My life is full of blessings. From humble beginnings to reach where I am today, it was only possible because of the rich and diverse experiences, opportunities this beautiful country offered me. I feel a lifelong obligation to so many amazing people who helped me throughout my journey. People from different religions, regions, background, and beliefs. People who come together and help each other to grow, forming a magnificent rainbow, showcasing the glory of our nation.
‘Unity in diversity’ – that’s the beauty and ethos of this country.
So naturally, whenever I see polarised arguments about social issues, I get very disappointed. Stereotypical narratives, ideological segregation, groupism, and whataboutery annoys me.
No result will be achieved by one side continuously blaming another side on a handful of issues. Blindsiding the turmoil that their own side is creating. I feel it’s never black and white, there are so many shades in between and so many underlining nuances. People should take some time to understand them before passing judgments without adequate analysis.
Especially it’s very saddening to see the youth getting acquainted with this type of discussion. Even some of my close friends who are educated, and good human beings at the core, are choosing one side and continuously blaming the other. I felt something needed to be done. That’s when I started writing. My intention from the beginning was to find common ground. To talk about the specific issue but not specific side or entity, to compare the pros and cons before making conclusions, to look for what can be improved than to cling to the past of what went wrong.
I wrote a blog for some time and became active on social media, posting about issues I have knowledge about and are close to my heart. But there is always a dissatisfaction that the situation, in general, is not improving. The ruckus of the mainstream media was only fuelling this animosity. The information flow was top down, not bottom up, with some pseudo intellectuals debating about social issues in the primetime news, shoving their ideology into the minds of the audience. There was no platform or opportunity for young people to think on their own. Resulting in left vs right in every goddamn issue.
But things changed after the rise of ‘Youth Ki Awaaz’. It was quite literally a mouthpiece for the youth. Diverse opinions and perspectives of so many people were celebrated on this platform. Where every voice matters. From politics to social taboos and injustices, from the environmental issue to unpleasant personal encounters every issue worth speaking were spoken of. It was a beacon of hope for me and an exciting opportunity to contribute my 2 cents.
My very first post was a quick one. It was about the unemployment crisis in India. While most people were just blaming the government for ‘selling pakora for livelihood’ rant, I wanted to shift the focus on the ‘play safe‘ culture cultivated by our parents and schools. My point was that only ease of entrepreneurship can create more jobs in India. This short post was appreciated by the editors of Youth Ki Awaaz and gave me the zeal to write more.
One of my impact making stories on this platform was about Patanjali group. While writing this piece I made a conscious effort to take the middle ground, I wanted to showcase both sides of the growth story of Patanjali with facts and statistics. This post was well received and it was overwhelming to see my mere thoughts resonate with so many readers.
So the message I want to give to every young person out there is to make the most of this chance. You never know the power of your unique perspective. Don’t let petty roadblocks like time management and lack of encouragement stop you from writing. As they say ‘If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you will find an excuse’.
RED from Shawshank Redemption says “Some birds aren’t meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright” — This platform may very well be your chance to fly…
My hearty congratulations to ‘Team Youth Ki Awaaz’ for 10 successful years.
Keep fighting and may the force be with you!
PS: Bonus tip for budding writers – My secret weapon in getting motivated to write, this beautiful song from cat stevens.