How can Indian youth help in nation building?

 When I think about Indian youth ..A song by Rabindranath Tagore in his Gitanjali comes to mind…

“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high.”

Youth may look around and feel India is beset by a million problems that are ‘insolvent’ and fear, but if they are fearless then they will be able to break the country free of these problems and pay off its debts and make it have a fresh new lease of life. Courage is sorely needed for such bold ventures so they have to be brave, ‘fare forward and well’.

“Where knowledge is free.”

Let young people pledge to make this happen so that not just free but good, and standard education is available to all, and business cartels cannot make knowledge as capital so costly that it is unavailable to the majority. Julian Assange is a good example of how to fight, on this count. May each approach knowledge as if preparing for the Gyanpeeth Award.

“Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls”

See India as what she is, as one and not plural, and love the whole world too. Young people ought to have broad hearts that take them beyond community, caste and religion.

“Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit”

The youth must hold fast to speaking the truth, striving for perfection tirelessly and also to reason, not letting habit blunt its sharp edge. Speaking the truth about the equality of women and children to men, of caste and religious equity, of class and regional and linguistic divides and working to eradicate all there, reason guiding them wisely, meanwhile, in using geographical resources and not let hopelessness that habituates to destructive vices against self or the nation.

“Where the mind is led forward by Thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”

Most importantly, belief in the Almighty and the above three lines as a prayer is needed so that the whole country prospers, and all are taken out of selfishness into a greater sphere of service that will make today’s youth great.

What exactly are the problems that beset India and what can the youth do about them. How can Indian youth get involved and help initiate change in India? How can Young India help the country ?

‘Food security is defined as a country’s ability to provide future physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that fulfils the dietary needs and food preferences for living an active and healthy lifestyle. It is a measure of the resilience to future disruption or the unavailability of critical food supply due to various risk factors including droughts, distribution disruptions, fuel shortages, economic instability, violence etc.’ The youth have to take an active part in ensuring that national food security is reached by entering scientific educational and research centred fields like biotechnology related to improvements in agricultural productivity aimed at small-scale farmers that will benefit the rural poor first.

Water security or the ‘the reliable availability of an acceptable quantity and quality of water for health, livelihoods and production, coupled with an acceptable level of water-related risks’ is another area that they youth have to look at. The answer is again in having a science based approach to education that can help India to learn how to desalinate water at cost effective methods using solar energy and the task force and brains needed for this must come from the youth.

Rapid urbanization is going to cause lack of education, housing problems, energy issues, lack of basic resources, unemployment, slum growth, the criminalization of life, environmental damage etc. The way for the youth is to see the problems as opportunities because young people think out of the box, are innovative and original and have the daring to pioneer change in new and unorthodox ways that can surprisingly produce solutions for many. Initiatives like overcoming resultant pollution and inflation that are both socially productive and scientifically sound.

Education of the right kind, the constructivist kind, is the key and the only exhortation to the youth is to take it extremely seriously because the seven other major problems that are going to beset India in the coming centuries are power generation, preserving indigenous knowledge, empowering women and children, disaster management and crisis networking, and financial management, besides urban resilience, food security and water security. The youth have to be resourceful and valiant to consider all upcoming challenges are opportunities, as said before, and overcome them with long terms interests in mind and not short term gains, to build a stronger nation that is on par with the best in the world.

 Image Credit : Rang De Basanti

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