Don’t hate me but even I was one of those people who used to say “Iss desh ka kuch nahi ho sakta” until few months back. Nobody can blame me for thinking so as our country is plagued with social evils such as corruption, unemployment, inequality, and what not. I bet none of us can say “Sare Jahan Se Achcha” without a bit of hesitation.
Shockingly, something drastic happened recently, which altered my views. I came across some college students who were involved in politics. I asked one of them “Do you think all your hardwork will pay off? Isn’t it wastage of time?” He replied calmly, “I don’t know whether my efforts will bear fruits or not, but I do know that instead of blaming others I actually tried to make India the nation of my dreams. The satisfaction of trying is enough for me.” He is a common man like us.
Gone are the days when people used to buckle down in the face of injustice, corruption and other social evils. No, I am not saying that we are completely free of them, but the truth is that this fight against them is gradually gaining momentum. For this we should really be thankful to one man for showing us that the ultimate power lies in the hands of a common man.
Anna Hazare, the renowned Gandhian social activist, single-handedly started an anti-corruption campaign, opening up a flood of activism across India. While people from all parts of the society supported his Satyagraha movement, it’s a matter of pride that the maximum support came from the youth belonging to 18-40 age group. Team Anna has already achieved the first stepping stone of getting implemented the Lokpal Bill in the Parliament.
Inspired by this movement, Arvind Kejriwal, an IIT Kharagpur graduate left his career with the Indian government to form Aam Aadmi Party, which aims to make India free of corruption. Kejriwal, a winner of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, tasted the sweet fruit of success when his party defeated Congress in the Delhi Legislative Assembly election, 2013. Barely over a year old, Aam Aadmi Party defeated the Indian National Congress, which had held office in Delhi for over a decade. So, one man’s voice brought down “The Hand” in India’s political heartland. This is enough to prove that the common people i.e. we are done with the age-old ideas and incompetency of the present ruling parties.
It’s not just Arvind Kejriwal but many other young and educated people harbour this dream of glorious and progressive India. I was pleasantly surprised to observe a number of young and responsible leaders who are serving towards bringing about a change. Many of them belong to political families yet have retained the spirit of common man within them.
Agatha Sangma, who holds Masters in Environmental Management from the Nottingham University, UK as well as a LLB degree from Pune University, became the youngest minister in the cabinet council of ministers of the 15th Lok Sabha. Then there are those who are expanding their noble intentions beyond politics to reach out and help the needy. Priya Dutt, apart from being a Secretary of the All-India Congress Committee also runs the Nargis Dutt Memorial Charitable Trust, which played a major role in bringing medical aid to villagers affected by Bihar flood in 2008. Milind Deora, the youngest member of Lok Sabha, runs SPARSH, which aims to educate students in computers.
The need of the hour is that more such educated young people with broader perspective and definite line of action should take leadership among political parties, since it is their zealous approach and determination which is likely to bear success.
More young people from the society’s working class need to stand up and take responsibility. I am not against young leaders from political background taking the lead, but in my opinion they are somewhat sheltered from the harsh reality, which blinkers them. If these people and a representative from the working class of the society work together, trust me the results will be pleasantly surprising!
I would like to bring to your notice the youth movement that is presently active in almost all colleges across the nation. Students’ union is the first step towards achieving this larger goal. It is among students that energy meet ideas and aggression meets inspiration. What could start as a discussion soon turns into a mass movement. India has already witnessed a student union led movement entering the political scene – Asom Gana Parishad led by a student leader, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, the All Assam Students Union became the ruling party way back in 1985!
Remember neither Gandhiji nor Sardar Patel had a political background in their upbringing yet they were able to free our nation, so why can’t we? So next time friends, when you see a young girls and boys speaking passionately about the nation and politics do not take them for granted!