By Lata Jha:
Some lessons can’t be taught in those moral science classes. For those lessons, you only have life and its experiences to lean on. For everything that goes wrong today, those moral scriptures told us, we have tomorrow to bounce back with a vengeance, work on and correct them. What however we learnt all by ourselves over the course of time was that for tomorrow to be as glorious as we wished and envisioned it to be, it is today that we have in hand to take the initiative and begin working towards.
Every single day, life teaches us the importance of living in the present. Of working for the task that we have on hand today. If exams are round the corner, one needs to begin preparing today instead of wasting one’s time cribbing. If there are issues troubling us, voice needs to be raised today and now. What we have with us are only our principles, beliefs and our initiatives.
The 5th Space reiterates that very thought of foregrounding the now, not the future. Of creating leaders out of people today and not waiting for them to enlighten themselves with time.
In the context of everything going on in the country at present, the issue of foregrounding the present acquires even more relevance. The rape of the five year old is something we should immediately retaliate against, and not think about and wait for others to show us the way. It’s ridiculous to try and justify the fact that these things happen in remote, obscure parts of our cities. No, they shouldn’t be happening. We can’t let them happen. And if those we’ve elected and bestowed with the power to straighten things up can’t do so, we shouldn’t be taking it lying down. We have a system in place that isn’t held accountable enough. We have people responsible who aren’t doing their jobs well, of taking to task those people born deranged. We just need to figure out the form and pattern of our leadership and initiative. Leadership needs to be not just spirited, but also rational in seizing the moment.
Our ideas of being active participants and leaders may differ, but it is important that we act in time. You may want to be present at the ITO protests and live tweet, while I could be at a press conference. A third person might follow up on other such cases that probably haven’t garnered even a fraction of public attention. Whatever the form might be, what’s important is that we learn to act and lead today. Reaction is not what is needed, response is. Instant, active and empathetic responses. It is necessary that we ask the important, uncomfortable questions. It is necessary that we hold informed views. It is necessary that when we exercise our rights to vote next year, we do so knowing whether whom we’re reposing faith in deserve it.
Leaders aren’t born out of convenience. They are born out of initiative and spirit. The 5th Space envisions that very space where people look beyond themselves as soon as they come across issues that bother them.
The violation of our rights is just among the many things that sadden us. But it shouldn’t be that way. It should galvanize us to take a stand and demand a stop to all this. There are people who say that actions, not words matter. And instead of criticizing the country and its policies, one should grow up to do something for it. But that’s looking way too far. The country requires each one of us now, contributing in whatever little way we can. It requires a certain leadership and spirit of us. This is why we shouldn’t wait to get our degrees and have our lives in order till our conscience awakens. It has to come from us now. Change doesn’t look for the right hour or an opportune moment to manifest itself. And the time to bring about a change cannot be debated and deliberated upon. It might just be too late by then.