Scholars have argued that in India problems are not solved, they are just replaced by other problems. This statement is also reflective of habits of tolerant Indian Society and its youth brigade. Solving a problem needs persistence and prolonged pondering over it which is missing in the generation I choose to call “The Youth of 21st Century India”
Lets talk about social media habits of Indian Youth. Among the exotic images of people living abroad, poor as well as good jokes of fun loving people, funny as well as inspirational videos and status messages of love-ridden youth, we find recurring posts relating to a current problem of India. At one time, it was the depreciation of Indian Rupee. With those posts you could find free advice of the youth of this country where freedom of expression is exercised only through social media. They told us to use Babool instead of Colgate and would claim that with this, problem of rupee can be solved. Some shared articles from different newspapers and tried to educate those who are less knowledgeable. Some others waited patiently for rupee to hit 69 per dollar so that they could crack their witty jokes. People laughed at these jokes and also on the sorry state of Indian Economy. In this whole process, rupee continued its volatile run.
Our problem changed when we had a different problem, different opinions, different jokes, same laugh and same sense of disgust toward Indian Political System. Today our problem is women security. This problem will also change eventually if we choose not to do anything about it.
So what are we to do?
Simply we need to educate ourselves about the problems. If we don’t have a good memory, we need to note all the problems down and when opportunity comes, we should ask the questions. These opportunities are Civil Society movements like India Against Corruption, Elections and various accountability mechanisms like Social Audit. My point here is about elections as other topics are covered in quite some length in last couple of years.
We have a good experience of process of elections in our Universities. The process is simply nomination filing, manifesto preparation, campaigning and final voting. In IIT Bombay, we had the practice of debate among candidates, campaigning in hostel and eventually the person with the most influence used to win the elections. The story is similar in Indian Legislature Elections also. The person who can influence most people with his sops is likely to win elections. This is the point where we come in. We need to read the manifestos of these candidates thoroughly, listen to their campaigns, see their past records and then evaluate our votes. If we are not satisfied, we should vote NOTA (None of the Above) and let it be our winner. That way a leading candidate can have a mandate of people as low as 10%. This will be heard nationally and internationally and with this mockery of elections, government will be forced to take reformative actions to make elections more inclusive and reflective of Indian opinion.
We, the youth of 21st century India, have written letters and used walkman to listen music. We have also used emails and iPods to listen to music. Hence, we are a link generation between the letters and emails and walkman and iPods. If this link is weak, there is no hope for India to steer itself to the glory she used to had when people were more passionate, aware and proactive. We need to express our opinion beyond social media platforms, we should make the habit of not forgetting the problems and last but not the least, we should stop being tolerant and should rise together against the pessimism prevailing across the nation. This generation should contribute in solving problems and that way problems will be solved and not replaced.