by Neha Mudali
The most significant investment that you can make in your people is your time. This is to commemorate the life of the late activist and revolutionary freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad and to stimulate a sense of unity and patriotism among the young generation of the country.
Chandrashekhar Tiwari, popularly known as Chandra Shekhar Azad (23rd July 1906 – 27th February 1931) represents the epitome of the Indian Revolutionaries while still in their twenties. He joins the firmament of stars in the sky such as Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal. They represent the scion of the nation which was inspired by the French Revolution, Bolshevik Revolution, and the Chinese People’s struggles against their mass colonization and repression. They were influenced by the First Indian War of Independence where a disparate group of patriots almost bought the British Empire down!This group of three represented the assertive and action-oriented part of the Swadeshi movement involving the boycott of imported items and action against the partition of Bengal (1905). Chandrashekhar Azad believed in a revolutionary and militant struggle against colonialism, and along with other young freedom fighters Bhagat Singh (1907-31) and Shivaram Rajguru, who though young, were inspired by revolutions throughout the world who wanted an end to colonialism and looting of our country’s wealth.
At present we are living through difficult times. Poverty, lack of jobs, health care, education and wealth disparity between a few and the millions needs tremendous willpower to overcome. India @75 falls far short of expectations as ground surveys show and China @75 shows favourably although both have achieved independence from foreign colonial rule in the late 40’s. Agitating against unjust laws and lack of equity is only one part of the struggle being waged by the youth. Unemployment is the war cry! The youth, i.e., between the ages of 18-35 comprise about 60% of India’s population and they will form the vanguard of all future radical changes in the country. The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) is still 24%, i.e., we have educated only 1/4th of the youth of the country in that particular age group.
There is an urgent need for education in all areas of the country. Be it at railway stations or at traffic junctions or pavement dwellers or religious places, children are the victims of an uncaring society. We must call upon our youth power to teach for 7 hours per week, i.e., one hour a day for seven days, towards serving the most urgent needs of the country, aka child education and saying no to child labour. Quoting Nelson Mandela, another great revolutionary of the world of our times:Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. A dedicated and patriotic youth power can be channelized into education, skill development, organic farming, dairy farming, fisheries or helping the BPL families through the paperwork to be included for already available financial benefits by registering into the financial network of the country.
We may have achieved independence but real independence still deludes us. What Azad achieved in his sacrifice for the country is yet to be achieved. Just as he and Bhagat Singh had predicted, the white colonial masters were replaced with the brown sahibs. The real revolution in the minds has not percolated into the minds of our countrymen. The people of our country are present in 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd centuries. Mercedes jostles with bullock carts in the gullies of Chandni Chowk, Child marriages, female infanticide, religious animosity, casteism, or male domination – still are in vogue. The revered Assamese maestroBhupen Hazarika says in one of his poems (translated): Oh river Ganga! How can you still flow? Seeing the deep poverty of the millions on your shores Oh Ganga – how can you still flow? With the largest youth power in this continent, unleashing the ideological potential of the youth and channeling it in its right direction against any type of injustice – social, economic or lack of equity and opportunity, is the heritage of Chandrashekhar Azad. He was forced to take violence as a weapon to express his deep sadness for his motherland forced to its knees by a colonial power. He understood the adage “Power comes from the barrel of a gun” and adapted to Indian circumstances in the 1st War of Indian Independence. In 2014, Kailash Satyarthi (born on 11 January 1954) obtained the Nobel Peace Prize. He is an Indian social reformer who campaigned against child labor in India and advocated the universal right to education. The intense and geographically spread education movement that Nobel Laureate Satyarthi has spawned is unparalleled, but let a hundred Satyarthi bloom – only then the dreams of Chandrashekhar Azad will be fulfilled!
About the Author:
Neha Mudali is a finance student at IPE Hyderabad. She has a knack for writing and has penned down multiple writeups on her blog.