Youths are the future of our society. How our society will look like in the future—whether harmonious or conflictual, tribalism or unity, rampant corruption or accountability—depends on the kind of person the youth grow up to be. If they are taught to be respectful, assiduous and exercise sound judgment, then we no doubt have a cause for optimism. Indeed, the present generation and the prevailing conditions of our society have placed a herculean task on our youths. Yet, despite such an enormous task, the youths are ready to accept this colossal obligation with ‘responsibility.’
The Power of Youth
We always talk about what our youths will become in their later years. The more pertinent question however is, where are the youths when they are needed? What are you as a youth doing? Don’t you want to come out of your shell and raise your voice against violence, corruption and all the backdoor appointments? The youth are full of energy, power, and strength with voices loud enough to be heard, so why let your youth be a waste? The youths have the power to bring about change, express relevant views against all forms of dishonesty.
We young Nagas have a responsibility towards our state. We can, and will be the pillars of our government, our churches, and our societies. Why are we then allowing our voices to be tamed? We cannot expect a better tomorrow if we are wasting our life today in useless activities or by taking part in all the unwanted political activities. After all, our present represents our future. It is true that there are some responsible Naga youths who are striving to bring about positive impact, but what about the rest? Why do we delight in scoffing them?
For instance, can we really find a true political leader who deeply cares for the welfare of the people? More importantly, are we willing to get into politics for the betterment of our state? The dream of traveling peacefully in Nagaland seems to be an abstract concept, what with the abundance of potholes on the roads. Students bear the brunt of corruption at various levels when their scholarships are not given at the right time. When the Central Government has already sanctioned the money to our state government, why is there a delay?
Through various folktales and legends we know that our Naga forefathers were honest, truthful, and willingly volunteered themselves for the betterment of the society. Is our generation bearing any resemblance to the men of the past? If things go on as they are, with people placing their own needs ahead of the society’s, I can see a very dark future.
The first thing required to tackle corruption is awareness of what is happening. These days social media is playing an important role in creating awareness among the people, which according to me is really appreciable. Social media is important and necessary for all the people but thing is that people, especially the youths tend to misuse it. The youths don’t shy away from ‘poking’ each other and tagging friends in random pictures but perhaps are ”afraid” to speak up on important issues and use this platform to fight for change. We do have The Naga Blog and other similar forums, but more active participation is required.
These are a few concerns which I as a Naga youth have. Is the youth there only for blaming the local government? For instance, take the example of the politicians who we so blissfully blame for the bad roads and all the pitiable facilities. Aren’t we the ones who elected them? Many don’t vote for the deserving candidate for the person who bribed them, and of course, later blame them for not being responsible for social welfare. We are reckless and take decisions randomly. Do we analyse the possible effects our actions may have? At times we are like fire, unthinking, furious and upbeat, and later after everything has gone wrong, we turn into ice acting as if nothing has happened. Let’s think twice before we act!
In my opinion, the youths should raise their voice but not just for the sake of doing it, and then the change will surely come. If all of us unite and stand together with one motto ‘towards a better tomorrow’, then I am sure that we will be successful in whatever we do today. It will have a positive impact on our society. I dream of a better Nagaland, where the government functions without any corruption, where free and fair elections would be held, and the elected politicians give their best to help society improve, where we can travel in comfortable fast lanes, where basic medical facilities and education would be provided to all, where we don’t have to buy jobs, but get it through our hard work, where evils like tribalism, racism, and illegal taxations would all stop, where there is true equality of genders. The list is a long one, but I believe it is achievable!
It’s high time now that we, the youths, take our responsibilities seriously! The future is ours to build! Let Nagaland be known for its rich cultural heritage and dynamic citizens. Let’s make Nagaland a place where you and I would be proud to stand and say that, “I am a Naga by birth, and I am proud of being a Naga!” If you want to see the change tomorrow, then start changing your today.
Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognized Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr. Hewasa Lorin, Anjan Behera, Dr. Salikyu Sangtam, Nivibo Yiki, and Kvulo Lorin. For feedback or comments please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.