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Catalyst for change

chandigarh Updated: Aug 16, 2012 10:26 IST
Ashutosh Vatsyayan
Ashutosh Vatsyayan
Hindustan Times
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Me and my friend are having an animated conversation in the balcony during a power outage.

Me: Anything special you are planning for August 15?

He: I'm going to sleep like Kumbhkaran, recover from last night's hangover, relax and chill out. After all, it's a holiday I have been waiting for.

Me: Aren't you going to watch television?

He: Oh yes, they show some amazing patriotic movies. Haven't seen 'Border' for quite some time. Or watch maybe 'Rang de Basanti', provided there is electricity.

Me: I meant the telecast of the Independence Day celebrations and the Prime Minister's speech.
He: Oh, do they also show that on television? Hmm… who has the time for all that? It's going be the same old crap about how India, once an agricultural society, has boosted its economic growth with huge investments in industry and commerce. Blah, blah, blah. In the past 65 years, the only change citizens have witnessed is the transfer of power from the British to our leaders, about whom Winston Churchill once said: "Power in India will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters and charlatans; all Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw.

They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. Giving false promises will be their game with the poor and stupid masses. They shall be shameless and unpatriotic in their ways while handling problems of people. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air, water... and even common salt would be taxed in India." I guess the Indian leaders took his words as a serious challenge and passed with flying colours.

Me: Hey, the situation is not all that grave. We have the world's largest democracy, there has been a massive economic boom post liberalisation, and we are leading a good and progressive life. It's just been 65 years since we gained independence. A country such as the US gained it 236 years ago and look where it is placed right now. Give our country some time.

He: The truth is that India is among the most corrupt countries of the world. In any government department, we need luck to get work done without greasing palms. Every day we come across a new scam involving billions of rupees. We talk a lot about ahimsa, yet ours is one of the most violent nations. Communal riots break out with cyclic precision. It seems the country is on the path of self-destruction. 'Mobocracy' is the order of the day. India has 65% of its population below 30 years, but the country is being run by fossilised octogenarians.

Me: Exactly my point! (power supply is restored) You and I are the youth. We all are. If we have such serious concerns about the nation, why don't we be the agent for change? We all debate upon "what ought to be done". My question is: What have we done for the country? Let's not be just a spectator. Let's start with keeping our surroundings clean, reporting crimes and creating public awareness about our constitutional rights. Join politics, enrich it with your thought and ideas and get elected, clear the scum, be truthful and a role model. I know it's not easy, but the youth must wake up from slumber this Independence Day and realise that, "Finally, it's time to raise the curtain."

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