National Youth Day : Turn possibilities into realities
Arjun Ram Meghwal
Every year 12 January, the National Youth Day marking the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda makes a significant churning underneath every individual. It is yet another quick opportunity to strengthen further the determination to achieve the resolution framed as part of welcoming the New Year. In the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Nation is preparing a blueprint to take a transformational journey for the upcoming Amrit Kaal to complete the independence century of the Nation. Today’s younger generations have the most significant stake of responsibility in this proposed journey of the Nation. Thus, the National Youth Day radiates the wisdom to scratch through the untapped potential of youth and streamline it to turn the possibilities into realities.
It was the wisdom of Swami Vivekananda that restored self-respect and National awakening. He gave a clarion call to masses to raise themselves & work for the uplift of the Nation. His transpired wisdom among masses led to believe that despite the adverse circumstance of the British Raj, India is a living entity and a message to Nations of the world. His participation in the world Parliament of religion, Chicago & subsequent travels witnessed the introduction of Vedanta Philosophy to the Western world. As the earliest architects of the patriotic sentiments, he called countrymen having linguistic, cultural & religious differences to adore Bharat Mata for the next 50 years as the only God that is awake.
Since the lifetime of Swamiji, the world has changed drastically in many aspects, and two world war has been witnessed. It was the spiritual consciousness, deep & sound perception of historical forces of Swami Vivekananda, that out of three predictions made by him in his Michigan University during the last decade of the 19th century, two predictions have come true. His predictions related to India’s independence in next 50 years, and the proletariat revolution of Russia & diminishing the idea of communism turned out to be true. Yet another prediction for India’s rise to great heights of prosperity & power far more than the past is awaited to become true. Thus, the youngster would take the Nation to the desired place for making this prediction accurate. Highlighting the role of youth in Nation building Swamiji said “my faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like lions.”
India is a young, aspirational country. 65% of our population is below 35 years of age. 62% of our population is in the working-age group of 15-59 years. It is estimated that the median age in India would be 28 years by 2022-23, in contrast to 37 in China and 45 in Western Europe, which reflects that India’s non-working population would be outnumbered by the working people, leading to a favorable demographic dividend.
The determination of our younger generation supported by the ecosystem of Government & strong leadership is reflecting the green shoot of the very long journey. Now India is emerging as a fast-growing Nation. The increasing numbers of unicorn start-ups, the improved performance of Indians in the Olympics Games, the proven mettle of Indian leadership in Silicon Valley, emerging strong women leadership, the scientific & technological advancement, achievements of the space sector, vaccination, among others, are few nodes, making us proud. A serious introspective exercise is needed at the individual & collective manner for the inner self to act purposefully in the outer world.
The challenges of today’s complex world are challenging entire humanity. The youth needs to learn from the repository of India’s historical and ancient wisdom to take upfront action against the challenges of the 21st century. If not tackled properly, the world will bear grave consequences leading to havoc and existential crisis for the most beautiful creature of the universe, the Human. The ongoing pandemic, emerging threats from Global Warming, Climate change, Bio-terrorism, and drug trafficking, space wars are the demons that require significant attention and energy of youth to expand dimensions of their action. The younger generation also must extend the helping hand & careful responsibility for catering to the needs aged population. It is a heart-warming fact that now the younger generation is more climate-conscious.
One thing that remains constant is ‘Change.’ Now, youth is the torchbearer of this change, and its speed & scale is increasing more than ever. The ongoing paradigm shift towards a digital economy and parallel emerging virtual world like metaverse are making the world a global village and signifying the wisdom of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutub Kum.’ However, such developments & their application require a serious & continuous ethical recalibration. It is the responsibility of value-loaded individuals to remain vigilant & prompt checkup that the upcoming innovations and technological advancements are ethically supporting the cause of humanity. Its ignorance can cause massive catastrophes for all stakeholders. The solid individualistic foundational values can achieve collective good in a sustainable manner. It is high time that everyone & especially youth, must internalize that means are equally important as the ends at this juncture.
In the above context, it is the need of the hour that every individual & particularly the youth invest themselves to realize the goal of taking the Nation to great heights of prosperity and power. The youth of India has an unbounded potential for achieving the objectives envisioned by our forefathers. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Government of India is leaving no stone unturned to provide the ambience for maximizing their potential.
The Modi Government is practicing the intense spirit of activities as preached by Karamyogi Swami Vivekananda, and it is reflected in the implementation of Government schemes. Administering more than 150 crore vaccines doses in a time-bound manner, supplying indigenously manufactured vaccines & aids to more than 95 countries through Vaccine Maitry initiative, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Infrastructure development, Aatamnirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, International Solar Alliance, among others are testimonies to it. The policies have been designed to make India a 5 trillion US $ economy by 2024-25 and a knowledge superpower of the world. The National Education Policy, Industry-academia Linkages, nurturing the entrepreneurial skills, world-class infrastructure, promotion of sports culture, improved R&D ecosystem, among others, are a few measures to integrating youth in Nation Building. Affirmative actions are resulting in social upliftment of the downtrodden sections of societies and building a just society. However, with the prompt efforts of civil societies, local & state governments, Private players, Media & active citizenry & all other relevant stakeholders, the implementation needs to be ensured in the letter & spirit.
This National Youth Day is an apt moment to improvise on the intense spirit of activities by emphasizing the will, right approach & character to achieve our individualistic goal synchronized with the National goals. Let’s see that our action during the Amrit Kaal take us closer to realizing the 3rd prediction of Swami Vivekananda by turning possibilities into realities for making India as leader of the 21st century.
Arjun Ram Meghwal is Union Minister of State for Culture & Parliamentary Affairs & represents Bikaner constituency in Lok Sabha