India is a big country with a large population. It is estimated that India’s present population is about 65 crores. Those between the age of 15 to 35 form more than 50 percent ‘of the total population. For our purposes we count them all as the youth. These comprise students, employees, workers, farmers and persons from various professions including the unemployed—educated or otherwise. These young people constitute a large force. They are energetic, enthusiastic and full of zeal. Unfortunately a large number of them are without any direction. It is dangerous to allow them to remain idle, as it would increase their frustation. A large number of them are capable, devoted, dedicated idealists and are fond of work. Their frustation is a result of their being without any worthwhile job. It is a great national wastage if these energetic hands and brains are not provided with some srot of work to meet the needs of the nation. No country can permit sueh wastage. What is needed is that they should be taken into confidence and given a direction—some constructive work. This massive manpower can do wonders provided its enthusiasm is harnessed for development work. Indian youth have . never lagged behind when called upon to meet a challenge. It is for the national leaders to play their part by mobilising their abilities and providing them with a direction.
Let there be no doubt about their strength, power and capability. Their counterparts have changed the governments in their own countries. It was the youth of Indonesia who overthrew President Soekarno. The massive youth movement in Czechoslovakia succeeded againt the military invasion on their country. The recent history of Cambodia, Cuba, France and Pakistan provide evidences of their invincible force. Even in our own country before partition the youth played a very inspiring role in the freedom movement. After independence too their power has changed the fate of several state governments in the recent past. The Gujarat and Bihar agitations are examples of the youth power.
If we exclude the youth, the rest of the population of India will comprise old people and children. They cannot be called the real manpower of the nation. So we may say that if the youth of the country are not enthused to devote their energies to the task of national reconstruction, the whole manpower of the nation is being wasted.
The task of nation building is enormous and can be divided into many phases and compartments. It has some work for everybody. All the young people may be involved in this work. They may be assigned jobs according to their capacity and capability. First of all they should be made to understand a specific project and its importance to the society and also the part they are expected to play to make it a success. They are sure to work hard for its fulfilment. They have the resources, guts and imagination to explain it to the people in detail and make it a success, They will feel more than satisfied by the realisation that they have been assigned a role in the nation-building efforts. This realisation will encourage them to put their best into it.
There is another factor : whatever is done by the government for nation-building affects the whole society—the young and the old alike. At least the former think that they are being denied the right of their participation in that task. It would be prudent to associate them with all such programmes as concern them. Such a step would satisfy their ego.
It is not very difficult to mobilise the youth for nation-building. Once these programmes have succeeded in firing their imagination, more than enough resources of energy will be forth-coming to achieve the targets. And once they are genuinely involved, and their interest in these programmes is aroused, they would be prepared to give their best to their quick implementation.
There can be a large number of schemes, projects and programmes wherein their total involvement will bring quicker and better results. They can play a pivotal role in the socio-economic regeneration of the society. There are many evil practices in our society. If the youth is associated in a drive against these practices, the results may be much more satisfactory. There may be schemes connected with the raising of the level of production in agriculture. The youth may be assigned the job of dissemination of knowledge for better farming, new techniques and proper use of fertilisers and pesticides. What is required is that they may be given adequate training in these tasks. In a drive against economic offences, their energy may be used in moulding public opinion in favour of eradication and prevention of such offences. The youth may work successfully as an arm of the administration in the implementation of governmental programmes aimed at fighting against these and other maladies. Another field wherein their energy may be gainfully employed is the task of adult education and universalisation of education. Being given a little dose of incentive encouragement and support, they may take over the great responsibility of fulfilling the targets fixed by the government. Their services may similarly be utilised for preventing and fighting offences like smuggling, black-marketing and hoarding. They can at least create public opinion against those who indulge in such unfair practices. Cooperatives may be encouraged, through them for creating parallel marketing facilities to render the antisocial practices ineffective. What is needed is that we repose faith in their capacity and capability.
By enlisting the cooperation and involvement of the massive youth army, the government will on the one hand be successful in mobilising idle man-power, and on the other hand these young people will be saved from falling a prey to such elements, as utilise them for their own narrow selfish ends. By employing these persons in some socially useful work, the possibilities of demonstrations, violence, unrest and turmoil will be largley minimised. It is therefore, in the national interest that these young men are attracted towards some sort of developmental activities.
Such involvement of the young people would generate a sense of pride and self-confidence in them, provided it is accorded adequate appreciation. It would raise tfieir morale as well. At the same time the sense of patriotism and of being useful to the society would inhibit them from going
astray. It would also help develop in them a nationalist outlook. Such a step would speed up the process of socio-economic regeneration and democratic decentralisation.
Our government spends a large amount of money on a number of organisations that are given charge of implementation of various schemes and programmes concerning national development. Involvement of the youth and their organisations would cost less in terms of money as well.
The young people may be inspired and encouraged to adopt villages or other suitable units of operation, where they may cancentrate on the improvement of physical and social environment. This will lead to socio-economic progress and help to channelise the energies, enthusiasm and idealism of the youth in the task of nation-building. It is certain that the youth will make full use of the diverse opportunities offered to them. If would make the task of nation-building easier and quicker.