Creative ways in which the Youth can bring about a brighter future
As we already discussed in the previous article, India’s greatest asset are the youth of the country. I elaborated on why the youth are the greatest asset, now let’s see how they can bring about a better future:
Spreading awareness through social media
As already mentioned, it was the youth which flooded social media with strong messages against the Delhi gang-rape case, opening a Pandora’s box of issues like misogyny, patriarchy, the inept police force and the lax administrative approach towards women’s safety and justice and healthcare for rape survivors. It was because the youth raised their collective voice, that the Verma report was constituted and the rapists of Jyoti Singh were arrested and put behind bars. Not just in India, the youth is also spreading mass movements through social media in China, where they are protesting against the Communist government. Even the Arab Spring movement was spread through social media, and that’s why it garnered world attention and turned into a mass, real-life protest on Tahrir Square. The recent protests against the infamous Mumbai meat ban, and for Net neutrality, also engineered by the youth on a mass scale, ensured that the ban was revoked, and neutrality of the Net remained. The recent FTII protest, against politically biased appointment of board members, which was carried on by young filmmakers of the august institute for more than four months, is a case in point. News websites and channels helped in spreading this movement, as did Facebook and Twitter. The appointees weren’t removed, but the students made their point well. This shows not just the power of social networking, but the force it can become when in the hands of an enlightened youth. Also not to be missed is the effect social networking is having in mobilizing youth in religiously dogmatic countries like Malaysia and Iran- the youth are breaking out of the patriarchal mould and pursuing their dreams and ambitions.
Because of the power of both social media and increased literacy, the youth can hold campaigns geared at inspiring positive social change. Through seminars, conferences, festivals, exhibitions, street plays, dance and drama shows, it can attract citizens, talk about social evils and economic problems plaguing the nation, and mobilize public opinion. The government will be, as a result, forced to being about changes that a more socially and politically aware populace demands.
Let us not underestimate the importance of satire in raising contentious issues and inspiring widespread debate. Young comedians like Kapil Sharma, Sikander Sidhu, Radhika Vaz, Tanmay Bhat and team from AIB, and other such comedians are incorporating subtle commentary on issues of national importance in their jokes and acts. Through humor that is sometimes biting, sometimes funny, they are stoking a debate on problems like gender inequality, commercialization of education, the taking of offence by fringe groups at works of arts, asinine bans etc. Satire is socially relevant- and the youth can change mentalities by utilizing this trend.
Let us also not overlook this other great revolution- on the Indian literary scene. More and more young people are writing books and nursing ambitions of becoming writers. Because publishing is not confined to the Big Five publishers anymore, and more start-up publishers are coming forth to tap into the youth writing potential, so more young authors are getting published. Writers like Chetan Bhagat, Ravinder Singh, Preeti Shenoy, Ashwin Sanghi, plus the really young ones like Durjoy Dutta, are youth icons. They are not only capturing the youth’s imagination, but encouraging other young writers to come up with their work. Writing and publishing, as of today, is not just about fulfilling creative fires and earning money. It’s about capturing the progressive ideas, dreams, ambitions and demands of a young nation like India. The more young writers author books, while also working jobs in engineering, law, IT, academics and corporate sector etc, and tell their own stories of progress and development, the more other youth will be inspired to build their own lives. Apart from that, parents, policymakers and others will also understand the needs, wants and ideas of the resurgent youth population.
Article by Prachi Sharma
Article by Prachi Sharma