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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cultural collaborations for constructive change

“Youth have the power to change the fate of a nation”
“Youth have the power to move unassailable mountains and break impregnable

Such mind-numbing philosophies drenched in the waters of over-optimism have been
propagated by highly intellectual luminaries like Swami Vivekananda and also by people
on the other extreme in terms of IQ, like captain Vijaykanth!

How many of us pay the fine instead of bribing the traffic police for breaking a rule?
Very few, if any. How many of us don’t break the queue in a railway station? How many
of us get our driving license without shelling out those “extra” bucks? When it’s the
youth at the centre of all the transgressions happening, how can they be expected be
expected to move masses and smash hurdles?

We need to understand that we live in an age of cynics and opportunists, an age where
we are oft busy with bailing ourselves out of trouble and bettering our standards of
living. Where in the world do we have time for the society?
But if there is one thing that stirs the hearts and minds of every Indian youth, one
thought that sends a chill down every Indian spine, one issue that every Indian has an
opinion on, its religion. And that’s the only way out of the situation.

Unfortunately, the only people who seemed to have realized it are the sly politicos who have been banking
on an extension of the divide-and-rule policy. They have maximized the potential of
religion and have reaped a rich harvest out of the situation to construct a well fortified
political empire creased with corruption and self-centred ideologies.
India has played host to the greatest of seers and the best minds the world has ever
seen. Each and every one of them appreciated the omnipotence of religion in India and
used religion as a tool, as life giving water to quench the burning fire of ignorance that
was prevalent among the masses. But even those great minds couldn’t comprehend
to the fact that they were committing a grave error by transmitting the invaluable
knowledge in the local language. Though they enlightened a whole generation,
they curtailed its growth beyond the realms of that era. Any translated script has its
limitations and the essence and the intricacies of the original script are lost to the
pseudo-obstacles that arise during translation. Scriptures become timeless only when
they are passed on in their original language. Only then will people have the interest to
dig deep and get to know the origin and the true meaning behind every idea.

The whole nation is pondering and quibbling about the ill-effects of the western culture.
If one spares a thought as to why the rate of inheritance of this culture is astounding,
one would realize that the very thoughts and ideologies which pillar the empire of the
western culture were written in English or in languages like Greek or Latin, which are
again, languages that played a vital part in the formulation of the English language as
we know it today. As expected, it’s the financially stable English speaking strata of the
society which is opening up to the western world.
It’s nice to be proud of our culture and our roots, but it’s brainless to dismiss other
ideologies and stay closed to other thoughts. One very good example is the mantras
chanted during Hindu marriages. One, we chant them without knowing their meaning.
Two, some of them are obsolete. Example, there is a mantra which is a call for the lords
to bless the couple with a male child. Heights of male chauvinism! So it’s time for us to
weed out such archaic principles and start looking at alternatives and alterations. We
need to understand that the western works have been devised by equally intelligent
minds, if not better. So what is required is an amalgamation of cultures and thoughts
which would be as revitalizing as fusion music.

How’s this going to change the equation? Every action is driven by ideas, the upbringing
and the people around us and most importantly, our leaders. This is one more facet
that demands a lot of introspection. How many of us really want to vote? How many of
us make an effort to follow politics? Don’t we have to be aware of the current political
scenario just to vote for the right person? Choosing a leader is considered the first step
towards development and where is the question of development when most of us are
crippled with unawareness about our potential leaders? It’s time for us to start following
politics and involving oneself in the same would be better. Better leaders lead to better
culture. Better culture will lead to self-discipline and self-conscience. It’ll make people
think about the smallest mistakes they do, like travelling ticketless, spitting on the road,
littering, smoking in public etc. As youth, we need to understand that certain things
are beyond our control. No one can prohibit or force another guy away from drugs.

No one can compellingly abstain another from smoking or drinking. It’s best to leave it
to his sole discretion. But what can be done by us as responsible citizens is that, we
can warn people against doing it in public. We need to start garnering guts to threaten
people to take things to court in case they caused public nuisance. It’s our duty to drill
some civic sense into the minds that lack the same. Let’s address the smallest of issues
and set high benchmarks. Let’s work towards perfection before we start blaming the
government. Let’s be the change we want to see.

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