Sadly this write up has turned up limping and late, for the reason that I was held up at the Interaction I attended at Synod College, Shillong which was followed immediately by a meeting I had at the Church I attend, but for what it’s worth it’s better late than never. I am finally able to jot down the events only early the following morning as the Interaction and my other commitments kept me busy till late in the evening.
On the whole, things at the Interaction went fairly well (considering that I felt I was being thrown into a lions’ den) in the sense that the auditorium was impressive and the seats were all filled by the time I got there even the gallery was filling up with the undergraduates for whom this programme was planned. Nine political parties participated – familiar faces. I almost felt like I was in my turf, which obviously indicates that my way of life is becoming gradually so entrenched and inwardly connected.
The programme however could have been coordinated better. We were given only five minutes to lay out our party’s plans and programmes – I needed at least twenty – and the speakers were to speak in Khasi which was not intimated in the invitation letter – and I had prepared mine in English – the subject matter was supposed to be specific to “The programmes and Policies” of the political party concerned which sadly was abandoned very early in the programme: no time limit for the Q&A left the audience with a free hand to ask anything and with a limitless number of questions on everything. That said it was still a very robust platform, and somewhat dramatic, especially at the end when the older generation came out with their annoyance and fatigue at the way things were developing these days, which is one thing the oldies despise.
When everything is rushing and pushing itself towards a goal chance vanishes, that is how I felt throughout the proceedings. Everything becomes a necessity and one must stand up ready for anything in such an environment. Only those that are as unbreakable as brass can survive in these circumstances because of the momentum that the election train has gathered and thankfully we all did…or so it seems.
I was taken by surprise to find the younger generation in support of the ideas and the proposals and the possibilities that were available to them in the existing schemes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. From their expression I could decipher that they were generally unhappy with what they were going through in life because they were not getting the opportunities to apply their wisdom, their knowledge, their strength in anything that they were doing, and they were left flickering somewhat and thus caught in a state of unsteady desperation.
On observing this I knew I had a window of opportunity to attract their attention as I had collected some data on the beneficiaries of the Prime Minister’s programmes in the State. I distinctly felt they wanted opportunities and there were a number that I made known to them. Their situation led me to think that there is something wrong as regards the dissemination of the schemes that the State has in the interest of the youth, for I am inclined to think that there is an egoism that lurks in this matter which compels people always to think privileged of themselves whereas the genius, in the fullness of his health always thinks only of others, involuntarily blessing and healing wherever he may place his hand. “Every sick man is a rascal”.
I read that somewhere, and what a host of sickness men have, e.g. the very widespread sickness of Peacockism. Somewhere in the government files and bureaucracy, opportunities for the youth are lying buried. As a party we must do something about it because if we don’t then we as a party are not being as productive as we can, and we are to blame. Leaving things to the State government is the surest way to ruin the opportunities for the youth. The youth today do not respect us for age but for the ideas and the opportunities we tell them that are available. They think differently from how we think, do differently from how we did, and we need to get in sync with their way of thinking and doing.
We have the opportunity to help them become who and what they want to be and we must do this for them, so that they overcome themselves and join the productive and not remain as idle spectators. All we need to do is show them the opportunities, let them take and they will take power in their hands and that way we would have served the party and the people of the State. I even implored the learned youth to take on politics, to come join me in bringing the learned and the knowledgeable to the field of politics, the kind who can bring decency and dignity to this noble profession because the bunch we have now are just not the best. Because the choice in an election is no more between the good guy and the bad guy but the bad guy and the ‘badder’ guy and that in electing anyone we are being untrue to our moral principles.
The older generations are the ones who cannot change and I discovered yesterday that they are our main opposition – they don’t listen to what others have to say and they don’t want to listen to what needs to be done to get over the troubles that our youth are facing: basically common sense eludes them, they want to stick to their old ways because essentially they have no strength to try to overcome themselves to try and take the new ways that have come to stay and which one has to re-learn in order to adapt to this day and time – their days are surely gone.
It is only the young who can see the honesty behind the schemes and the programmes that are there, that are lying half dead in some government file, they just don’t know how to get there because of the protocol built into the bureaucratic system. I admire the courage they have to face the reality of life, the reality that talking is not enough the reality that getting things done for themselves and by themselves is their only way to succeed – all they want to know is how to go about getting their hands on these ladders of opportunity – and now they have come o know that the ladders are there. Perhaps the consultants put up these impenetrable barriers. This is my honest opinion from yesterdays’ interaction.
Towards the end of the show (5:30pm) a young mother wanted to know how to get her due from the “Rs.50 for 30 kg” rice scheme and I had to explain it to her and frankly I know that when she goes about it the windows might open to late and close too early. I have taken the matter up with the party and recommended that these schemes be carried out through the headmen of the localities. A disabled youth wanted to know how to get his due from the Skill Development Scheme of the Prime Minister and it was a pleasure for me to lend a hand. Our party must wake up to these matters. As a spokesperson of the party I ask, can we do something about it?
(The writer is a spokesperson of the BJP in Meghalaya)
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