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Good life vs agent of change?

For some, they are the "we can" generation that can rid new India of its old, festering challenges.

india Updated: Apr 23, 2011 22:53 IST
Rajesh Mahapatra

For some, they are the "we can" generation that can rid new India of its old, festering challenges. Others see them as anything but a change agent because they are self-centred, materialistic and mostly devoid of ideological moorings. No matter what, the spotlight has once again fallen on the youth in India for a cause larger than that of market seekers.

Anna Hazare's crusade saw the first nationwide mobilisation of the youth since the country emerged as a new member at the global high table. Twenty years on, India's economic success has become the source of an immense political burden. The children of the post-liberalisation era see good life within their grasp and if they have rallied behind Hazare today it is because they see corruption coming between their desire and its fulfilment.

In some ways, it is a replay of the situation 37 years ago, when frustrated over their unfulfilled dreams the youth of the country joined socialist leader Jai Prakash Narayan to give first call for a revolution in Independent India.

But there are differences. The agenda of the current campaign is somewhat limited. Moreover, much of today's mobilisation is in the cyber space that hardly is a proof of the resilience that is required to sustain movements for larger systemic change. Perhaps, it's too early to make a call on whether this could be the beginning of a youth resurgence that India has waited for long.