While juggling multiple roles, don’t forget you are important too. Make yourself a priority because no one else will with #KhayaalRakhna
We are living in the era of New Media and internet activism. We don’t need news channels or papers to speak for us. Don’t let them mislead us.
Dear Youth of beloved India,
I recently met India and was saddened by the deplorable state it is in. Am sure you must have seen it on social media.
While we were busy figuring out life and working towards our careers, some adversaries crept into its fabric and it is now battling horrors of oppression, mob violence, hate crimes and communal politics in a way that we have not seen in decades.
The oldest strategy in the book – “divide and rule” is being deployed once again to distract attention from the economic-social crisis and people are getting played into the hands of brazen power-hungry groups.
They have fuelled the propaganda of “Us” against “Them” pitting religions and caste against each other, coercing India into a land of hooliganism and fear.
I know you have different interests, goals and aspirations and are busy hustling for a life that you want.
But it is only a matter of time before the perverse nature of these iniquities circle around us in some way or the other.
While you and me were busy going about our millennial lives, our Motherland was growing old and not gracefully so.
The onus lies as much on us as it does on the governments considering Youth comprises more than 50% of the total population of the largest democracy in the world.
Youth has often been underestimated and not taken seriously in the political discourses, being relegated to a section who is inattentive and frivolous.
But we are not. Our ways and tools are just different.
Some of you might feel I am romanticising nationalism, why should we bother when something bad is not happening to us personally.
Should we become so cocooned in our world that we become apathetic to the suffering of those who are not as privileged as we are or are facing discrimination only because they have a different faith or are poor?
Of course, I do not expect you to leave your jobs, your life and become some kind of protester on the street.
I only urge you to embrace the power of the collective youth and stand up for basic civic and human rights.
I urge you to persistently refute unjustness.
Entities motivated by religious propaganda have clutched the spirit of our nation and are forcing a picture that is not our India, that is not our issue,
that is not our faith. It is rabid and embarrassing to the ideals of India.
These groups and people are taking advantage of the lack of vigorous youth participation in political matters and have self-appointed themselves as our face.
We need to repudiate those who use the name of any religious sect to bully and incite mob violence and lynching.
Such people have no faith, they are criminals.
I ask you to align yourself only with the virtues of Democracy, Integrity, liberty and courage.
Though in these peculiar times such virtues are considered weak and impassive, it is the novelty of these very virtues that will bring India back from the dark path it has set upon.
History is testament to the fact that whenever a nation crumbles, it is its youth that can define its fight and resilience.
Every time we keep quiet in the face of wrong we become complicit and make it stronger by our absence.
People of authority and holding offices constantly dillydally around real issues by keeping us engaged in the narrative of fear and hate by repeatedly playing it on all forms of news broadcasting and communication.
The least we can do is, refuse to be baited and ask well informed smart questions about the true socio-political problems at hand when deflected with ambiguous word play.
We are living in the era of New Media and internet activism. We don’t need news channels or papers to speak for us. We have the means, we have the choice, and we have our own voice to let anyone and everyone know what we believe in and that we are educated, informed Indians who will not let its country slide into fascism.
I only urge you to make yourself aware of the real condition of India with regards to literacy, jobs, health care, social security and environment and to think and educate yourself to the possibility of the impact you can have whenever you verbalize dissent and do it through the medium which is your strong point.
There are people, writers, journalists, activists who are speaking up against this but they are too few and too cornered. Thus, my emphasis on unity and strength in numbers.
I know you have classes to attend, jobs to do, bills to pay, chores to complete and a social life to attend and all this looks passionate on paper with may be zero feasibility.
But are we seriously not even going to try and just read articles, retweet or share a post here and there and keep on going about our lives?
Even if majority of us do not understand politics or are not interested in it, one thing that all of us are interested in is the good will of our nation.
Our former late president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, a visionary in every sense inspired the youth to be the very best that they could be.
He always emphasised the need to teach our youth to transcend the divides that exist in society and work for nationalistic goals while achieving their individual goals.
Won’t we enjoy our jobs, careers, professions even more knowing that we contributed to the peace and solidarity of India?
Won’t we cherish our smartphones and gadgets even more knowing that we stood up for our fellow citizens and spoke against injustice?
This year we celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the prevalent problems of our country are antithesis of the vision of father of the nation.
No office, no authority, no institution, no leader is above the Constitution the supreme law which secures justice, liberty, equality to all the citizens of India and promotes fraternity of people.
I am the youth. You are the youth. Flailing India needs our attention and responsibility to invigorate the true spirit of a culturally diverse and secular India for the future and generations to come.
Youth is not one gender, one region, one religion or one caste. Youth is all encompassing. It is a force if rightfully directed can take a nation to greatness.
We have the choice to be on the right side and become the generation which did not accept appalling mockery of humanity in the name of Religion and authority.
To be the generation which is not just fashionably cool but also intellectually assertive and morally well founded.
As I take your leave, I do hope that you patiently read this rather long letter and spare a thought to what I intend to say and all of us fight for a better India.
I might have missed somethings here and there but what I might be lacking in writing is compensated in the spirit of this message.
Love and peace be with you.
A fellow youth of beloved India
Image source: shutterstock
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