By Lata Jha:
Youth today faces a strange dichotomy. We’ve never been as scared of or as much in awe of our elders as our parents were of theirs, we’ve had pretty much everything we needed at our disposal and the world we inhabit offers many more opportunities than it did generations ago. And yet, in so many ways we are bound by and to so many more norms and pressures. Those set by family, by friends, by society, and by our very own selves. There are so many more definitions of what is acceptable and what is not, what we must do, should do and need to do.
The 5th Space is that extraordinary sphere that allows the youth to break these norms and moulds and discover themselves. To go beyond the constrained spaces of the family, peer group, workplace and leisure to see what one can do for the world and for oneself. It connects the individual to the four other spheres as well, while instilling in him at the same time a desire for change and self-transformation.
The 5th Space is an initiative by ComMutiny- the Youth Collective and Pravah, both of which seek change in society through more active and willing participation by the youth. It’s interesting that India, as arguably one of the youngest countries in the world, witnesses a crisis of young leadership. The representation of people below 40 in the Parliament is only about 6.3%. And the average age of a member of the Cabinet is 64 years. That’s appalling, considering the dynamism of our youth that we never seem to tire of praising.
Over the last two years, CYC has been working rigorously to reach out to the youth. They’ve strategized by partnering with organisations that work around similar themes and use print, audio-visual, social, grass root and other media to inculcate these ideas through concrete projects. On the 23rd of February, 2013, they bring together academicians and professionals who’ve worked with young people to explore these very same themes. This initiative is in collaboration with their NGO partner and is the twelfth of such events held in 7 states of the country over the last 12 months.
The event will also mark the launch of their book – Ocean in a Drop – Inside out Youth Leadership published by Sage Publications which traces the tale of dwindling participation of young people in the politics of our country since Independence and introduces the concept of the 5th Space – a space that encourages the youth to connect better in many different ways with themselves and with the world, developing ideas and values that help them go beyond norms, conventions and tradition.
Like all their other events in the past, this one too is sure to help CYC open new windows of experience and understanding for the youth.
As they say, go conquer.