Frank Talk: The Silent Revolution [Archives:1999/44/Focus]

November 1 1999

Dr. Pramod Kumar 
Taiz University 
You may sniff it in the air. It is no more the same. The good old days are gone with the wind. I mean the young people. They are a different crop altogether. It has been happening all along the last few years and there is no mistaking the fact. You can miss it only at your own expense. 
I appreciate the change others may not. I understand it as a major shake-up at the grass-root level. The thrust is indeed in a positive direction, the adjustment from the agrarian mind-set to a more market savvy up-surge. 
What defines such a radical departure from the established? Indeed, the rules of the game have changed. With the margins squeezing and completion hooting up for every inch of space, the quality conciseness is increasing by the day. the young, left to fend for themselves, realize the need to strike a deal. In their guts they have a feeling that they have to rise up the stringent standards whose demand. Supply situation is already titled against them. The security of a confirmed job-placement has given way to competitive entry. The need to enhance competence and skill has fully sunk into the consciousness of the new generation. 
The earlier image of Qhat chewing easy going student force is giving way to a more professional, self-disciplined batch of achievers. They are making more demands on themselves, stretching themselves that extra bit. The over-mushrooming language institutes and computer training centers to the fact in no uncertain terms. 
You can read it in their eyes the hungry, scratching look, scanning your value-worthiness. These are the eyes more penetrating than ever before, reading for a go. Perhaps, the growing impatience is simpatico of the emerging reality of shifting priorities. The new tenticks order of a more stable era. Yemen is transforming itself into the definition of a modern state. The tension of transition are formidable. 
The flashy ads, the glamour of good life and the expectations of upward mobility have produced a cumulative effect on the young impressionistic minds. The old habits are crumbling and these is eagerness to enter into uncharacterized territories. The trend is towards a more concentric nuclear sub-culture that supports itself and is self-dependent. The reality, the illusion and the disillusion are all packed into this formula. 
The nucleus is emerging as the support base. The new middle class ethics requires a furnished house in a respectable locality and a comfortable, regular liquid flow of cash, among other conditions before you start a family. The gestation period can be extended indefinitely. This is proof enough of the way things are shaping up. 
Opportunities have multiplied manfold, but so has the competition. Procuring a degree is no guarantee of success. To complete in the job market, where already dog-eat-dog situation easier is top on the agenda of these talents. It is a silent revolution taking place out these in the open. They deserve our best wishes.