Role of the Youth in Nation Building
The youth are filled with tremendous energy and towering ambitions. They can be utilized as a constructive and as a destructive force by any nation. During the eighties, the youth power made itself prominent in many socialist countries of Europe and in China. Tianamen Square in Beijing, China witnessed a powerful demonstration. Thousands of Chinese youth sacrificed their lives in order to bring democracy in that autocratic State.
Wherever there are riots in any country, political forces use the youth power to promote their interest During the riots against Mandal Commission in India, thousands of college students agitated in the streets of the cities. Many of them committed self-immolation. India is a large country with a population of 100 crore individuals. Those between the age of 15 to form more than 50 per cent of the total population. The majority of youth comprises this age group.
The students, employees, workers, farmers and persons from various professions —including the unemployed educated —are the citizens which really matter in all walks and disciplines of our national life.
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Unfortunately, a large number of these are without proper guidelines about their futures. It is dangerous to allow them to remain idle as it would increase their frustration which would result in chaos and disturbances. It is a great national wastage of human resources if these strong hands are not allocated some suitable jobs. No country can afford such a wastage. They should be directed appropiately to engage in some constructive tasks.
This manpower can do wonders provided its potential is tapped for the developmental projects of the nation. 1 Indian yoiith have never lagged behind when called upon to meet any challenge. It is for the national leaders to play their part by mobilising their abilities and providing them with suitable opportunities. Let there be no doubt about the strength, power and capabilities of youth all-over the world. They were instrumental in dethroning autocratic rulers —the Czars of Russia, Sukarno of Indonesia; Hitler of Germany, Indira Gandhi of India (during 1977 elections), Shah Mohammed Reza Pehalvi of Iran etc.
The massive youth movement in Czechoslovakia succeeded against the military invasion of their country. The recent histories of Kampuchea, Korea, Cuba, France and Myanmar provide evidences of their invincible might. Further, in our own country before partition, the youth played a very dynamic role in the freedom movement. After independence too, they are in the forefront of many forceful movements. They have changed the shape of many a state government and have influenced their policy decisions. The task of nation-building is herculean and can be divided into phases.
Everyone can contribute towards the same. All the young people may take part in this noble task according to their capacities. First of all, they should be made to understand a specific project and its importance to the society and also the part they could play in it for making it a success. Given a suitable direction, they are sure to work hard for its fulfilment. They would feel more than satisfied by the realization that, they have been assigned a role in the task of nation-building, The realization will encourage them to put their hearts for fulfilling the commitment.
Whatever is done by the government for nation-building, affects the whole society —the young and the old alike. At least the youth think that they are being denied the right of participation in this task. It would be wise to associate them with all such programmes which relate to them. Such a step would satisfy to give them a sense of belongingness and would keep them involved in constructive jobs. It is not very difficult to mobilise the youth for nation- building tasks provided that one has the requisite honesty, intelligence and leadership.
Once they are genuinely involved, their interest in constructive work would be aroused. They would be prepared to work sincerely for the welfare of the country. There can be a large number of schemes, projects and programmes wherein involvement of the youth would bring quicker and better results. Spirited youngmen can play a pivotal role in the socio-economic reconstruction of the society. Jawahar Rozgar Yojna and TRYSEM are the two vital schemes promoted by the government. These schemes must be availed of by the unemployed youth.
There are many evil practices prevalent in our society. If the youth is associated in a drive against these practices, the results may be much more favourable. There may be schemes connected with the raising of the levels of production in agriculture. The youth may be assigned the job of dissemination of scientific knowledge for better farming, new techniques and proper usage of fertilizers and pesticides. In a drive against economic offences, their energies could be used in moulding public opinion so that the eradication and prevention of such offences could be expedited.
The youth may work successfully as an arm of the administration in the implementation of government programmes aimed at fighting various maladies. Another field — in which their energies may be gainfully employed — is the task of adult education and the universalization of education. If given proper incentives, encouragement and support, they can take over the responsibility of fulfilling the targets fixed by the government. Their services may be utilised to combat offences like smuggling, black-marketing and hoarding. They can help the administration in creating public opinion against those who indulge in such unfair practices.
Cooperatives may be encouraged through them for creating parallel marketing facilities to render the anti-social practices ineffective. There is a need to repose faith in the youth who, if properly directed, can change gloomy a desert into a blooming oasis. By enlisting the cooperation and involvement of the youth force, the government will be successful in mobilising idle manpower and would also save these young minds from becoming victims to anti-social elements and practices. By employing these persons in some socially useful tasks, the possibilities of violence, unrest and turmoil could be greatly minimized.
It is, therefore, in the national interests that these young men are attracted towards all types of developmental activities. We would suggest that the youth must be trained in vocational streams. They should be allowed to develop scientific tempers. Political activities in colleges and the universities must banned. Education should be made job- oriented. Our government spends large amounts of funds on a number of organizations that are given charge of implementation of various schemes and programmes related to national development.
Involvement of the youth and their organisations would cost much less in terms of money. The young people may be inspired and encouraged to adopt villages or other suitable units of operation in which they can concentrate on the all-round improvement. The present trend of the society has already created havoc throughout the world. The youth have gone berserk owing to invasions of satellite television, Western culture as well as due to the narcotic tendencies of the west. Indian youths are prone to copying anything and everything coming via the west.
Unless this dangerous disease is effectively checked, it is bound to neutralize a sizeable number of our youth. Heroin and smack have already taken their toll. Further neglect in this vital area would push our society in serious trouble. It is high time for our leaders to inject a fresh vigour in our youth, arouse their confidence and develop a sense of honour, an appreciation for their cultural heritage and finally, a patriotic fervour. Then only, we would be able to construct a healthy and strong India.
Every country must see that its youth power is properly utilized. The youth must not be led astray by politicians and criminals, -Most university campuses have become politicized. Elections to student leaderships are fought with a great vengeance. Student leaders hold enormous clout. They may be utilized by rival groups of teachers to disturb the academic environment. A law should be enforced and it must ban such elections and groups. Drug addiction gives them physical and mental debilities and makes them unfit for any useful job.
If we do not control the infiltration and usage of drugs like Hashish and Marijuana in India, the youths are likely to fall into a dreadly trap of drugs which would prove to be a total disaster for our young minds. We shall thus lose a powerful force which can be used during war emergencies as well as for spreading literacy and education. The youth should be kept occupied in schools and colleges with facilities for sports and entertainment. NCC training must be made compulsory for them. The media is doing its best to inculcate restraint in them. Indian youth is likely to overcome the problems it faces.