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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

Celebrating eighteenhood in Chandigarh: ‘Religious supremacy is a problem, it causes conflict’

Voice of prudence: The most important lessons he learnt at school are that of fair play and leadership. He wants to be a civil servant but studies stocks, counts Mercedes as his favourite car yet swears by financial prudence. He admires Narendra Modi for demonetisation and GST, but can’t stand the politicisation of religion

punjab Updated: Jan 06, 2018 09:45 IST
Manraj Sharma Grewal
Manraj Sharma Grewal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
GOAL-ORIENTED: Prannay Goyal at his residence in Chandigarh. Achieving goals, big or small, gives him a high.
GOAL-ORIENTED: Prannay Goyal at his residence in Chandigarh. Achieving goals, big or small, gives him a high.(Karun Sharma/ HT)

In a freewheeling chat with Bhavan Vidyalaya student Pranay Goyal, we talk about Modi, demonetisation and the politicisation of religion.

Born: May 15, 1999

Badge of honour: Captain, Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, Chandigarh

What turning 18 means to me

It’s a milestone, an entry into the world of adults. It means being responsible, mature and independent. I’m interested in politics and turning 18 gives me the right to vote. It also gives me the freedom to drive. I’ve heard that parents ask fewer questions now on. It takes a while but it happens.

What I want to be and why

I want to be a civil servant. It’s not because of the laal batti (red beacon) or other perks. It’s because I believe if I am able to serve society, the purpose of my life to do some good will be fulfilled.

My idea of India

We are a democracy with a majority of people below the age of 35. We can achieve unparalleled productivity if we start mobilising our youth in the right direction. Misguided youngsters are a liability. We need more leaders with vision.

What makes me happy

I’m happy hanging out with my family. I also love playing golf. It’s great to tee off early and spend the morning on the green course in the company of friends and nature. It leads to unparalleled positivity. Accomplishment of goals, big or small, gives me a high. It could be a day goal, a week goal, a month goal… I like working towards it.

“People my age have begun to consider social media their lifeline. It is leading to a loss of human values, which will eventually erode society.”

What makes me angry

I lose my cool when people fail to do what is assigned to them. As a school captain, I lead a team. Once I give them direction, I expect them to do their task well. I get angry when a task is not done well.

A staunch perfectionist, I am equally harsh on myself.

Fear and fantasy

I’m scared of letting down people. Right now, I’m worried about not living up to the expectations of the school managing committee. As for a fantasy, well it’ll be great if I could retire as a chief secretary, and then jump into politics and become the chief minister.

Am I happy where I am?

I am happy in the present. You must be content with what you have and where you are, while striving for a better future. It’s important to look at those less fortunate than you. I believe what is ordained will happen. So why worry?

What money means to me

It’s not the only thing in life. I look around and see people fixated with salary packages. What about job satisfaction and work environment? Money is the means to an end it’s not an end in itself.

What I can’t live without

I can’t live without my thoughts. Everything arises from them. If your thought process is faulty, nothing can go right. So I watch my thoughts.

What does social media mean to me

People my age have begun to consider social media their lifeline. It is leading to a loss of human values, which will eventually erode society. Social media is just a tool, we should use it to our advantage, not get enslaved by it.

What change I want to see in my city

Chandigarh needs a Metro for better traffic management. The charge of Chandigarh should be given to a separate person so that he can focus on the city and ensure quick redressal of grievances.

What religion means to me

Religion is very important to me. It is unfortunate that it’s being used as a vote bank. Each one of us has the right to practice our religion and rituals as long as we don’t cause harm to others. But religious supremacy is a problem. It causes conflict. Religion should be left to individuals. It’s a personal affair, an individual’s relationship with his god. It shouldn’t be politicised. In fact, every person should be allowed to choose his religion once he turns 18.

My role model and why

I look up to my grandfather, LM Goyal. He’s a former chief secretary of Haryana and still held in high esteem. He keeps me grounded.

Change I want to see in India

I want us, the youth, to focus on the right things such as education and career instead of being obsessed with what we wear, the phone we use, or the car we drive. I wish our youth would shun the culture of drugs and violence. Let us be an asset, and not a liability for our country.

First Published: Jan 04, 2018 15:10 IST