It’s the year 2022, just 1 year and 4 months left in the next general elections in India where India will be choosing the government for the next 5 years. I was reading a book written by one of the former presidents of the Indian union, a scientist, a saint, and a visionary. Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam jolted our minds to write this. Fortunately, during my school days in the year 2005, I got a chance to listen to him live when he visited our city Jaipur. Dr. Kalam was president of the country back then and we listened to him for complete 2 hours. Having barely any knowledge about his life and work was left stunned merely by his presence, a man not at all good looking not having any glitter and glamour around him was visible to me with a clear HALO of light around him. Then after I got to read his book ‘Ignited Minds’ which was gifted to me on my birthday. Let me admit here that the book was kept unread with me for years. Many years after I read that book and also got to learn about Dr. Kalam and his life’s works and the contribution he has made to the development of this nation’s space and defense programs, he is for a reason called the missile man of India. But greater than his academics and professional successes were his character and his love for the motherland and humanity. The way Dr. Kalam carried his life with supreme and unseen before dignity and integrity it won’t be wrong to say that a man like him takes birth in centuries and the vacuum he left would never be filled again.
How our voting style adversely affects Kalam’s vision for India?
Now, what is the connection of writing this today? And what is Dr. Kalam’s mention have to do with upcoming general elections? Let me answer the first question, why am I writing this today. As I was reading one of his books ‘Forge Your Future’ it just struck my mind that on the day I listened to him live in December 2005 in Jaipur’s Maharana Pratap Auditorium he mentioned his vision for India 2020. Dr. Kalam also wrote one book named India 2020 a vision for the new millennium. Not only this, his dream of seeing India as a developed, strong nation with youth running the charge and leading the administration and social life reforms is evident in all his books and most of his speeches. The man had a great vision to watch the country and society in a mature, peaceful, prosperous, and righteous place above all, and for all of it, he believed in the youth that was the reason for which he always preferred to connect with the students and he in fact delivered hundreds of speeches and question-answer sessions for students throughout the country. For the great man had high hopes that this upcoming generation would carry the dream forward and ultimately to his dream vision by the year 2020.
He believed in his heart that the energy and power to dream that youth carries is a formidable force that would realize the dream of a developed India.
Now let’s move to the 2nd question of his connection with the upcoming general elections of the world’s largest democracy. Today when I look around and see the mindset and approach of the young I feel that we have failed the great man. If we leave a handful of our young who have done great in their respective fields or public domain there is not much to be proud of. The majority of the young are either unmotivated or trapped in chasing money and entertainment. The young are rarely seen discussing solutions to widespread problems of poverty, education, and politics of hate and I can write down another 1000 words in this list. But let me not diverge from the main concern which is the lethargic mindset of our young which ultimately leads to a lethargic lifestyle to compensate for which we dwell in search of cheap entertainment or escapism through various means.
Dr. Kalam himself said that a fulfilled life of abundance and prosperity is no sin but have we as a nation with the highest percentage of young people lived up to his expectations? Can we really introspect and say that today India is where he wanted it to be when we stand on the verge of 2023? The crux of this writing is to make ourselves awaken so that we don’t fall trapped in the hands of political parties’ marketing campaigns and biased media houses slamming and shouting their own agendas and propaganda. This time we all need to rise above the social media bashing of leaders and just observe using our intellect the suitable candidates. The socio-political framework that we have makes it hard for good leaders to come up instead of people with some muscle background or money to become victorious with no intention of doing good after winning.
We must stand for ourselves and literally ignite the minds of the young throughout the country. This time choose a well-educated candidate with a clean background, don’t go and vote for a party don’t go and vote for whom you want to see as Prime Minister, instead just look for the right candidate research a bit before voting, and choose the right leader for your constituency. Let us not wait for someone to create magic for us and let us stand tall on our own feet and use the strength of our intellect in all the coming elections as political will and the nature of a country’s politics decides its direction. Let us carry the dream of great Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam forward. It may take 5 or even 10 more years in the future to reach closer to that dream but the later we would start the later we would reach there.