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Unstoppable India!

Young India holds the key

Few civilizations have perhaps witnessed as much of a transitional phase in history than India. Yet, it is to our strength that the country has made giant strides. The colonial invasion, gory past of bloodshed or the nefarious caste system – actually nothing could mar the spirit of optimism that the countrymen display braving all odds. In the words of longtime India watcher Mark Tully, the famous BBC journalist, “India is often likened to an elephant lumbering along unstoppable”

If the saying ‘Nothing is permanent except change’ is relevant anywhere,it is in the context of India’s emergence as an upcoming global economy and regional power to a large extent. It has braved crises after crises – and surmounted challenge after challenge.The inherent resilient power vis-à-vis the economic recession and successful management of its economy and its polity has earned the country a respectable position in the comity of nations. But the future roadmap is full of hurdles and the onus to negotiate with the curves would rest on the shoulders of Young India.

But on the eve of yet another Independence Day, is Young India confident enough? What does this generation think about the country, its hopes and failures ?

On the eve of yet another Independence Day since the country made a ‘tryst with destiny’; Swati Deb on behalf of ‘Eastern Panorama’ takes a closer look at those individuals – from varied backgrounds – and on their hopes about India and what keeps them shell-shocked and apprehensive. Read on:

ARVIND KEJRIWAL-Arvind Kejriwal, president of newly launched Aam Admi Party

Arvind kejriwal

(A glib talker among the new generation politicians, Kejriwal was the by -word for the anti - corruption crusade in the national capital and perhaps the rest of the country in 2010 and 2011. The former trusted lieutenant of Anna Hazare launched his Aam Admi Party and is keenly contesting the forthcoming assembly elections)

Corruption is the most serious bane in our society and politics in India today. All out efforts should be made at every level to root out the menace. Our experience is that all existing political parties are part of this.

“Corruption is the most serious bane in our society and politics in India today. All out efforts should be made at every level to root out the menace. Our experience is that all existing political parties are part of this. Thus, getting rid of corruption from public life will definitely work as an agent of change in politics as well as public life. To root out corruption, we should instill a sense of fear among the people, the wrong doers, that to be caught for corruption could fetch exemplary punishment. Look at the conspiracy, the BJP and the Congress hatch. That’s why we raised the campaign against Robert Vadra. Till then corruption by close family members of the ruling families were only discussed in drawing room talks and in whispers. Therefore, my party says, the future of the country lies in the hands of the kinds of agents of change who can bring about radical transitions and fight corruption head on. The success of our Lokpal campaign was an indication that common people also want to eradicate corruption.”

Dr. Mukul Sangma – Chief Minister of Meghalaya

Dr.Mukul Sangma

The future roadmap is full of hurdles and the onus to negotiate with the curves would rest on the shoulders of Young India.

“I think the most important thing that I have seen is that the young people around us have started becoming more assertive, which in turn is good for democracy. The young citizens of the country have become more alert, enlightened and assertive, therefore, appropriate response is being given by the Government. When you look all over the country whether it is Bihar or other States for that matter, they never had the courage to speak about their rights. However, nowadays, a lot of youth have started speaking out and they have started talking about what is expected from the Government and also from people who are occupying high posts. This, according to me, is something which is good and it is definitely going to make a difference in the overall approach to governance. But it must be remembered that the overall need for building up infrastructure in the country is a major issue that has been the main concern ever since attaining independence. However, people should also keep in mind that proper infrastructure can only be developed with time - it cannot happen overnight. The availability of funds is also another important factor for the strengthening of infrastructure as the need for funds in the development of infrastructure is huge. But now the Government is really trying to respond to these demands due the growth of assertiveness of the people.”

Tokiwaio Blah – Social Activist, columnist and retired IAS officerTOKIWAIO BLAH

“Well the thing that really astonishes me and I think it also astonishes a lot of people in the world regarding India independence, is that India has been able to sustain democracy for such a long period, unlike other colonial countries that were given independence and where we found military coupes and military juntas taking over, in India at least, the people have been able to maintain ‘the façade of democracy’. But then after having said that, I think the danger to this Indian democracy is that we have allowed the political system to overtake democratic values that is enshrined in democracy.”

BINU ALEX-Binu Alex, Editor of Commodity Newsonline, Ahmedabad

The 42-year-old journo has sought to redefine the quantum of Commodity journalism in India with the launch of the website www.commodityonline.com from the trader’s paradise Ahmedabad. A techno - savvy, regular blog writer with a niche for photography Binu claims his website has given ample opportunities to the traders as well as the end farmers to ventilate their viewpoints on agro - economic issues.

When going abroad is the solitary target of any studies, one is afraid, how can the youth change India?

“The rural - urban divide is the biggest problem in India today, especially among the youth. Today we have two sets of the youth. One that is filthy rich or upper middle class who flaunt everything they have. They are closely followed by lower middle class youth who strangulate peer finance. The other type is the youth who seldom get any of these privileges, not even their basic rights like education, ration and healthcare. Both these sets of the youth have no link in between. The rich have no knowledge of the poor and the marginalized. Take the instance of medical students who are supposed to serve in rural areas. More than a majority of the final year students skip this by paying the relevant exemption fee. This shows how deep rooted their craving for luxury and material things is and how distant they are from humanity and service. I could sound pessimistic, but I am being realistic. When going abroad is the solitary target of any studies, one is afraid, how can the youth change India?”

ILYAS QUERESHI- Ilyas Quereshi, Ahmedabad Congress spokesman

He was the general secretary of the Gujarat unit of National Students Union of India (NSUI) and quickly rose to become general secretary of the state youth Congress in 1995. Subsequently, he went on to become spokesperson of Ahmedabad city Congress Committee

“The overall India development story is quite satisfactory. India is developing very fast and after the general elections 2014, I am confident the pace will only increase further. Over the last few decades, despite the Gujarat riots of 2002, Muslims have progressed and they have started taking modern education more seriously. In recent times, even Muslim girls are taking education seriously. All want their children to be highly qualified. In this context, I must add, the Muslim education in Gujarat has increased after BJP came to power in the last decade, but this is not because of BJP. Muslims want to survive and want to be self dependent. They know the importance of education and it has served the battered minority community well.
Even before 2002 or so, in Gujarat, the technical knowledge of Muslims was very good; but as they lacked formal degrees they worked in garages. But lately many Muslim engineers are also coming out. Overall, I must say, India has the potential to emerge as a very strong and powerful nation in Asia but it should do away with communalism and corruption.”

ANURANG THAKUR

Anurag Thakur, BJP Youth wing national president Son of former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, P K Dhumal, Anurag Thakur is a member of Lok Sabha from Hamirpur in Himachal. He is also the Joint Secretary of the Board of Cricket Control in India. Lately, he has launched a nationwide membership drive to tap the youth of India to the BJP Youth Wing.

“India has developed all these years but it’s not up to the potentials. Indian development has been marred by ills of corruption and mal - governance. Look at the six years of the Atal Behari Vajpayee government. India was really progressing and things would have gone better but we lost power in 2004. A change agent primarily needs to be a visionary, an optimist and a realist. Narendra Modi has these qualities today and therefore I am being optimistic. He has commitment, courage and the conviction to stick to his principles. A true leader has to be known by his team. We in BYJM, BJP Youth wing had decided to be his team. Therefore, we are going to be associated with his battle for 2014 or the general elections whenever it takes place.

India has progressed no doubt but it could have progressed further and achieved many milestones globally had not the Congress party tried to run this country with their corruption disease. It is a serious bane and all out efforts should be made at every level to root out the menace. The youth can bring change. I always say that the youth in the Middle East brought in significant changes. In fact, the new generation should make use of the IT tool – social networking sites to infuse a new lease of life to the young people to come out and do something good for the country.”

SACHIN PILOT

Sachin Pilot, Minister in Manmohan Singh government Belonging to the powerful Gujjar community from Rajasthan, he is the son of the Late flamboyant Congress leader Rajesh Pilot. An alma mater of Air Force Bal Bharati School in New Delhi and St. Stephens College, Delhi University, he came into politics after his father’s tragic death in a road accident. He is a soft spoken youthful leader who enjoys good rapport with political leaders in all parties.
“The foremost importance is to take the benefits of development to the common people. The technology should be exploited up to its potential to help improve the condition of the people. Problems like corruption are major hurdles to development and in taking India reach newer heights. Other important issues at hand include education, health care, sanitation and improvement in infrastructure and power network. People participation must be enhanced in developmental activities. The NREGA scheme introduced by UPA in 2005 was path - breaking. It ensured jobs in rural India. India resilience story is actually reflected in the manner that the global economic crisis of 2008 was handled.

FRANCIS KIKON-Francis Kikon, Journalist and Writer from Nagaland

“The development of rural India and North East India is a single most challenge. The developmental process over the years has changed the quality of life in India but there are still several milestones to be reached. There is also a need to ensure greater participation of the common people, especially tribals and the women in the developmental activities. The areas which should get focus are sanitation, healthcare, public health engineering, agriculture and taking technology to the people, especially the tribals in the North East. There is a need to create enough jobs for the people and adequate opportunities so that the marginalized sections do not feel left out. Another important thing is to make democracy accountable. The politicians should be made accountable to the society by large.”

CHIRAG PASWAN-Chirag Paswan (Film star and son of politician Ram Vilas Paswan)

Being the son of an ambitious politician father made it natural for him to develop a love for politics. It runs in his blood but the progeny of one of Bihar’s famous pro-Mandal leaders surprised many by his debutant Hindi film ‘Miley Na Milye Hum’

“India has no doubt come a long way in its development story. The quality of life has changed for the better in the last six decades or so. Today, we hold our heads up with pride as India has emerged as an upcoming global economy and regional power to a large extent. It has braved crises after crises – and challenge after challenge. It has earned the country a respectable position in the comity of nations. Also importantly, the country offers many opportunities today and the youth should make use of them judiciously. From my own experience, I often say a good family background and a heavyweight surname helps one get a toehold in any field but only those with requisite talent and hard work can survive. That’s the power of India but the society by and large and the government must do a lot for the poor and downtrodden. We still have miles to go on that score.

Swati Deb