Everyone regards their youth as the best time of their lives. They consider it the one chance they had to leave a mark on history or do something memorable. It is not uncommon for people to be nostalgic about their earlier days, almost everyone has heard someone in their middle ages say: “When we were young we did….this and this or things were this and this way” Do not be mistaken, It is not the era they were referring to but rather the age they were. It is hard to have all the qualities one has at such an age in any other age with the innocence. When you are a child you are too young to understand and when you are old enough you just learn to live with things as they are. When you are young, you are liberal at the same time rigid in your thoughts; satiated and have a hunger too; notorious and at the same time lost. Never has there been such a potpourri of qualities and emotions. It would be almost a lie to say that the railway budget made you more proud to be an Indian, than Omar Abdullah’s Speech at the Nuclear Deal or Rang de Basanti. With the passing of time, generations by generation youngsters have become more and more independent. The level of independence teaches youngsters to understand responsibility. They do not believe in the long believed philosophy of fatalism However, such independence is often confused with obscenity and lack of regard for ones culture.
This is one thing I would like to clarify.“One rotten egg spoils the entire basket”, not in the case of youngsters. It is just the few rotten youngsters that give a bad name to the entire generations; read basket, there are rotten individuals in every generation and their rottenness will persist in any era. It was the no good hippies of the 70’s that gave us Barrack Obama and the flagrant moon walking 80’s that have given us Sachin Pilot. It is wrong to typecast our generation or moreover to condemn it. Every youngsters needs guidance, whether it is in the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi or Karl Marx. Now we come to the sheer power that the youth hold, teenagers have made governments rethink international decisions and policies for the nation. Saying to the government that it is the right thing to do and you can do it, we will stand by you. Jessica lal murder case was re-opened after the candle processions at India Gate, finally achieving justice for her family. Something the public prosecutors and media had not been able to do for years, the youth did in a week. The latest amendment to section 377 of Indian Penal Code, a one hundred and fifty year old rule was repealed. Allowing homosexuals to come out of the closet and let them live with dignity and long over-due peace. Do we still dare to call this generation defiant and callous?
Every now and then we do come across a disillusioned youth. Just like it would be wrong to type- cast youngsters as aping the west, it would also be wrong to assume that the youth always listen to their heart and do the right thing. The fact that our conscience is malleable being our greatest strength is also our most vulnerable weakness. While Nehru straight out of college, was guided by Gandhi. He went on to become our countries most beloved and benevolent leader. It was under his charisma that that everyone forgot their caste and religion and came together to form India. It was the lessons as a youngster and sublimations of his energy that made him the leader. Otherwise, the energy of a youth can also go into organizations like U.L.F.A. and Naxalites. Whichever path chosen, followed and preached, there is no denying the power they hold in their hands. The fire that burns in their souls can burn the biggest of obstacles and melt the coldest of hearts, slowly igniting a nation which just started as a spark in their conscience. Jessica lal murder case, Aman’s anti-ragging campaign and repeal of section 377 are a few examples of how the energy is flowing in the right direction and for the right purpose. However, we as youngsters should choose our cause with caution; it is the cause that will decide who we are and what we will become. Never let circumstances dictate what cause to take up; circumstances are just an illusion that a youth fights to achieve the reality he wants.
Student, Amity Law School.
[Submitted as an entry for the MightyLaws.in Blog Post Writing Competition, 2011]