approval shows lack of self-confidence,” she asserted.

Tanya Jain, a copywriter with Webenza, also could not fathom why people would act fake to fit in a particular group. “It is time we realised that such pretence won’t get us anywhere. We need to learn to accept and love ourselves for who we are,” she said.

Delhi-based psychoanalyst Nilofer Kaul put this trend in perspective. “The desire for peer approval seems to pervade our adolescence and youth. Acting cool and keeping up with the latest fashion improves acceptance in the community. Often, we find ourselves lacking in confidence and not measuring up to societal standards,” she said.

The survey also highlighted the widening generation gap between youngsters and older folk. As many as 75% of the respondents said they wouldn’t care what their parents thought as long as they did what they believed was right.

However, Shubham Saran – the 31-year-old founder of Zorted Solutions Private Limited – said while it was okay to be influenced by Western values, the youth should try to strike a balance between their views and that of their parents. “While the younger lot are adopting a more ‘modern’ outlook due to the advent of technology, they also refuse to consider the fact that their parents have more experience than them,” explained Saran. “I have travelled to more places at my age than they did in their youth, but they will always have an edge in understanding human emotions and situations.”

India’s younger generation is also anything but patient. Over 82% respondents of the survey said they wanted everything – and fast.

“This attitude resonates well with the fact that resources are much easier to access now. The advertisements being aired these days stress on this very fact. One thing that can be highlighted here is Royal Stag’s ‘It’s your life’ commercial, which goes to say that nothing is unachievable. If you have the will, you can etch out huge goals for yourself and push hard to achieve them,” said Saran.

For more stories from HT Youth Survey 2017, click here. Send in your comments and suggestions at or use #HTYouthSurvey on social media.

Survey Methodology: India Youth Survey 2017 was carried out by MaRS Monitoring and Research Systems in 16 state capitals and major towns in India- Delhi, Lucknow, Jaipur, and Chandigarh in the north, Kolkata, Patna, Bhubaneswar and Ranchi in the East, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune and Indore in the West, and Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi in the South.

Target respondents were both male and female from age groups 18-21 years and 22-25 years, belonging to households with durable ownership of CTV, Refrigerator and at least two of: Car, Two Wheeler, Home computer/laptop, Air Conditioner and Washing machine. The respondent was either currently a student of undergraduate or above or employed with education graduate or above. Additionally the respondent was a regular user of internet on the smart phone and member of a social networking site. Total sample size was 5700, equally divided among men and women and the two age groups. Survey was carried out from July 10 to July 31, 2017.


    Danish Raza is a special correspondent with the Hindustan Times. He covers gender, identity politics, human rights, conflicts and online speech.

Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, December 07, 2023
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals