I am 22 years old. Generation gap is not a thing of my past, nor is it something that I have in store for my future, but it is the thing of my present. It's a part of my daily life, a battle that I fight everyday. I belong to a different generation- a younger, tech savvy, open minded, enthusiastic generation - A generation of changes, hopes and dreams.
The legacy that we leave for the next generation is a function of our actions, decisions and what we make of the legacy handed to us by our fore-fathers. Today's generation has inherited a planet that is looking for life in other galaxies but is paying no heed to the chaos prevalent at home. We have inherited countries that talk of peace, globalisation and free trade but are so afraid of their neighbours that they won't stop producing weapons. We have inherited business leaders making billions and taking their businesses to new heights, but we have also inherited billion people who can't afford two meals a day. We have inherited a world of high technology penetration, international businesses and political and legal institutions that promise reconciliation of interests but we have also inherited exuberant public debts, a wide income gap, an environment at risk and a bleak economic, social and political outlook. So with this double edged legacy, we now have to do the best that we can.
India : The current scenario
India's current economic situation is characterised by high inflation(WPI-6.1%), rising interest rates, declining GDP growth rate (from 9% in 2008 to 4.4% now), weak currency (record low of 64.12 against the dollar), a huge CAD (4.9% of GDP), inability to attract capital and threat of a downgrade.
Poverty (41% population living below $1.25/day), gender discrimination, uneven wealth distribution (top 5% owning 38% of assets) and unemployment are the most distressing social evils which are weakening the growth factor of the Indian society. Corruption (bribes, tax evasion) and illiteracy add on to the problem.
Political situation in India is unstable, turbulent, unpredictable and fragile. There is no single large party and pushing key reforms through an alliance government is almost next to impossible, resulting in a policy paralysis. Growth and development of the country is secondary to the political parties; power and personal growth takes priority.
In summary, we have inherited a country that is dealing with tough economic, social and political weather. It will be wrong to blame the previous generation for the mess, as they played the hand dealt to them in the best way they could. The onus is now on the younger generation to contribute their bit, mould the country and the world as they wish to see it. This involves drafting a new generational contract defining mutual responsibilities on an economic and social level.
Perhaps the greatest challenge to implementing successful youth leadership activities is the perception (or misperception) that adults and youth have of each...