Youths in The Nation Building


A nation will add a feather to its cap and process of its development will continue if its ambitious, agile and strong youths are guided on the right direction.

The youths of a nation are powerful. They are agile and are inclined to work. So, they apply themselves to work. But it is usually seen that the youths are unable to yield desired results for want of proper guidance. Consequently, whatever they do neither it gives satisfaction to them nor does it fulfill the needs of the nation. Under these circumstances to speak of the welfare of mankind is meaningless.

Needless to delve for information into ancient history, nor is it necessary to go into any details. Let’s look into the history of past 60-70 years when the Indian youths engaged themselves in constructive work in right direction. What was the direction? We all know. The youths of many other nations too worked day and night in the hopes of getting out of the clutches of Imperialism and Colonialism and then building up their nations anew. Their efforts fructified to a great extent. All most all nations of the world became free and their citizens got the right of taking decisions of their own for their respective nations. But independence was only a halting point, not the destination. People afterwards had to take steps for further construction of their respective nations.

But was the result? Did the youths become weary? I do not assume so. The enthusiasm of youths never slackens. The fact is that after independence the successive generations failed to carve the path of progress on right lines. I have no objection to whatever reasons some one may give for this sordid state of affairs. But I shall definitely ask, how can a nation be developed if its youths willing to undertake any kind of work, how strenuous it might be, are not guided properly? It will ultimately result in a chaotic situation like the one we are faced with. The society is divided and trapped in the cob-web of problems. Self-interest has become dominant. Corruption is rampant and what alarms us most is that the national character is on decline.

Can we ignore the role of youths in building a nation? If not, how can they help in this work? How should they divert their energy to this work? How should they act in right direction? These are a few burning questions before us. It is now imperative that all intellectuals and prominent individuals of society should come forward without delay. It is also their responsibility. Unless they take steps after careful deliberation and create such environment as may enable the youths to perceive clearly their goal, it is not possible to build a nation. Without the guidance of the elders, our society will not be unified and our problems will not lessen. Moreover, in the rate race of serving self-interests, the energy of youths will be channeled through wrong directions.

Take the state of corruption in society. We all know about it, I am drawing your attention to it as an instance. There is hardly anyone who is not affected by it. The menace of corruption is very much detrimental to our national character and has been the root cause of many a social and moral problem. The intellectuals and the leaders are all well aware of it. But have we ever tried to come out of this mire? Youths could have been prepared and exhorted to rise against it, but we have never tried to do so. Consequently, the new generation is also bogged down.

The tendency of serving personal interests is increasing day by day. We have unwittingly forgotten that the progeny will ultimately suffer. It is applicable to other problems also. One does not remain young for long. A generation can never build a nation in their lifetime. The energetic youths of course can complete the task in hand in phases. One generation completes one phase of work, the next one is prepared to carry it further and so the third…It is a continuous process. But after the completion of the first stage of development, if the posterity is not prepared to take over the task in hand, or loses direction and go a stray, the situation will remain unchanged as is today. If the youths lose their way or direction, it would become very serious and alarming.

The political independence is essential for the upliftment of a nation, but it is not the end. Much is to be achieved on social and economic fronts. Probably, the political independence was regarded as the ultimate goal. Therefore, the next generation of youths was not given any definite guideline; with the result, they had no knowledge of their duties towards the society or the nation. To avoid further deterioration of the situation, it is necessary to guide the youths in right direction, so that they may engage themselves with the task of completing the unfinished process of upliftment of their nation. The responsibility of preparing the background and creating a congenial environment in this respect lies with the intellectuals and the leaders of society.

Let us give a helping hand to the young generation, uplift their morale to enable them to revive the national character and to carry on the process of national upliftment. It is also our duty and if we are indifferently disposed to it, we are certainly disregarding our duty towards the society and nation. Under such circumstances, we have no right to be regarded as intellectuals or leading persons or society, have we?

Dr. Ravindra Kumar is an eminent writer, Indologist, political scientist and a former vice chancellor of Meerut University, India, who authored and edited over 100 works on great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi and on various social-cultural issues.