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Book Review : The Ocean In a Drop

Involving the youth in nation building

books Updated: May 31, 2013 01:44 IST
Aditi Pant

Book: The Ocean In a Drop
Authors: Ashraf Patel, Meenu Venkateswaran, Kamini Prakash, Arjun Shekhar
Publisher: Sage
Price: Rs 375

This book, jointly penned by four authors, centres on the history of youth participation in the pre-independence era, and how that needs to be revived in contemporary times. The book also delves into the advent of communication technologies that have somewhat bridged the gap between childhood and adulthood.

Through the book, the writers try to decode why and what makes the youth of today more self-absorbed and alienated than earlier generations, and explore ways to engage them to bring about many much-needed changes in the country’s fabric. A very important point the book makes is about the possibility of a ‘fifth space’ for the youth apart from family, friends, career and leisure-lifestyle. This fifth space is active citizenship, the one that took place during anti-corruption movement in India in 2011, or the anti-rape protests last year.

The book makes a convincing case for citizens to participate in national issues, especially in today’s troubled times. The book, though well-written, can be preachy at times and could have been littered with more examples.