Does Millenial India have what it takes to transform its country?
India is celebrating its 72nd independence day today. Seventy One year-young India is taking strides in various fields. However, there is still a lot of cleaning up to do, concerning our economy, dismantling caste, tolerance towards women, marginalized groups and minorities. While fundamental problems like poverty and oppression still loom over our progress, the silver lining appears to be the young population India has. Our country would be the youngest in the world, by 2030. A question remains - does young India have what it takes to lead social change? We explore.
Social change can start with having basic civic sense, paying taxes on time and being a law-abiding citizen. While those are the fundamentals, it doesn't hurt to take a look outside of one's privilege to acknowledge the struggles of people from other socio-economic backgrounds. "I would advise my peers to not just focus on their to personal life and career growth, try to think about people who don't have the same facilities that you were provided with," says Sai Kalyan, an engineering student from KMIT.
The freedom struggle united people from various backgrounds, irrespective of caste, religion, region, gender, and age, because the cause they were fighting for, was beyond themselves and their identity. India saw youth leaders like Bhagat Singh emerge and lead from the front. We have evils of similar magnitude within our own communities today. Whether present-day youth will step up and drive change as our forefathers did, is a puzzle.
"I think what Indian youth lacks today, is social consciousness - the ability to understand a problem as it is, its gravity, and to take ownership of it. If they can fill the above gaps, our youth has the ability and skills to build an excellent community on their shoulders", says Suryakala, an NGO activist.
A high starting point to understanding fully, the pain points that need to be addressed within our communities, is knowledge of our history. Pradeep Kandimalla, a social entrepreneur, says, "The most important skill for the development of any community is full knowledge and understanding of its history. We may stop taking our lives for granted and take up full responsibility, once we see how far we have come since time."
India's academic prowess is renowned around the world, which goes to show we lack nothing in terms of intellect. A rise in consciousness and an understanding of our rich history would provide us with the required momentum to lead our communities.