YOUTH FOR PEACE

For Inclusive Societies

If we are to reach peace in this world… we shall have to begin with children”, as quoted by Mahatma Gandhi, the power of youth can never be denied of when the development of a nation is being talked about. It is quite evident that youth and young energy are synonymous with future, progress, potential and unimaginable creativity. Once this unbridled force gets channelized, it would eventually lead to ripples of wonders and cast a spell of magic all across the globe. And once begun with, this spell would defeat all deterrents and will make the ailing world recuperate forever. To mark this impeccable competence of the rising generation, the UN General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in Lisbon, held on August 8–12, 1998) to declare August 12 as the International Youth Day. This day is dedicated to commemorate young people’s contributions towards peace building, eradication of social evils from the society and in promoting worth of togetherness. The 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development committed to fostering peaceful and inclusive societies and affirmed that “sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security”. The world Programme of Action for Youth, which provides a policy framework and practical guidelines to improve the situation of young people, also encourages “promoting the active involvement of youth in maintaining peace and security”.

All persons between the ages of 15 and 24 are reckoned as the youth, and according to 2010 statistic, they constitute 18% of the global population with 87% of international youth residing in developing countries. The main focus of this observance is to bring into light the rights of the young people to have full access to education, adequate healthcare, employment opportunities, financial services and full participation in public life. IYD (International Youth Day) has established its ideals and they are just not put the constraints of shaping the youth as a passive beneficiary of development efforts, but also to empower them as the driving force for change. Being sources of energy, strength, motivation and foresight, all the nations are to generously make emotional and strategic investments in the youth power, which has the calibre of turning into a rebellious giant to give a 360 degrees turn to the holistic world scenario.

Youth to Strangulate Terror

With every anti- terrorist operation taking place in the valley of Kashmir, one aspect which becomes compulsorily complementary is the killing of civilians, who aim at providing a free passage for the terrorists to flee away, in other words this collateral damage becomes explicitly inevitable and difficult to be expunged. And now arrives one of the most saddening facts about this scenario that these overground workers or civilian sympathisers are the strata of the population which are considered and staged to be the leaders of today as well as inventors of tomorrow; the youth. Why the plan to curb terrorism is mandatorily to end up death of misled civilians as its undesirable repercussion? That is exactly not how the humungous young energy is to be siphoned.

Terrorist groups are well aware of the potential of the young and burning souls and tend to exploit social, economic and political injustices to entice young people through false propaganda that glorifies distorted ideologies, while unscrupulous recruiters using social media to lure unsuspecting teenagers down dangerous roads. This radicalization of young minds is venomous, as destructive ideas flow across borders at the touch of a button or tap of a tweet. The propagators of terrorism efficiently fiddle with the highly sensitive sentiments of youth and hamper their analytic calibre by inciting emotions of rage and revolt.

Nations worldwide have several plans for youth development, employment, education, healthcare and so on and so forth but this all would not alone suffice the needs for a holistic change. The youth needs to be empowered against terrorism, the underlying intent of such vandalizing acts are to be manifested to them, in order to seek their full-fledged support and contribution in order to combat terrorism. Being well versed with the potential of young souls and applauding their enigmatic talent is just the first step, the youth is not be limited to student politics, campaigns and monopoly. But instead, some real efforts are to put in to wipe out the evil with the aid of inventors of tomorrow, where youngsters from across the country are to unite together to plan a fierce counter attack to the evil reigning forces. In India, we have the Indian Youth Club. It is high time for the young leaders to hold the centre stage, speak up their minds, voice their opinions with all their might and the entire world needs to lend their ears to their change igniting views

‘Never say die’— Apex of Youth Spirit

January 12 is the day where dual commemorations take place in India, as the day marks the birthday of one of the greatest Indian monks, Swami Vivekananda and following it up is the National Youth Day. And the reason the day being a shared event is because the enormous belief which Swami Vivekananda had always held in the youth of the nation. What Swami Vivekananda wanted from the youth were ‘muscles of iron’ and ‘nerves of steel’, because massive energy and spirit are prerequisite to working upon any social change and these are also the core of the youth spirit. The only qualification Swami Ji looked for in youngsters was to cultivate and nurture the ability to ‘feel’

And this ability to feel is the sole requirement to ignite the young fuel to light up the path for the mission of peace and progress. Terrorism is not bound to any religion, place, stature or a section of the society. This evil is similar to a beast looking for a prey to fall for its trap, who the prey is, what are the repercussions, this beast is least bothered. The massive and unbridled energy of youth tends to easily fall in the trap of fake vicious concerns of the evil riding forces. As mentioned earlier, one thing should be tied in knots that underestimating the force of young hands is lunatic as well lethal, and this is because if fiddled with, this energy could turn up to a ferocious revolt and if given reverence, it can lead to a future illuminated with peace, humanity and justice.