I am sitting in a community function. I love how festivals are celebrated in India, so many color of spiritualities manifest in people. It is then I see two eighteenish boys discussing the approaching long weekend. I grab the little piece of technological bliss in my hand to see if we have a long weekend- probably much awaited a family time will be here. To my surprise there isn’t! Like a lost child in the fair, I try to gather tits & bits of their conversation and understand they are talking about the approaching CHUTTI on ‘Republic day’, since we have Sunday on 24th & Monday would be an obvious bunk because January 26 is apparently is universally acknowledged off in India!
Taken back & saddened by the fact that Republic Day or Independence Day is no more than holiday for a part of Young India today (A part because I know many who never were or can be devoid of love for India). Gone are the days when the rush of nationalism, the thrill of serving the nation made you go to your Karma Bhumi , and pledged the best for your beloved nation. Since I was a son of Kisan (farmer) I always found myself too attached to pious soil of our land. I am made up of that soil, I am the son of that soil. I pledged every bit of my being will serve this land, will add on to its glory. To serve this country I chose to nourish Dreams that enveloped its future. Today I am hurt with the this casual attitude of many towards our nation!
You may say I am being over critical, generation today is much more aware, prompt & smarter than we are, perhaps a little distracted but they will do wonders when the time comes!
I ask when will a better time than now? You may say India is Expanding, I would say I agree! India is expanding exponentially, But are we expanding holistically? You may say may be slowly but yes we are! Again I want to argue- I agree we are Expanding & are we not Stretching too? The two words expanding & stretching different yet means the same for India. yet can’t be used interchangeably. We want India to expand to grow leaps & bounds, beyond the growth rate it has today, but we forget our limited resources & 1.8 Billion mouths to feed! As true as it may be that India is expanding, India is stretching on its resources. We need more resource to expand continuously, we need massive expansion in our resources as well! To be called as a world power, we need dedication from each one of us.
What is the solution? Well , the YOUNG INDIA- youngsters of our country.
We don’t realise the the power 1.8 billion! Recent report by UN, declares India as a country with highest demographic dividend, With 356 million 10-24 year-olds, India has the world’s largest youth population despite of the fact that its population smaller than China. 28 per cent of India’s population is 10 to 24 year-olds.
“A demographic dividend of this magnitude has the potential to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and raise living standards and catapult economies forward!”
Imagine mere the tremendous force of Ideas , leave alone the efforts or execution. India’s soft power can lead the world. If the generation now is smarter than ever, can it be that they realise what they can be or do for the nation! Every bead of their sweat & every effort can bring about enormous opportunities, prosperity & hope for India. We are already leading Google, Microsoft, Mastercard etc, and probably the list will go on. If each and every youth of the country decides just to honest to himself/herself in defining career or success, I believe no more for any one any day shall be a holiday but a HOLY-day for India.
Harnessing Demographic Dividend is no more a problem. Our government realise the importance of skill based education & parents realise today the niche for inclination based courses. Harnessing Demographic Dividend, a national conference held in Bangalore also stressed on vocational education & training. I am extremely proud, for the vision I shared with my students & my organisation a decade before , now seems reaching epitome.
My small plea to this generation is to Love India, Love its flaws, love its vastness, love its richness, love everything about it. Because for India to expand you need to expand & not stretch on limitations. This is only possible if we explore new options, when we move forward towards fresh ideas, risks or experiments, realising that traditional option have already saturated. You free to explore the treasures of your imaginations, creativity & talent.
For no time is better than NOW(for India or YOU), No better gift than PRESENT- as I always say Fly for your dream, fly with your dream, not just for yourself but for infinite dreams that died or are still burdened.