Since 1984, the birth anniversary of the great warrior monk Swami Vivekananda, i.e. 12 January, is celebrated as National Youth Day. While doing so, the Government of India then quoted that ‘the philosophy of Swamiji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth Day’. This year while celebrating the National Youth Day, what is the inspiration that we should draw from the teachings of Swamiji? On the backdrop of contemporary developments, Organiser asked some young professionals to present their point of view on the same....
At a time when the West considered India as the land of superstitions, there was a monk who proclaimed the greatness of Bharat to the world. And when the world mocked at Hinduism as the core reason for poverty, he sought an aid to the impoverished people through religious values. Through Tattvas (ethos), Vedantas and the cultural values of ancient India!
There was this man who said when the real history of India is unearthed it will be proved that, as in the matters of religion, so in fine arts, India is the primary guru of the whole world. He not only upheld Hinduism, but called for unity and realised what this country really wants. He was in the hope of a new electric fire that could stir up a fresh vigour in the veins of this nation. And yes! He is none other than Swami Vivekananda.
The concept of new India that has once again emerged in the recent years isn’t a new one. Vivekananda had decades ago realised this idea and tried disseminating it to the world. And so, he understood the need for reconstruction through social service and scientific thinking.
One more important aspect he stressed upon was the power of youth. Hence, his birth anniversary is also observed as National Youth Day every year. He believed that the nation’s youth held the key for solving various problems. He repeatedly gave the call for the youth to “awake, arise and work for the nation and its people”. Hence, he had drawn some serious connection between the youth and the nation’s development.
But do the youth of the contemporary India have the potential to achieve this dream? Or do they lag behind? If yes, then where? These are the questions that have arisen due to some recent developments in the country.
What Lacks the Youth of India?
It is often said education makes man more gentle and polite. The only difference between the man and an animal is rationality. The rationality is again achieved through education and social conscience. But what are the ‘educated’ youth of this country doing these days? Pelt stones! Set the public property on fire! Or hold the placards which say destroy Hindutva! They say Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is what turned them mad! And the worst part is the ‘youth icon’ of one of the political parties was seen defending such vicious acts! Many whom I know were also expressing outrage over CAA on social media. They shared views like India is no more safe for the minorities and a majority Hindus are a threat to them. Sadly, some of the Hindus too hold such views. I also got to speak to a few of them and what I came across really shook me. They don’t know their own history. The history of how this land turned into a secular state.
Misguided students protesting against CAA at JNU and Jamia in New Delhi
They didn’t have any idea of how minorities were and are still subjected to religious persecution in Pakistan other neighbouring countries. Neither do they know what happened with Kashmiri Pandits. They believe that, in a country like Pakistan, Hindus would be treated with respect. And the existence of Hindu and Sikh religious shrines in that nation is an example of tolerance. If this is not defaming our country then what is it? Are these the bright future of India? Or can they be trusted to revive the dream of Vivekananda or Mahatma Gandhi? The term anti-national would also be less to describe their plight!
Only then I understood how the history of this nation is concealed from its true essence. Only then I understood the purpose of education has not at all served. This also shows how the previous political parties which were in power have succeeded in creating a fear in the minorities and how systematically have they created an anti-Hindu feeling among a section of the youth of the country.
Realising True Bharat is the Key
Why don’t the misled youth realise that only if they were given respect and dignified life, the minorities of the neighbouring countries wouldn’t have migrated to India? Why don’t the youth try and understand the real history of Bharat? It is true that millions of Hindus were abused, forcefully converted and lakhs of temples were demolished in their own land and even baptised. Above all, this land is still secular. Hindus are still tolerant! Various religions are thriving here peacefully and celebrate all the festivals collectively.
The youth need to acknowledge this very truth. They need to understand that they are serving as a mere shoulder for the nasty political agenda of the opposition. It is high time to keep the Nation above all other interests. But the plight of the misled youth is such that they are rioting and burning public property giving our enemy country an opportunity to mock at us. Nodding their head to ‘rape in India’ statement; objecting Bharat Ratna to true Bharat Ratna of the nation Veer Savarkar. The students of JNU have furthered one step ahead and defaced the statue of Swami Vivekananda. Now what loss did Vivekananda cause to them?
Besides, they do not realise that in this process they are defaming the very land, which has given them shelter, identity and education. As Swami Vivekananda rightly said, it is time for the youth to “awake, arise and work for the nation and its people”. To reiterate the dream of ‘Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat!’ And to uphold Vivekananda’s vision of universal brotherhood and respect each other’s religion, caste and creed. Building should be an objective, not burning. With all the resources available, the youth must resolve to build such an India that is no less than any other developed country in the world. The youth must initiate the journey from developing to developed Nation. So, on this National Youth Day, let us first free ourselves from the decades’ old, rotten definition of India as the land of poverty, and strive to redefine the new Bharat and set a new milestone to the world. We must resolve to be more sensible, vigilant and devoted to achieving the vision of our forefathers.
(The author is a young journalist and an aspiring lawyer)