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How patriotic are you ?

By Editor On August - 18 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

Dear Readers,

Wish you all a Happy Independence Week! From the past 63 years, most of the August 15th’s have been celebrated synonymously by all Indians across the nation. A flag hoisting ceremony early in the morning, followed by a parade or a cultural program has been the typical ritual of the day, with seldom a change. Nothing apart from what is customary was observed on 15th August, 2009. Often, the inspiring speeches at the flag hoisting ceremonies awaken in you the patriotic fervent which is an otherwise suppressed emotion in almost all Indian hearts. “… A land of diverse cultures and customs, the greatness of whose heritage and culture echoes from the annals of history…Our motherland has given birth to eminent emperors, mathematicians, scientists and scholars who reigned supreme at their time…” While these are more or less what every speech delivered would turn into, what is fascinating to observe is how these few phrases fill our hearts with pride and make us walk, nose up in the air. Patriotism for our motherland wells up from within and we swerve in its emotion throughout the day.

I was returning home from one of those typical flag hoisting ceremonies with the typical patriotic fervent until I was zapped back to the reality of today, quite clumsily. In front of me at the traffic signals were small innocent children with tricolor badges in their hands to sell. Their plea to buy them through muffled tear – toned voices saying “Didi, lelo na…” moved me deeply and more importantly killed that ephemeral emotion that lasted until the previous minute.

From times immemorial, there have been several forums, communities and social activist groups that have worked towards curbing the many fold social evil in the Indian society, as an attempt to remove all suffering and spread equality among Indians. A corrupt government and the colloquial care-not-for-thy-neighbor attitude among most Indians have ruled the roost. Threats and appeals to the politicians, police and government officials to change their ways have been a dialogue to the deaf. Today, in this mutilating scenario, it is a welcoming change to see youngsters of this nation coming forward to shoulder this massive responsibility of bringing about a change in the society and making this world a better place to live in. Youth has started at the point where they should have. Working for social causes and standing against discrimination of all sorts is the first step towards an anticipatory revolution ‘change’ which apparently is the need of the hour.

Poverty, illiteracy, child labor, global warming, child sexual abuse, wildlife extinction, female infanticide, rights of the sexually marginalized, gender discrimination, caste discrimination… whatever be the cause, populace of Generation Y raise their voice against them and the budding student organizations, social service/charity groups and Non Government Organizations mushrooming in metros today stand testimony to this fact. These youngsters want to help create awareness among a larger sect of people against social and indifference. The noticeable distinction in this aspect is the fact that almost all of such organizations are non profitable and self sustained.

I believe that there could be several root causes behind founding such organizations supporting a socially abating cause and standing for it. In most case it is the mind set, self confidence and young blood which initiate them to work with inspiring ideals and reach for the stars. Also their commit-to-action attitude brews from pangs of frustration and a sense of need for change in the system. Such trends are observed in young people more often than normal due to their uncorrupted thought process, the go-getter attitude and most importantly audacious belief in seeing a brighter tomorrow. However, there are a few others who are inspired by personal agitation, mishaps in the family or in their close vicinity. According to an official survey, there are about 43 registered NGOs in Hyderabad and 18 of them are established and run by youngsters alone. (Courtesy: NPO display, Karma Pvt. Ltd.) Besides the registered ones, there are also innumerous small student-initiated social service groups that are doing all that they can probably pull in putting in their valuable time and efforts.

Social evils essentially curb the growth of global bonding and stagnate the development of the society at large. About 90 % of the educated youth brought up in urban culture believe in the same. Although they strongly feel for the cause, most of them are unable to react to them. Their foremost complaint is lack of time. With busy schedules that comprise of college, exams, hanging out with friends, worrying on future options, tuitions, sports, fag, booze, boyfriends, girlfriends, family and relationships, one finds it difficult to fit in ‘social service’ into them. In a survey conducted on 100 youngsters in Hyderabad who belong to diverse cultural backgrounds, about 71% of them are not associated with any such organizations either due to lack of time or that they believe there are ‘some others’ for the good job and that they have too much going on in their life already that they don’t to do anything else. Although, this scenario is subject to change sooner or later, for the moment, the figures are quite disappointing.

On a more positive note, students from different colleges in Hyderabad have initialized social service and charity groups to help small kids to study, learn and substantiate their existence. Sahaaya, Awaaz, Avshah, Siksha, WAT, etc, are a few in this domain. Most of such students groups collect funds from among themselves in order to self sustain their organization. Their primary aim is to increase literacy rate even among the backward classes of the society. Since their organization is non-profitable, their supreme motto is self satisfaction at the end of the day, like they assert. Prominent and well established non-government organizations like Bhumi, Red Cross, C.R.Y, Siksha, Jagruti and the like also attract many youth memberships to take their noble work forward.

I personally opine that child sexual abuse and female infanticide are the most brutal forms of human degradation and need severe attention at the moment. With the innumerous cases being registered on people who resort to such activities, the scenario is changing from normal to brutal. Agreeing that literacy could curb such effects to a certain extent, however a revolutionary change is anticipated if we are to free people from such barbaric traits. Among few prominent others, Jagruti is one such NGO that stands out for its extensive work on eradication of female infanticide and child sexual abuse in the rural districts of Belgaum and most parts of Bengalooru.
There are also several associations in Hyderabad working for environmental causes such as global warming, green house effect, pollution in all forms and deforestation. While Red Cross stands out among others with a motto of curbing the climatic changes, there are also many other prominent and successful NGOs working in this domain such as Green Pyramid, Green Globe, Green Cure and the like that are also initiated by like-minded youngsters for the greater good.

With all said and done, working for a social cause is still not found in the schedule of a common student or youngster today. More participation and involvement from youngsters to help fight social evil is anticipatory. Change has to be brought over through out the nation. However hard hitting reality may seem, it is true that it is for the youth in this country to realize and take a revolutionary step forward. Patriotism is much like math, while strong and powerful in theory, math is only useful while in practice. Same goes with patriotism. It only emanates from what is done, rather than what is said. Sooner or later, this change in thought process ought to begin from an individual. It is time we analyze our standing. It is time we ask ourselves how patriotic we indeed are.

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