Shaikh Zoaib Saleem for BeyondHeadlines
The idea was to write something about Independence Day and independence. A thought reversed the idea, and I began writing about the “Days in Dependence”!!! The thought was derived from a call I received just before starting to write. “Kal ‘chutti’ hai na?,” a friend asked.
Enthusiastic, energetic and educated – the youth of India are the face of the nation that feels proud of its past and is confident of its future, though, is struggling in its present. The very same youth, for whom the Independence Day that came out to be on a Monday is nothing more than “an extended weekend.”
With the recent developments in the political and social landscape of India, the political and social future of the country appears to be bleak. But now there is spark in the hearts of people. They have realised that our biggest enemy is corruption. They have started speaking, writing and even asking about it to the people at the helm of affairs.
The young India, though addicted to weekends, extended weekends and even Facebook, is stepping out of the conventional chase for the government babu jobs. They are rising above jobs and are coming out with entrepreneurial ventures, even with social entrepreneurial ventures. They have realised that they themselves should tap the ‘second largest market in the world’ instead of letting others do that. They are optimistic of a stable economic future of the country.
At the same time, there is a young India, which raises voice against injustice being done to them, their communities and tribes. This young India is educated and also uneducated, struggling for an identity or against an identity. They are often abused by and for vested interests. But they are, to a large extent, helpless and hoping for things to be better in the future.
We are a nation that is called young. But we are also a nation that is now being called corrupt. “We are not independent,” many of my friends say that, “we have become dependent on corruption, ‘sources’ and Jugaad.” Independence is a rarity, and it is a luxury, which only the rich can afford in a country like ours. The rest are among my friends.
The former young India is dominant and is more discussed, projected and considered. This is where the balance is getting disturbed. The unity in diversity factor here appears to have reduced to the diversity in economic and social sense only. This is where the youth of both young India’s need to come forward to build a confluence of balance, respect, trust and togetherness. And the confluence will be called, according to me, an Independent India free from the ugly dependencies.
But we may still celebrate our freedom, not Independence, from the British as our forefathers have sacrificed many things that we cannot even imagine. And we should not stop being optimistic for pessimism is a poison that leads to cynicism, which is death.
(Zoaib is a Delhi-based journalist and cab be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)