Youth are India's Greatest Asset

The world moves forward because the human race proliferates. And the world moves forward because the young have the vision to take the human race forward.

Change: The one word that the young bring to the world order. Whether you say breakthroughs in science, technology, politics or reformation of society, the breaking of glass ceilings and unshackling of people from regressive mores, it’s the young who bring it about.

Talking about India, like I have mentioned in earlier articles, it’s said to be a ‘young’ nation, because the youth constitute the largest demographic of the population right now. The youth are not just the harbinger of change, they’re also the crucible for new ideas. Every one- whether filmmakers, politicians, musicians, technocrats, fashion designers, cosmetics and accessories brands, writers etc- all of them are targeting the Indian youth through their work and campaigns.

Yes, the youth are India’s greatest asset. Let us analyze some of the reasons in detail:

1. Free thinking : The youth in India right now are a free-thinking entity. They are breaking out of the regressive social mores and norms that characterized their parents’ and grandparents’ generations. They are not bound by narrow regional, linguistic, religious, caste or gender considerations, but are interested in building bridges and uplifting the quality of life and public interaction. A large part of this free thinking has been brought about by literacy and education.

2. Technology : Technology does not only dominate India’s cities- it is also slowly penetrating rural and semi-rural areas now. This is also a kind of education for the youth living in these parts- the news of the world, being inspired by people who have achieved something great, learning about new opportunities etc. Phone connections, Internet, laptops and mobile phones- all these have made sure that both urban and rural youth are nursing ambitions beyond what their parents could have.

3. Social media and free speech : Anyone who is on Facebook , Twitter, Instagram or any of the other scores of social networking sites is aware of how these platforms are being used by the youth to express themselves. They are using it to share their opinions on everything from politics to movies to fashion to books to careers and ambitions. Social networking has democratized the process of sharing opinions. Earlier, what you could only express through ‘Letters to the Editor’ in newspapers is now possible through your status update. This is also helping in spreading awareness about issues, and often, results in people gathering in real time to protest something they detest. As I have already mentioned, the burning examples are: The massive protests in major Indian cities after the December 2012 Delhi gang-rape case. It was actually on social media that the outrage against the brutalization of the 23 year old physiotherapist was shared by youngsters who also criticized the administration’s lax approach to getting justice and medical care for Jyoti Singh. 

When the issue of gender violence and patriarchy exploded on social media, it translated into actual protests- young people came out on the streets and protested and held candle-light vigils. They were tweeting and Facebook-ing every moment of the protests, and how the police illegally detained protesters. It was because of the youth that the Verma report was constituted, and the rapists were arrested and convicted. The same phenomena was seen in the Jessica Lal murder case and the Mumbai meat ban case- it was the protest from large sections of the youth that led to Manu Sharma’s conviction and the HC-ordered stay on the ban.

4. Social change : This generation believes in individual freedom, personal liberty and gender equality. Young people in cities are moving away from their parents’ home, and living alone to become independent and on their own terms. Those in rural areas are moving to cities for jobs, education and careers- both boys and girls. Inter-caste and inter-religious marriages are no longer a taboo, and a more financially independent and enabled youth is following an alternative lifestyle without hesitation.

5. Education and jobs : As I have mentioned in previous articles, when the youth receive a sound education and go for jobs, they contribute to both the economy, and growth and development of the nation-state.

The youth are India’s greatest assets. Their liberal thinking and initiatives, if appreciated and followed through with support and encouragement, can lead to India being put on the path to growth and development.

Article by Prachi Sharma