Fighting for a cause sounds way fancier in debates, discussions, protests and comment pieces than it actually is in real life. Because, more often than not, the real deal is raw — an endless and unsavoury struggle, full of ugly confrontations, that ostracises all those who dare to take up the cudgels.
Despite the pitfalls, most of us, at some point in our lives, do invariably stand up for a cause. Simply because we all believe in certain values – no matter how varied – that drive our everyday actions. Also because taking up a cause gives us a sense of purpose larger and infinitely more meaningful than our insignificant narcissistic selves.
Would the Indian youth fight it out for something they believe in strongly, even if it risks their carefully constructed image? According to the HT-MaRS Youth Survey, 58% said they would.
Would I? Yes. Have I? Yes. Would I continue to even when I am no longer young? Yes.
Coming from a close-knit family, the first thing my father ever asked of me was to live with him for as long as possible. Still, I moved miles away to study in a metropolis where I knew nothing and no one. To say that he did not approve of it would be quite an understatement.
However, little did I know then that my moving away would initiate a never-ending struggle. First, it was my wish to live independently, then the choice of my profession, and now not wanting to get married as per the convenience of those around me. Though still uneasy about it, I am painfully aware that this would not end here.
I am often told that I am too strong headed, too ambitious, too much of a rebel and someone who deliberately wants a difficult life. I am only 24 and half of my relatives already think I don’t want to get married ever. One cousin even causally asked if I was interested in men at all. You know why? Because I have a job I love and have no intention of giving up for anything. Because I put my career before men and most other things. Also because, I refuse to play by the rulebook.
I did not set out to be a rebel. I don’t think I am. But I did not set out to please anyone either. However, if doing things that I believe in, and doing them when I want to, make me unpopular, then so be it.
(Sneha Bengani believes in discipline and hard work but does not understand rules. She lives off books, films and the belief that anything is possible.)
Read more stories from HT MaRS Youth Survey here.