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All of us are well aware of the recent happenings in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi and the big hue
& cry by the media about political interference in student life, freedom of expression etc. We will talk
about all that a bit later but the point I was trying to bring out right now is the perception of the
political class that Students have a big role in the future of the country and they cannot be ignored. Our
thought process, our ideology are all going to shape the future of our country. To quote Benjamin
Disraeli, a 19th century British politician, "The youth of a nation are the trustees of Posterity"
So, what role do we see for ourselves in the development of our country. Do we feel we have the power
to change the future of our country? If we think we cannot, then its time to change our thinking. Its
time to understand our power and our role as future standard bearers of our country. It's time to take
steps to see that our ideas matter and we are not ignored. We are a young generation with fresh ideas
and new outlook on how things should be run. We form a large majority who will attain voting rights
soon and in a position to choose our leaders. Hence we need to look at our role and responsibility
towards our nation very seriously.
Let us first understand what we mean by Nation building. A nation does not mean just its land or
physical boundaries. A nation means its people, their prosperity, their well being, their security. When
we say Nation building, we are not talking of increasing the boundaries of our country, making it bigger
in size. We are talking of making our nation economically stronger, politically stronger, with all people
leading a healthy & prosperous life. How can we do this?
First and foremost, we need to have a Vision for our country. Where do we see our country and
ourselves in the next 20 years? Keep in mind, we are talking long term goals here and not the near
future. Let us not be discouraged by the corruption, sycophancy, crony capitalism of this day and be
resigned to our fate. Let us think big and see the future as we want it.
Second, we need to have a road map for change. What needs to be changed, is it possible to change,
how to go about this change, how to make the change permanent and acceptable? This will be no easy
task. There will be hurdles. There will be resistance. There will be differing views. It is upto us, how we
take all obstacles in our stride to move forward on the road map of prosperity for our country.
Third, is the most difficult part which is actual implementation. How can ideas & concepts on paper be
translated into reality. The scale, the magnitude of this task is tremendous & we cannot even perceive
the enormity of the task at this moment. However, the groundwork can be laid now by our networking
skills. We should be reaching out to our local groups, expand our circles of influence, interact with
various factions, understand the thought process, accept the good, weed out the bad, develop plans.
We waste numerous hours on social media forwarding jokes etc which can be better utilised in
developing our network of like minded people. When we are able to amass a huge base of like minded
individuals and keep alive the idea of change as we move up in life, there will be a time when our
efforts will fructify and we will see actual results of our action.
Many of the recent uprisings against injustice in several countries have been fuelled & ignited by
students who have come together to change the course of their countries. As we move on for higher
studies to Universities we will come across bigger groups having their own vested interests and areas
of interest. This is where we need to be careful and not lose sight of the real objective and get fooled
by false promises & showbiz. Political parties and other influential groups want to mould us students as
per their needs to fulfill their ill interests. Every political party has a student's union where the leaders
are so called "students" who should have been out of college years ago. Such outfits are tarnishing the
image of other student groups which may be fighting for really good causes. We should remain
conscious of whom we associate with towards our goal of a great nation. Illiterate & unthinking people
will be swayed by big words but we as educated students should remain steadfast.

It will be a long process to change the present condition of our country, to change the mindset of the
political class, to change the moral values of people, to change the concept of responsibility &
accountability, to change the perception of other countries, to change our position from a developing
country to a developed nation. But the first step has to be taken by us students now so that when our
children are in the position we are in now, their vision for the nation should not be the same as ours
today, but a bigger goal on the global arena.
I will conclude with a quote by our ex President Shri APJ Kalam, who said "For me there are two types of
people, the Young & the experienced". We may be young now but let us gain experience, learn from
our elders and play our role in the task of developing our nation into a global leader.