Turning 18 with HT:‘We should abolish caste-based quota ’
Harmeet Singh Ahluwalia, the head boy of Brilliance World School, Sector 12, Panchkula, is a passionate golfer. Like life, he says, the golfing course has its ups and downs and we play against our handicap not against another player
Name: Harmeet Singh Ahluwalia
Born on September 11, 2000
Badge of honour: Head boy, Brilliance World School, Sector 12, Panchkula
What turning 18 means to me?
Turning 18 means I can influence change. I’ll be eligible to vote and I’m looking forward to the driving licence.
What I want to be and why?
I am a non-medical stream student and aim to join the National Defence Academy (NDA). I’m still not sure if I’ll join the army or the air force. My grandfather retired from the army and my father, Colonel RD Singh, is in the Corps of Engineers. I want to don the uniform because it has an amazing aura. The forces offer a charismatic way of life. I’m ready for tough times. Besides my dad, my mother, Vyom Singh, who used to teach before she became a homemaker, will be the proudest to see me in uniform.
My idea of India
India has been a developing country for far too long. Incorrect priorities, corruption and lack of literacy are hurdles in our development. Bullet trains can wait, we need amenities and jobs, particularly skill training.
What makes me happy?
Living up to the expectations of my parents. I’m happiest playing golf tournaments and going on long drives with my elder brother, Gursant Singh Ahluwalia, who is an NCC cadet and second year BSC (non-medical) student in Chandigarh. He knows most of my secrets.
What makes me angry?
Indiscipline, useless ego and uncultured behaviour. Instead of accepting their fault, most people justify their wrongdoing which angers me.
My fear and fantasy
The fear of being separated from my parents lurks in the mind at times.
As for fantasies, I want to be the Prime Minister of India. I’m also a Harry Potter fan so I’d love to get admission in the Hogwarts school of magic. It could help me find a solution to the country’s problems.
Am I happy where I am?
Yes, my board exams went off well and I’m taking coaching to join the NDA.
What money means to me?
It’s an important part of life but I value emotions and sentiments a little more than money. Being financially sound gives security. It’s easier to cry in an Audi than in a rickshaw. But contentment has to come from within.
What makes me proud of India?
India is rich in material and intellectual resources. I also want to be part of one of the world’s largest armed forces.
What I can’t live without?
I can’t live without a purpose. Having goals is as important as having meals. My short-term goal is to join the NDA and the long-term ones are to serve the nation and eventually give back to society.
What social media means to me?
For army kids like me, social media is a wonderful way to stay connected as we get posted out of a station after every two or three years. Besides, it’s a tool to get information and technical advice if used intelligently and in a balanced way.
Change I want to see in Chandigarh
Strict implementation of traffic rules such as speed limits and not jumping signals. Discipline begins at home and parents should set an example. Pollution is a problem in Zirakpur, where I stay. People litter without thinking. A small country like Bhutan can teach us a lesson in cleanliness. Taxi drivers carry bags for waste to check littering. We need self-discipline and effective policing.
Change I want to see in India
Reservation based on caste should be done away with. When we study with the same facilities, why discriminate between students? Rather, the economically weaker should be helped irrespective of caste. The quality of education should be improved. Instead of rote learning, the emphasis should be on understanding concepts.
My role model and why?
My paternal grandmother, Manmohan Kaur, is my inspiration. She has seen tough times but stood firm. She is full of enthusiasm. She is a patient listener and comes up with practical solutions to my problems. She has taught me to do whatever I am assigned with full dedication.