At the threshold of its fast economic development, India needs a healthy, focused and vibrant youth which can take the country to the heights of glory which is associated with the ancient past. Dr. Karan Singh, in his famous article “Youth and Tasks Ahead” highlights the importance of youth in nation- building. The youth are the storehouse of power, energy and enthusiasm but some of them lack the experience.
Those below the age of twenty have not fully matured into adulthood though they are no longer children. If their strength, energy and enthusiasm are not properly channelised they can go astray and miss their objective. The most important aspect of developing our youth is to give them a sense of purpose and direction.
There are four major tasks towards which the youthful energy must be directed. The first and foremost is the defence of the country. India has achieved independence after a long struggle against the British-lull of sufferings and sacrifices. The youth must make its nerves strong like steel to maintain this freedom.
They should make themselves physically strong and mentally tough. Despite technological developments in weapons, the fight in war remains a matter of physical endurance. Our youth must join National Cadet Corps and other such training programmes. The task of defending the country lies with the youth.
The second most important task is to eradicate from the society the feelings of communalism and regionalism. Religion must be viewed as an exalting spiritual experience in which each person recognizes the divine spirit that pervades in all human beings. The youth must develop in themselves the mental power that respects all religions and communities. The caste and communal divide which has been troubling some parts of our great country should be a thing of the past.
Today, we are living in a globalised world. Trade and business opportunities have grown like never before. There have been great advancements in various aspects of education, learning, science, communication and technology. Our youth must equip themselves with all these modern aspects of learning so that they do not lag behind people of advanced countries.
Today’s youth are fortunate that they have tremendous opportunities to acquire various kinds of skills whereby they can carve out a bright future for themselves. There are innumerable colleges, universities and institutions to provide education in various fields. The youth must draw benefits from this vast network of educational centres instead of wasting their time in idle pursuits.
Ours is a great democracy. The governments elected on the basis of universal adult suffrage run the country and take important legislative decisions. The youth are more vigilant and enthusiastic about bringing capable governments so that the nation gets the right direction through proper functioning.
The youth must play active role in the political affairs of the country so that the system is purged of its drawbacks. Only the courageous youth have the power to root out corruption and other bottlenecks from our politics.
The power of the youth is unquestioned in many other fields like sports, media, fashion and innovations. Sports are a matter of physical strength, stamina, determination and talent. Our youth abounds in these qualities. Our sports icons like Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza, Vishwanathan Anand, Dhanraj Pillai and Jaspal Rana have shown that they are among the best in the world. Although India’s performance in various sports has not been as per the expectations from a nation of one billion, there are several reasons such as lack of facilities, absence of proper training and exposure, etc. behind it.
Our youth have the wavewithal to make amends in the next Olympics and other international events. We can look up to them with hope. By winning the Twenty-20 Cricket World Cup, our young team, under the dynamic leadership of M.S. Dhoni has shown that our youth are capable of achieving the highest glory. Our young Hockey team has also won laurels like Asia Cup.
In the field of media, entertainment-which also includes Bollywood-our youth have been able to make a lasting impression on the public at large. The TV channels, radio channels and filmdom are dominated by the youth. The quality of their performance is improving day by day. Similarly, in the world of fashion, our youth are developing by leaps and bounds. Rina Dhaka, Ritu Berry and Vallaya have already achieved international fame. Their creations are in great demand all over the world.
If our call-centres, business process outsourcing (BPO) centres, software perks, information technology, hotel management and business administration are flourishing, it is mainly due to the exceptional skills of our youth involved in these fields. Even the advanced countries from America and Europe are eager to bring the Indian engineers, doctors, business managers and technologists on their soil. Our young entrepreneurs have made successful forays into international markets.
The power of the youth is unequivocal. There is a need to look after the needs of this storehouse of power and give it proper guidance so that the new challenges can be met and higher goals can be set for future.