I’m sure we all must have read inspiring stories about great and young martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad and Rajguru in school history books, or at least had a glimpse of the lives of these revolutionaries , who fought for India’s freedom, in several Indian films.
These revolutionaries, born and raised amid the massive political turmoil, imperialism, deprivation and injustice of colonial-era India, learned at a young age that freedom and salvation could not be achieved only by fearlessly facing, fighting and, if necessary, sacrificing.
Although 75 years have passed since India gained independence and 72 years since the adoption of our Constitution, we still live in the midst of a similar type of “trouble”, “imperialism” and “injustice” which these revolutionaries have witnessed more than once. one century ago.
We are part of the generation that is witnessing a war, which has not only created an environment of panic, bleakness and unpredictability around us, but also makes us question the credibility and strength of the institutions and values that formed the building blocks of the world order. Intolerance, for everything and everyone around us, has manifested itself in the increasing incidence of riots, communal violence, discrimination and inequality.
Attacks, whether old forms, involving terror and weapons, or new forms of cyber attacks and social attacks, nevertheless pose dangerous threats to people’s lives and privacy and compromise government systems. Climate change, which is more alarming than ever, as the recent IPCC report reaffirmed and if large-scale action is not taken sooner, we could end up causing irreversible damage to the Earth.
And, of course, a pandemic, which not only claimed the lives of millions of people around the world, shook economies and upended the systems and functions of the world, but also left an unforgettable scar in all our lives so that we are going through our own personal challenges in these unprecedented times.
But in the midst of all these challenges, the youth of our generation have shown resilience, power and strength. Whether it’s activism to fight wrongs, stand strong for their beliefs, or voice their opinions on different platforms until they are heard, young people have the power to become the ‘revolutionaries’ of these struggles we are in. faced today. We live in a time where we can influence people’s thoughts through a 60-second video, raise awareness with a touch on the screen, and evolve our opinions in 280-character sentences.
Therefore, I believe that youth empowerment is a need and an urgency, to overcome the challenges we face today and will face in the years to come. Children and young people should be encouraged not only to be educated, but also to have the capacity to form an opinion and to fight for it without fear. They need to be supported and guided to pursue their passion, develop relevant skills, and channel their energies in the right direction.
There are many challenges to be faced when there is a whole system to change and it is a struggle against societal norms and orders. But we must remember that the voices and struggles of many young people, who are constantly suppressed today through “laws” in order to protect the “national interest”, are one of the most important reasons why we have the privilege of living in an independent country.
(The author holds a BSc in Microbiology and Biochemistry and is a UPSC aspirant)
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Published on: Saturday 02 April 2022, 07:00 IST