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Society has failed its young generations

Neil Ray | February 12, 2024 00:00:00

The power of music is irresistible. A discerning music lover can immerse himself or herself in the finest form of song or instrumental music. Band music that usually is known for rendition of different genres of music such as pop, rock, jazz, hip hop, rhythm and blues (R&B) and electronic dance music (RDM) is a world apart from what the old generation has considered music. But the new generations have welcomed these music forms with open arms. Such high-pitch, swaying and swirling and evocative music and song have a strong appeal to youths and youngsters.

Now the question is, how strong that appeal is supposed to be. When three teenage girls of class VI leave their homes with the sole intention of joining the Korean band BTS, the lure of the musical ensemble can be imagined. Well, the BTS that stands for Korean phrase Bangtan Sonyeondan with its literal translation to "Bulletproof Boy Scouts" has by now have received worldwide popularity, accolades and awards. Its English lyrics have won over the Western audience because of the simple words highlighting hard realities teenagers and youths face in a world where the adults are too preoccupied to give the former sometime to develop any rapport.

There are serious doubts that the three girls of so tender age have developed understanding of English language and the nuances of the lyrics well enough to appreciate the band's music. But who can deny the fact that the influence of the music was overpowering on them. It was so overpowering that the trio of Meredia in the capital painted a rosy picture of leaving the country for South Korea. Not only did they dream of joining the BTS but also harboured the hope of marrying members of the boy-only band.

Together the three girls – each of whom was the only child of her family – fled their homes for Gazipur where they had rented a room and were looking for employment at garment factories. One of the girls left a letter before leaving, in which she made her intention clear. There is a clear hint that her parents neglect her and that is why she is determined to get Jangkook as her husband. She may be much too simple and, if you like, foolish, but there is some unsettling truth in the whole episode.

The unsettling truth is that there is a troubadour in each person. But with time it takes different forms in line with socio-economic transformation. Rabindranath's Amal in Dakghar had a pensive yearning for the beyond, the unknown no matter if he was confined to his room. Mrinalini of Strir Patra had within her an adventurous, courageous and liberal soul that helped her attain maturity through experience and take the ultimate bold decision not to return to her husband's home.

Today, pensive yearning has been replaced by physicality as the songs and music are accompanied by videos – implicit or explicit. Sensuousness has been replaced by sensuality. The tendency is in favour of instantaneousness and immediacy. People hardly want to wait and take a long view of life and achieve things the hard way.

Today's music is no different in most cases. If impressionable minds are misled from a sense of neglect from their families, the elders are no less responsible for creating a society thriving on rat race. It is rather intriguing in the case of the three girls who are the only child in their families. Is it because of their gender – the fact that they are girls who are subjected to discriminatory treatment?

It is, however, not for the first time that girls have been felt the lure of the BTS, earlier another teenage girl left her home at dead of night on January 21 from Masdair, Fatualla of Narayanganj with jewellery weighing about 210 gram (18 vori) and Tk 5,000. The pull from a romantic and thrilling life outside is overpowering. A similar charm of a life of daredevilry led youths not only from Bangladesh but also from other countries to embark on the misadventure of militancy. Evidently something is terribly wrong with society that has failed to maintain the family bond and compelled teenagers and youths to seek fulfilment in wayward and at times anti-social courses of life.

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