Yogi Sadhguru paid a visit to SRCC recently, as a part of his campaign titles ‘Youth and Truth’. An analysis of the advice given by innumerable motivational speakers in The University of Delhi reaped interesting outcomes.

Sadhguru, a renowned yogi, mystic, and founder of the NGO Isha Foundation, was at Shri Ram College of Commerce on 4th September 2018. The biker and English-speaking guru was accompanied by his entourage, following a suspension of lectures and extensive police barricading, extending from SRCC till Patel Chest Institute (bit much for a yogi, perhaps?). Contrary to popular belief, he wasn’t there to preach, and true to the essence of his campaign, ‘Youth and Truth’, his session included but wasn’t limited to, genuine advice about goal setting, relationships, confidence building and parenting. Once the initial aura of celebrity had subdued, and snapchat stories had been uploaded, people started to really listen. This was probably succeeded by the realization that the speaker hardly partook in original preachings, instead, like most motivational speakers, he simply validated already existing feelings and knowledge. This is a common occurrence, and it is this validation and connection that students seek from motivational talks/speakers, in the University of Delhi.

Celebrities, leaders, motivational speakers, members of the elite academia, and those who made it big by pure chance; the students of Delhi University have stood firsthand witness to it all, via panels, seminars, conferences, conclaves and other events similar in nature.

Students flock to these events in large numbers, seeking motivation, inspiration, enlightenment, or to simply catch a glimpse of a famous entity. However, when reconsidered, it seems as if all of these speakers, regardless of their field of expertise, are making the same point. You seldom come across anything radically enlightening, rather receive recycled gyaan.  If you’ve heard the terms ‘hardwork’, ‘leadership’, ‘innovative thinking’, ‘bringing something new to the table’ and ‘being humble’ one too many times; congratulations! you have unwittingly become a victim of nebulous direction.

Everything makes sense and nothing makes sense. Vague and nebular advice is the new preaching. Nothing anybody says adds any intrinsic value to the lives of students, their leaders themselves often presenting recycled ideas while simultaneously urging students to be ‘innovative’. One reason for the same is that there is no set path to success, and students are often too delusional to realize that. Students are burdened with the desire and/or pressure to overachieve, and often this desire arises not from within, but as a result of environmentally generated competition.

Leaders and speakers are an important part of college culture, but often, making examples of the small fraction of people who ‘made it’ advertises a lifestyle that is probably already out of stock. There is no market equilibrium; the demand and supply are poles apart, and in the end, students are suffering.

Nikita Bhatia

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