By Prerana Y.S.K.:
I need an exciting internship.
Exciting? Be more specific.
Um, nothing to do with children, environment or …
Okay, be more specific and tell me what you want.
How about LGBT, prostitutes or tribals?
This is a fictional conversation influenced by reality that I feel the need to mention at the beginning of this article for reasons that shall follow soon; also, this is not just a conversation, it’s the very mindset of most of the ‘let’s be the change makers but first let me buy some weed and add my wonderful photography skills to my wonderful CV this instant’ youth community that I’m a part of, that I wish to highlight.
Before I begin ranting and yapping about all things wrong with our young adults’ current mindsets, I must state that I do not hate this community and am of the opinion that this community has all the potential to become better than the aforementioned group of people. Yes, I am saying all this because I belong to the same community and you can’t live your life hating yourself or warding off the sense of belonging that you’re supposed to have forged with the society.
Also, I’m pro marijuana and believe that photography is actually a difficult skill to master.
But this is not remotely close to what I want to bring forward in this article; this article is for all those people who have an itching sense of rebellion brewing in their minds combined with an innate need to bring about justice, but are being veiled by people who say “There are a million things wrong with this world, you can’t fight for everything. Why don’t you simply, for your own joy, see the good in things sometimes and stay happy?”. What is further annoying is that these very people also have the same sense of rebellion brewing in their minds, but have become complacent and comfortable around injustices and inequalities and have been living in their bubbles for so long now that their bubble is now a concrete room of forced lies subjugated by the more “experienced” members of the community.
It seems like this is a right moment to mention that despite all these variants in our opinions and cognitive processes, we have youth fuelled campaigns like Hysteria by Eye Art Collective, Pukaar by Artist At Work, Kiss of Love by the ‘let’s be the change makers’ community of Kerala, all working for causes such as feminism, raising money for the estranged of natural disasters like the 2013 Uttarakhand flash floods and recently occurred Kashmir floods, and acceptance of public display of love by prejudiced and experienced members of our country.
Um, so you want to say that …
Yes, I want to do something exciting. Really Exciting!
It’s sad and funny to see that some parts of our community consider members of the LGBT community, sex workers and tribals as “exciting” while a few others say “Well, even my life is not perfect. Do I cry about that on the streets while holding banners?”.
I’m tempted to mention here that despite the aforementioned campaigns, we still have a part of our ‘youth community’ who think that feminism is about sword fighting with men while burning bras in the background, and LGBTQ is a community which can be exploited for comic relief while making commercial student films. Oh, is someone going to protest against PDA on the streets? I’m in.
It hurts to live alongside such distinct groups of people, all claiming to be intellectual and educated and opinionated, and it hurts further more when these very people start to symbolise the ‘let’s be the change makers’ community.
To clarify why it hurts so much, I must mention the incident where one of my friend’s friend posted a comment on the beautiful social networking site Facebook saying “Why do housewives need to wear shorts in public? They can do so in front of their husbands in the privacy of their bedrooms!”. He is a journalism student at the Mumbai University.
I realise that this sounds very derogatory and downplays those who don’t seem to possess such emotional quotient towards social welfare, but that’s exactly what I want to say – get on the streets and fight for your rights, your desires, and your passion. Get up and get on their nerves. Do something beyond sitting at your posh cafes with free wifi. Do something beyond going to music festivals and getting wasted. Do something beyond existing. Live.
*Disclaimer – posh cafes with free wifi and music festivals are my secret go-to places.
I must add, you and I cannot generalise the entire youth and call them a bunch of hypocrites fighting for a lost cause about whether Lana Del Ray’s lyrics being anti-feminism should be considered an artist’s freedom for expression or another reason for us to get on the streets holding banners.
Possibly, that’s why we’re a better community of people and need to be told that more often.
Okay, go for animal rights. It might excite you to know that PETA is doing a nude photo-shoot for their current cover to spread awareness about the wellbeing of snakes.
Are you kidding me!
No, I’m serious.
That was rhetoric.
Personally, I think doing nude photo-shoots for animal rights is like feeding cerelac to a patient suffering from HIV-AIDS.
On a related note, believing that somebody who considers members of the LGBT community, sex workers and tribal people “exciting”, and gets high when told of a nude photo-shoot for animal rights would not know what ‘rhetoric’ means is implying what I’ve just asked you to not imply.
We’re not that easy to generalise and we all like ‘exciting’ internships.
(If you still need evidence about our productivity as a community, do check out articles on #Hokkolorob, why some of us are not happy with the HeForShe camping by the UN, and/or why the AAP has become what it has become).