Special Content

Volume-19, 11-17 August, 2018

Independent India
A Hope for youth

Laxmi Dass

After a long and intensive struggle India got Independence. Though Gandhiji did not want this country to split. but because of the divide and rule policy of the British Government and influence of some of the vested interests the country was divided. India became free and Indians became masters of their destiny.
At that point of time one of our agendas was how to govern the nation. Our leaders decided to adopt democratic form of governance. It was a difficult and risky decision. Our people, by and large, were illiterate. Giving same voting right to everybody big or small, rich or poor, any caste, any gender, any religion was a risky experiment. India opted for that experiment and today we can claim with pride that we are the largest democracy of the world. It is this form of Government which has empowered our youth to take decisions and move forward. There may be some hiccups, but our democracy is undoubtedly successful and empowers every section of the society.
Economic empowerment is the need of the day. We must have a situation where we are able to earn our livelihood. The gap between the poor and the rich should be bridged as was visualised in earlier days of our democracy. Our policies should be as such that everyone gets opportunities to become economically self reliant. When we talk of livelihood it is very clear that every hand should have work. We should make sure and implement the same without loosing time. We must plan our policies accordingly. I am sure that piece meal solutions will not work rather they will further complicate the situation. We have to go back to the basics.
We have to plan an education system suitable to our requirements. We should have international standards in our education system. We must be best to compete at international level but at the same time we should not forget our needs, we should not forget that we are a big nation with every sixth person being an Indian. Our education policy should, keep that large youth population in mind. We may try the policy of "learning by earning and earning by learning". We can try Gandhian education system.
Entrepreneurship or skill development or decentralised production is one area which requires attention. Efforts have been made and are being made to develop entrepreneurship. Its utility has been realised by everyone. We often plead for level playing field for competitiveness. But while saying so we forget that the weak cannot fight the strong unless they are made healthy. I am not pleading for any type of concessions, rebates, grants or reservations. But I am of the view that we should frame our economic policies in such a manner that the entrepreneurs should have the condition to grow and branch out. We have to make entrepreneurship more attractive, more powerful so that young aspirants may opt for entrepreneurship.
Technology is one area which requires careful handling. It is necessary.  But at the same time we should not forget that advancement of technology has rendered a good number of youth jobless, with the use of technology the chances of employment avenues are diminishing very fast. Take the example of Banks. Banks require very little manpower. We should keep one thing in mind, when the work is big and hands are little then the work of hands has to be done by machine and if work is little and hands are more then the machine's work has to be done by hands. Therefore while using the machines, using the technology we have to be very careful. We have to be very sure that while providing job to one hand the other hand should not become jobless. To remove poverty, to solve unemployment problem every hand has to be provided  work. It is not possible for any Government,for any system to give required unemploy-ment allowance to all unemployed youths. Giving food is no solution. There is a saying " If you give someone a fish you give food for the day, but if you teach him how to fish you give food for his whole life ". Anyhow we have to plan to enable the youth to earn their livelihood.
For earning livelihood one of the ways is Gandhian economic policy. It is a viable attainment. I am of the firm view that Gandhian constructive programs should be given a chance, should be given a fair deal to deal with the present complex situation of the country.  Gandhiji did, not only give ideas, but also practised these constructive programs to make sure that these ideas are implementable and we can revitalise this nation with these programs and can achieve Gramswaraj.
We talk about growth. It is important. But more important is sustainable economic growth. Mere economic growth may give a wrong picture. Because growth of a few may contribute to overall growth of the nation. But growth of a few doesn't solve our problems. Balanced economic growth can address our unemployment problems, our rural development issues,our poverty related issues. Balanced economic growth is possible only if we adopt Gandhiji's decentralised economic policy. Means of production should be placed judiciously. Concentration of means of production in a few hands may give rise to a few. This may result into rise of unemployment. We have to frame our policies in such a fashion that these should result into balanced economic growth.
National integration is another area which has to be taken care of. India is a country with so many diversities. Different languages, different castes, different religions, different regions, different food habits, different styles of living, different cultures, even then we are one. We are one great nation. We must have the understanding to live with each other. We should respect each other's habits, feelings,emotions. Emotional integration is our need. We should always be careful while dealing with others.  On the auspicious occasion of this Independence Day we should take a pledge that we neither utter any word which questions the integrity of others nor do any act which harms the process of national integration. Let us pledge to protect the identity of every citizen.
The youth should not depend upon outside sources. They are the force. They are the strength of the nation. They have the capacity. They can do wonders. They can scale the length and breadth of the nation. Age is on their side. Accept the challenge. Don't expect anything from others. Rather create a situation to help others. All big personalities had to pass through more difficult situations than we are facing today You have experience of these great people with you. You have their inspiration with you. Sacrifice done by our forefather  to achieve freedom is reminding you, guiding you to move forward. Don't stop till you achieve your goal. Be a light house for other fellow young passengers in the making of this great nation. The motherland demands your commitment. Get ready to solve your problems and help others to solve their problems. You can plan. You can move. See big. Try to achieve big. The great nation i.e. our motherland is calling you.
(The author is Secretary Harijan Sewak Sangh, New Delhi) Email: laxmidass47 @ gmail.com