India is massive. Any other way to explain it fails miserably. India is huge on everything — people, dreams, corruption — you name it and it’s there in large proportions. Amidst the daily struggles of life and living, the people that shine through for the things that matter are the Indian youth.
Since we’ve had our freedom back in 1947, India has transformed drastically. It has borrowed ideas and methods of functioning from the world and it has opened its doors to opportunity and growth. But here’s the catch — while there is a great focus on India’s infrastructural growth, the focus for its cultural growth is barely ever discussed. The concept of equality is intricately linked to culture because it is culture that teaches us how to interact with and respond to the world. It is culture that explains the limits and boundaries around us.
By virtue of culture being a thing that evolves and changes, culture is also capable of accommodation. The general Indian culture is, by and large, considered to be restrictive and claustrophobic due to the various pressures the older generations indirectly put on the young. Experience with age has always had an upper hand in Indian culture and we’ve been taught to obey with disregard to logic or feelings when it comes to words of advice and lessons of time that the older generation dished out lavishly. But, it is India’s youth, often rebellious and trailblazing altogether, that has questioned the very same cultural beliefs that prevented accommodation and change. When culture becomes a straitjacket for its young, the effort to break out increases, hitting a fever pitch.
It is that fever pitch where India’s youth has risen to fight for equality. It fights against the patriarchy, the systems that keep old, rich and corrupt men elected as leaders of a nation with far more to offer than it already does. India’s youth has the same courage as the leaders that brought about India’s freedom. This courage is framed within a different picture and exists in a different world but it’s squirming under its skin and transforming India with the fearless and incisive desire of its youth. The young, for all their lack of experience and freshness, are a force to reckon with for their sheer desire to fight for the right to be treated as equals. Equality in every domain is more humane, more real, more in touch with being honest to our true selves.
India’s youth has been fighting and will continue to fight for the equality it deserves. They’ll slug it out on trains, rickshaws and on foot to make a difference, to make something change for the better. When there is courage and a vision, India’s youth is the first to arrive at the finish line.