The corridors of hostels are silent. Students have escaped to their homes. The loudspeaker is playing “Vaishnav Jan Toh” and green paper with Gandhi on it has just been exchanged for a cup of tea – yes, it is Gandhi Jayanti, yet another public holiday! For us back here in Gujarat, the state is in any case a dry state so it doesn’t matter even if it is a dry day. The rest of the country might be cribbing about a public holiday being a dry day which is also quite understandable. Radio stations are going gaga about Gandhigiri, civic authorities are cleaning (for a change) the statues of Father of our Nation and in heaven, Bapu is wondering about what has been made of him!During his time, our country was pretty different because students had lot many things to do apart from updating their Facebook status. Students then did not much bother about following the fashion instead they were worried about our country. Swadeshi Movement and the revolt for Independence had strong backing of students. There were youngsters who were committed to change the condition of our country. Cottage industries, Khadi movement gained grip due the tireless efforts of young volunteers and vision of Bapu. Way back then, there were many students who embraced social entrepreneurship. For instance, Ela Bhatt did a phenomenal work of starting SEWA (Self-employed Women’s Association of India). Apart from social entrepreneurship, the “in” thing during those days in student community was to ensure over-all development of oneself. Today we can flaunt in English but we go clueless when told to recite a “kavita” in Hindi – that is what we have made of ourselves! People back then used to read, observe and understand the things, while today we are WhatsApp-ing!
Even though we crack history paper but we fail to absorb the lessons that were taught by Bapu. There is more to be done than just partying in the name of public holiday. The first step for bringing about a socio-economical change was taken much before, without the aid of technology, resources or capital and still the wonders happened. So, today, when we have platforms like social media apart from the aforesaid then it is certainly possible for Youngistan to ride the horse of revolution.
Remember, while we are nonchalantly sipping coffee in Barista and goofing around, there’s a tiny man up there in heaven, who is looking at us with a meek smile asking us to change the things in the country which he has left on our shoulders!