By Dr Mahender Thakur
On January 12, 2022, India i.e. Bharat will celebrate its annual National Youth Day in honor of Swami Vivekananda, the saffron monk and philosopher of India. Also, this day is known as Swami Vivekananda Jayanti. A special youth day also recognizes the important role of youth in the progress and development of the nation. Young people have always played an important role in any type of progress or change in the world. Youth represents progress in all its forms. Youth is being able to act. Young people are compassionate. It makes them happy when others are happy. The suffering of others makes them sad. If possible, they also try to alleviate the suffering of others. As Vivekananda said so well: “Fear is the greatest sin”. Fear, on the other hand, is a form of entertainment for young people. Do seniors indulge in dangerous bike stunts or mountaineering? I believe the answer is a resounding NO. In this epidemic era of COVID-19, the world has witnessed the intensity of social effort and awareness promoted by the youth. India is the only country in the world with a young population of 60-65%. In this sense, India is the youngest country in the world. This is why events like National Youth Day are so important in countries like India.
National Youth Day: Brief History
Swami Vivekananda (birth name Narendra) was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), West Bengal on January 12, 1863. Motivationally and inspirationally, his life and teachings are extremely valuable to the youth of India. The Indian government decided in 1984 to commemorate Swami Vivekananda’s birthday (January 12 of that year) as National Youth Day, or Rashtriya Yuva Diwas in Hindi. One of Swami Vivekananda’s greatest messages to young people is: “Forward! After ages of wrestling, a character is built. Do not be discouraged. A word of truth can never be lost; for centuries it may be hidden under garbage, but sooner or later it will show itself. Truth is indestructible, virtue is indestructible, purity is indestructible. Virtue is indestructible, purity is indestructible.
The country’s youth become enthusiastic participants in a variety of social and academic events. Swami Vivekanand said, “Take risks in your life. If you win, you can lead! If you lose, you can lead!
Two recent examples put together by two young people from Sahadol, Madhya Pradesh, support Vivekanand’s quote.
- Dr. Pankaj Sharma, who quit his job to set up a free physical training center with the aim of instilling a sense of patriotism and providing jobs for young people. More than 60 youths have been recruited into the Indian Police and Army through Dr. Pankaj’s initiatives in recent years. Dr. Pankaj bears all the costs of this training center entirely out of his own pocket.
- Shailja is a young Shahdol girl. The financial situation of the family is quite precarious. His spirits, on the other hand, are extremely high. Her ambition was to become a professional wrestler. However, the lack of financial means and training in his region was a stumbling block. Dr. Pankaj Sharma has been contacted. He encouraged her to go trekking and arranged for her training. Shailja is now the first mountaineer in the Vindhya region of Madhya Pradesh. In 2021, Shailaja made her first attempt to climb Friendship Summit, a 17,500 foot hill. Today, the famous Hindi newspaper Nai Duniya reported that Shailja is back after conquering the 12,500ft high Kedarkantha peak.
This is the importance of the word ‘risk’ as quoted by Swami Vivekanand. National Youth Day celebrations can play an important role in the lives of young people across the country, motivating them to strive for “Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat, Aatamnirbhar Bharat and Innovative Bharat”. Because this India, also known as Bharat, is YUVA BHARAT.
(The author is a Himachal-based educator, columnist and social activist. Twitter @Mahender_Chem. Opinions expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online.)