Editorial Articles

Volume-40, 30 December-5 January, 2017

Participation of Youth
in Nation Building

Prof. S.K.Kataria

A great nation cannot abandon its responsibilities. Responsibilities abandoned today return as more acute crises tomorrow.

Gerald Ford

Time has come to make a commitment to build   a strong nation with universal image. It can be done with the active participation of youth only. Any nation can achieve and fulfill her aspirations and dreams with the holistic and empathetic contribution of youth. History of every nation is witness to numerous revolutions and socio- economic and politico-administrative changes as well as the inventions for better human life, initiated and accomplished by youth.
The term ‘nation’ is being used for a sovereign state or a country has many other emotional and invisible notions. Nation building is a process which make states, their governments, legitimate its authority and ensures national identity. The countries like India which has been under  the colonial rule on one hand , and socio- culturally and geo-politically  heterogeneous on another hand needs more structured efforts for nation building. Nation building is not a process of few years, in fact, it requires decades and sometimes centuries. Similarly, it is not a task of one or few segments of a society rather it involves each citizen and every class at all stages. Undoubtedly, youth can play more effective and reliable role in the process of nation building by virtue of his physical and psychological powers. That is why Benjamin Disraeli says- “The Youth of a nation are the trustees of posterity”.
National Youth Policy, 2014
India formulated its first national youth policy in 1985 and created a separate Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in the same year. The first national youth policy was replaced by a new policy in 2003. A fresh national youth policy was adopted in 2014 under the worldwide circumstances of globalization and information, communication and technology revolution.
The vision of the National Youth Policy, 2014 is- “to empower youth to achieve their full potential, and through them enable India to find its rightful place in the community of nations.” The Government of India believes that the youth should be ‘active drivers’ and not merely the ‘passive recipients’ of development. National Youth Policy, 2014 envisages following core and sub- areas for the holistic development of Indian youth-
A. Create a productive workforce
* Education
*Employment and skill  development
B. Develop a strong and healthy generation
*Health and healthy lifestyle
* Sports
C. Instil social values and promote community service
*Promotion of social values
*Community engagement
D. Facilitate participation and civic engagement
*Participation in politics and governance
*Youth engagement
E. Support youth at risk and create equitable opportunity for all
* Social justice.
The above mentioned 11 priority areas for youth enrichment are directly related with human resource development which ensures a strong nation with international brand image. Recent policies, programmes and schemes of Government of India including Skill India, Digital India 
National integration through art, culture and sports
Unity in diversity is the basic character of Indian civilization and culture since the ages. Similarly, one can easily smell the rich and tempting folk art, folk music, indigenous culture, incredible spiritual power, social and human values and independent village life.  Interestingly, art, culture, sports and spiritualism had a unique place in overall development of human beings in Indian society. 
Indian Railways and Indian Armed Forces have played a very significant role in national integration and feeling of one nation.  Hockey, Hindi cinema, All India Radio ( Akashvani),  Doordarshan and Cricket etc.  have done this task up to a great extent in recent decades. The youth players hailing from small towns and remote villages are changing the face and fate of Indian games and sports sector at international level successfully. Achievements, recognition and a reliable image ultimately help in nation building. Since the activities of sports essentially require vigour, energy, enthusiasm and courage, hence these are concerned with youth.
The extra- curricular activities of students including Games, Scouting and Guiding,   Nehru Yuva Kendra, NCC and NSS as well as Youth Festivals etc. are the platform for cultural and academic interaction with youth coming from different states of the country.
Fundamental Duties and Youth
After the recommendations of Sardar Swarn Singh Committee and through the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution of India, a new Article -51 A , was inserted in the constitution of India in 1976.  Originally 10 Fundamental Duties were given to the citizens. This constitutional provision says that-It shall be the duty of every citizen of India -
( a)  to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
( b )  to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
( c)  to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
( d ) to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
( e ) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
( f ) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
( g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;
(h) to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
( i ) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
( j ) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement;
In the year 2002, a new fundamental duty was inserted in the Constitution through the  86th Constitutional Amendment,  the following was added as the 11th Duty of  the Indian citizens-
(k)- Parent or   guardian to  provide the opportunity of education to his child or ,  as the case may  be  ward  between the age of six years and fourteenth years.
These fundamental duties are directly affecting the process of nation building, national integration, democratization of administration, good governance, sustainable development and a just and knowledge society. Educated and committed youth can ensure effective implementation of these fundamental duties.
Scientific Temperament and Youth
As mentioned above, developing a scientific temper is a fundamental duty of every citizen of India. India also celebrates National Science Day  on February 28 every year (the day is dedicated to Nobel Prize Winner Sir C.V. Raman’s discovery of ‘Raman Effect’ on 28 February, 1928) to foster scientific temper among society in general and youth in particular. It is widely assumed and accepted that scientific temper is a way of life of an individual and society which uses a scientific method that includes questioning, observing physical reality, testing, hypothesizing, analyzing and communicating the facts and things in a systematic manner. It essentially involves the application of logic. Arguments, discussions and analysis are the vital parts of a scientific temper and fairness, equality and democracy are its elements. Mushroom growth of so called religious and fraud Babas, communal riots, ethnic violence, greater trust on quakes (road-side doctors) etc. are few examples of unscientific society of educated people.
The waves of globalization, ups and downs in stock markets, economic slow-down, increasing threats and violence by extremists and terrorists, frequent natural and man-made disasters and attraction towards luxurious life has forced man to approach astrologers. The pages of history of human civilization and culture prove that no revolution or great change was taken place without the active participation of youth. So, the need of the hour is to sensitize youth towards developing scientific temper and the reasons for this exercise are very obvious. Firstly, youth is change-lover and open –minded and every reform starts with the notion that change is inevitable. Acceptance is the opposite of rejection or resistance. Secondly, today’s youth is tomorrow’s responsible parent and citizen supposed to play various other crucial roles in the society. Thirdly, youth has the energy, zeal and aspiration to transform a good, just and logical society. Fourthly, youth has always been very near to technology and every technology essentially proves the utility of scientific temperament.  In fact, good governance is highly relying upon a good and scientific society. George Bernard Shaw says- “It is all that the young can do for the old, to shock them and keep them up to date”.
Challenges and Impediments
Famous scholar of Public Administration   Fred W. Riggs has described developing society as ‘sala model’ which is mainly characterized by formalism, heterogeneity and overlapping of tasks and structures. Indian transitional society is also suffering from barriers and taboos of religion, language, region, caste, class, sex and other socio-economic issues. Regional imbalance is a grave matter for policy makers.   ‘The Indian Youth Development Index and Report-2017’ (released on November 13, 2017) reveals that still there is a wide gap between various human development indicators amongst the states of India.  It is generally believed and experienced that Indians always prove themselves as the best policy, plan and law makers, however when it comes the execution part they  face  the ‘Achilles’ heel’ situation. If we look at the progress of science and technology field in the country it is far beyond our imagination while the social sector is still neglected.
If we want to ensure the proactive and effective role of youth in nation building, the following challenges must be addressed primarily-
1.        Over population and high growth rate.
2.        Unemployment and less employability of educated youth.
3.        Unscientific temperament and decreasing common sense.
4.        Ethnicity.
5.        Gender discrimination.
6.        Communal and religious issues.
7.        Regional and socio-economic imbalance.
8.        Poverty and left extremism.
9.        Poor health and low immunity.
10.Drug addiction (including social media addiction).
Can you believe that about 2700 youth lost their lives per year in India while taking ‘ selfies’ or crossing roads or railway lines during cell phone interactions. It is highest rate in the world. There is huge list of diseases occurred due to constant use of cell phone, desktop or laptop for online chatting. Use of social media and being online has destructed health, daily routine, relationships, creativity, discipline, and writing- reading habits of youth. They are just becoming unaware of bitter and actual aspects of human life.
Whenever, we think about the power and potentials of Indian youth we always recall    Swami Vivekanand for his contribution in building the international image of India as well as oxygening the hopeless Indian society in late nineteenth century. He said- “I have faith in my country, and especially in the youth of my country.. …….All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak; Stand up and express the divinity within you. Therefore, “Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.”
(The author is Professor in Dept. of Public Administration, Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur) e-mail : skkataria64@rediffmail.com