I see the terrorist tear apart my city. I see them kill people. I am hurt. I am sad. I light a candle. Is that all I can do? What should I do?
I see corruption eat my country. They ask for a bribe. I give the money to save myself from the many hurdles that may come. I don’t like it. I want to change it. How?
I see the politicians use the people as pawns in their battle for infinite power. I want to kill them. Remove them, curse them, and never see them again. Politics is dirty. I want to be a clean politician. Is that possible?
I want to earn money. I want to be famous. But I want to help my country too. I am proud of it. How do I do both? Do I have to make a choice?
I want change to come to India. I want someone to say “Yes, we can”. I want to live in a modern India. I want to do something. Can I?
These are the voices I hear everyday. They play around in my head, asking a gazillion questions, challenging my power and taking my morale on a roller coaster. I am happy to see the visions of tomorrow, but equally disappointed by the journey to the vision. I want instant change and that doesn’t happen.
When I hear people say that the youth will bring about change and they are the ones that need to awake from their slumber, I am disappointed. Some years back, I had the same idea about change. But today I realize that the youth cannot do it. No one can. You can’t generate patriotism, love for change, responsibility, or any of the other big words. It comes on its own. Passion cannot be enforced.
The time of youth is a time to learn, to make mistakes, to party, to fall in love, to develop yourself and to be the person that you want to be the rest of your lives. It is the time to identify your true calling and carve your way to reach the final destination. Can change be brought about through this conflicted mind?
I might sound cynical, but the truth is I too am a part of the youth. I have no right to criticize, unless I propose what can we do? Child is the father of man, and the only promise that the youth makes is that it would lead the tomorrow, when are elders are gone. The only thing that the youth can do is be aware.
It should know what curses the society, what importance its leaders hold, what its rights and duties are, and to exercise them to their fullest. The law will not protect you, the police won’t guard you and you would never get your due- You must ask for it, for this is what you deserve as a citizen. You must voice your thoughts. By this, I don’t mean get to the streets and start shouting. Use what you are. If you are a writer, write passionately. If you are a bureaucrat, propose a plan. If you are a doctor, educate your patients. Napoleon said that there are in the world two powers-the Sword and the Spirit. The Spirit has always vanquished the Sword.
One thing that must be kept in mind by each one of us is that defeat may be there. Maybe our ideas will fail, maybe our small acts will not harbour a big change, and maybe we will feel like giving up all this and follow our selfish interests. The mind will tempt you, ask you to leave and be on the other side. We must never ever give in. Robert Frost was right when he said- But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep,
We have lost so much. Time has gone by, lives have been lost. This will continue. The mindset will never change. We only need to bring about another one, which is stronger, taller and sharper; one that lives for centuries to come, one that has the burning desire to change. We must never let that light die, for a loss is no problem, but the death of a thought is the end of an era.
Till the status quo changes and we have a new tryst with destiny, we should just act responsibly. There is going to be no miracle and no revolution will last long. All we need is to revolutionize our actions and moreover, our thoughts.