OPINION: National Youth Day: 12th Jan

Posted on January 12, 2010 in Society


January 12, the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, is celebrated in India as the ‘NATIONAL YOUTH DAY’. As today is the day, I feel that it would be appropriate to have a look at the youth of India and its role in nation building.

We have often heard that India will soon be one of the strongest and most developed countries of the world. One of the reasons being given for it is that about 50% of the Indian population consists of the youth, and it is believed that this young generation will build the future of this country.

With changes happening in every sphere of life, the field of education has also seen a lot of changes. Apart from the traditional streams of education, a number of new courses have been introduced and today’s Indian youth has so many options available in the field of education. This has given our youth an opportunity to choose any stream as per their interests & abilities and this is the reason why the Indian youth has dominated all the fields. Be it the field of Medicines, Literature, Education, Business, Computers or Astronomy; the youth of India has left their mark in every field, in every country, everywhere. No matter where they go, the youth have used all their skills and talents with full dedication, honesty and efforts for the development of that country. This has definitely increased the respect that the world has towards India. Undoubtedly, it is a matter of pride and pleasure for India. However, there are several other issues related to it that need to be addressed.

The youth has achieved success in every country of the world and has given invaluable contribution towards the success of that country. But, what is the situation of our own country? Today’s India is struggling with innumerable problems like hunger, poverty, unemployment, diseases, corruption, terrorism, communal-hatred and crime. The situation is worsening with every passing day. Don’t we have any responsibility towards improving this?

The threat of terrorism, which was once limited only up to the states situated at the borders, has now reached every nook & corner of this country. We get the news of terrorist activities from every state of India from Jammu-Kashmir to Tamilnadu and from Rajasthan to Manipur.

Naxal activities are continuously increasing in hundreds of districts from Kerala to West Bengal. Separatist movements are raising their heads in the north-eastern states. Infiltration from the neighboring countries is still going on, while on the other hand, our armed forces are facing the problem of the shortage of able officers. Many of the pilots of our air force are moving towards private airlines to get a better package and more luxurious life. Thousands of the youth studying in our schools and colleges dream of going to the countries like the US, UK and Australia; but, how many are there who wish to join the Indian armed forces, or stick to Indian colleges?

How many are there who are ready to reject a lucrative offer and want to dedicate whole life for the development of their own country? I would like to make it clear that dedicating our lives for the country does not necessarily mean that we have to leave all the comforts and luxuries. I just mean to say that we should use our skills and knowledge for our own country. We are proud that a large number of Doctors working in America are of Indian origin and they are respected a lot there. But, on the other hand, we also get the sad news that everyday a large number of infants and patients in the rural India die because of the unavailability of necessary health facilities and medication.

A question rises in my mind that if the Indian doctors living in America, of whom we are proud, had given more importance to the service of their own country, rather than to the luxuries and dollars, India would have created better opportunities with their help. But unfortunately, we have seen our young doctors performing strikes and breaking the glasses and instruments of the government hospitals, demanding a hike in their stipends, and hundreds of patients helplessly losing their lives as a result of these strikes.

We also get to hear a lot about the Indians working in NASA. There is no doubt that the great work being done in the field of Space research is for benefit of whole humanity. But, this great work in the interest of the humanity, which is being done by our Indian youth in NASA, could not have been done through the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Today, many of our young scientists dream of working for NASA, but why? Because there are very few examples like Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, who preferred to stay in India, rather than working for a foreign institution? All of us know about the Indian scientists who have worked on the missions for NASA, but how many of us even remember the name of India’s only astronaut Mr. Rakesh Sharma?

I am not against going abroad to get education, earning money or gain experience. To have the opportunity of getting the best and the most advanced knowledge and the desire to earn money and enjoy the luxuries is the necessity as well as the right of every individual. But, while trying to fulfill our individual needs and rights, we should not forget the needs of our country and our responsibilities towards it. We must remember that our responsibility is not just paying some money to the government as the taxes. Another reason why people go out to study is because of lack of opportunities in India, but the Indian youth must understand that we very well have the ability to create opportunities.

I agree that it is, of course, the young generation of India, who will build a prosperous future of this country. But, we must remember that we cannot rebuild India by leaving it & moving abroad. We can achieve that only when we properly understand our duties towards our country and fully contribute for its progress. To all those youngsters, in the minds of whom our Great India still resides, this is an appeal to listen only to their heart and fully contribute to the progress of our country without being a victim of any kind of confusion.

I look forward to have your comments & views and shall always welcome creative suggestions and positive criticism with an open heart. Let us join hands in rebuilding the country and let us ‘BE THE CHANGE’, rather than just waiting for it because only that is the true spirit of the youth of India.

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