Our elderly generations claim that the youth today have lost their sense of patriotism. It is an oft-heard slander against the youth of today that the country and it’s people means less than it used to be in the past, that their progeny has failed to uphold ideals of nationhood and solidarity. In fact, it truly is a question worth exploring how much nationalism as a concept, impacts our youth today.
It is perhaps a complaint that the elderly hold against the young that the latter are responsible for the erosion of the cultural fabric of the country. Yet as we progress further into modernity, we need to question once again, what exactly are the standards for our culture? And is the spirit of nationalism truly demising for the youth? What seems in fact, on the contrary, is that the youth today stand to embody polarity in distinct ideas of nationalism as the latter in itself has grown into a prominent discussion in all affairs of daily life.
The country today stands at a juncture where a vigorous form of all-embracing nationhood, often bordering on jingoistic fervour has consumed the young and old. However as political developments of every country remain unique to its individual positioning in the timeline of its national history, a boon of globalization has been that cultures are seen as syncretic and intermingling of values and ideals, especially Western ideals have impacted most civilizations. The youth, therefore, is more aware of new developments across the world.
Youth is that time when one is most open to accepting new ideas and is least affected by preconceived notions in their view towards life. The time when individuals are the most rebellious and experimental. India is lucky to have the youth form a considerable part of the population and a very smart and dynamic youth for that matter. They are the ones fighting for the rights of the oppressed and marginalized and questioning the government when they believe that decisions taken by the former threaten the fabric of unity and harmony of the country.
In recent days, the country’s universities and youth organizations have attracted special attention of the rest of the nation with events that have led several to believe that nationalism is a fast eroding concept for the country’s young. However if one scrutinizes closely, it has always been the youth that has stood up and protested to preserve the ideas enshrined in our Constitution, on which our country is founded. So if we talk about what the Republic Day and the Republic of India mean to the youth of the country, it has perhaps been the youth who have, and in the future shall be the most potent custodians of its constitutional fabric.