Frustration in India’s youth, is it our fault as a society?

Sanket Kangle
6 min readMay 13, 2022
Photo by Debashis RC Biswas on Unsplash
NOTE: The content in the article are Author's personal views/thoughts. It is not intention to hurt anyone's emotions or feelings. 

A few centuries in the past, Kamlesh used to live with his parents. His father was a merchant and his mother was a homemaker. He had plenty of brothers and sisters. When Kamlesh reached the Age of 5–6, He was sent to Gurukul for studies. He finished his studies in around 10 years and came back home at the age of around 15–16. Some of the other boys were not as fortunate as him. They could not go to the Gurukul due to financial or religious reasons. Those boys stayed at home and got groomed in the skills of their fathers. Girls were also groomed under their mother’s supervision to be homemakers. When Kamlesh was back home, he started working in his father’s business. In another One to Two years, When he was around 17–18 years old, He was capable of earning on his own as well. His parents then arranged the marriage for him. His wife’s name was Sujata. She was 3–4 years younger than him, i.e. 13–14 years old. She recently started getting her monthly periods. Other friends of Sujata were also getting married. Some of them had started getting periods, some of them hadn’t yet. In those days, If a girl got married before her maturity hits. It was prohibited for her husband to have a physical relationship with her. The young wife used to sleep with her mother in law until she hits puberty.

In essence, All the boys of age 17–18 years old were earning members of the family and they got married to homemaker girls of the age of 13–14 years old girls. This or even younger for girls was the normal marriage age in India.

Then came the Englishmen, they ruled India. With them, came western propaganda, education, Railways, Justice systems, etc. Fast forward a century later, India got freedom on 15th August 1947. Some things like their culture, cuisine, and lifestyle did not stick around much. Some other things like their Justice system, and education system stuck around.

Now again fast-forwarding to today, in India, a child(regardless of gender) start schooling from age of somewhere between 3 to 5. S/he completes the graduation by the age of 20–22 years. For many folks, it takes a while to land a job even after graduation. Some prepare for public service exams, some banking, military exams, higher studies, masters, etc. and so they get jobs late. The usual age of a person getting a good enough job to support a family is pushed to 25–27 years of age. So now in India, the general age of marriage for Boys is somewhere between 25–33 years and for girls, it is 23–30. (We are not talking about the legal age of marriage here, we are talking about the general trends in society among educated people).

Now, let me divert a little from the topic.

Do you know how good it feels after a good night’s sleep? Do you know the feeling when you get delicious food when you are absolutely famished? Do you know the feeling when you have a great bowel movement? Of course, we all know these feelings. It is generally a great feeling. Many times a really good poop feels like there is no feeling like this, you feel like the most comfortable and happy person on earth, true or not?

Now, remember the feeling when you didn’t get enough sleep, how you felt the next day? How do you feel when you were hungry or thirsty and you didn’t get food or water? How do you feel when you cannot use the restroom when you really want to? or you can use the restroom but have constipation? The feelings associated with all this are irritation, anger and in general not pleasant.

Our brain gives us rewards when we do things that promote our livelihood, and punishes us when we stray away from those activities. This reward/punishment trick makes sure that we keep on living.

The point I am trying to make is this:

When you do the basic natural things which you need to do for a living, you get pleasant feelings. And when you cannot fulfill the basic needs of day-to-day life satisfactorily, then you start getting irritated and angry.

Also notice that the more important the activity for us to survive, the more happiness it gives us doing that, and not doing it gives us as much irritation. (Note that for most of us, these basic things are a given and hence we take them for granted and we don’t think as much about the satisfaction we get from these activities)

In our day-to-day life, eating, drinking water, sleeping, and excretions are the most basic activities that we have to do in order to stay alive. But think of the little long term, think a little bigger picture, As a species of a living beings, what is the most important activity of our lives?

you guessed it right!

Reproduction. To pass on — the knowledge, the essence of our being — to the next generation

How do we reproduce? Via Sex. (or via coitus if you are a Big Bang Theory’s fan). And hence the pleasure that we get from sex is one of the best feelings we have. This is one of the biggest driving forces in a human’s life.

Let us get back a little to the topic about which we started talking about in the starting.

According to ancient Indian culture, physical relations before marriage were banned. and that sounds correct too as the boys and girls married almost as soon as they hit puberty(many times even before that). So, if they are having intercourse before that age, then it is not natural nor healthy.

Coming to today’s India, We have happily accepted the western education system. Because of this the age of marriage is pushed by at least 10 years. But we have not accepted the western culture. In the western culture, it is common and widely accepted that boys and girls — when they come to age — go on Dates, they do have physical relationships while they are in Schools, colleges, Jobs, etc. Their marital status does not interfere with their sex life in most cases. In India, even today, Dating and sex before marriage are some things that are frowned upon. you can almost certainly get in trouble if the parents of any of the parties found out about this

If not most, then significant youth in India do have their first sexual encounter only after marriage. i.e. after the age of 25 years.

Sex is not a basic need similar to food or water. We can survive without it our whole lifetime. But a species cannot survive without it! and hence we are biologically coded to like having sex. And by extension to the same, it builds up frustration and irritation when we do not get access to it at the right age. It is like you are hungry now, but you get food after 6 hours. You won’t die in these 6 hours, but you sure will be irritated, angry and in general not pleasant at all, These all too not just from inside, but from behavior as well. One can lash out, and get angry at others around him/her.

This sexual frustration in the youth between the ages of 15 to 25, gets built up over time, And I believe it is one of the core reasons behind the frustration and anger in the youth of India

I feel this is our failure as an Indian society. We have done a lot of development infrastructure, business, and material-wise from the time we got Independence, but we failed to look at one of the most basic needs of humans.