India is regarded as the most youthful country in the world. More than sixty per cent of the population comprise of young people. It has become very essential to awaken such a massive potential (energy) and channelling it in right direction. The progress made by science and technology has hugely accelerated the pace of the world. It wouldn’t be possible to keep pace with the rapid progress without bringing together both the mature experience and the youthful energy.
Fire is a kind of energy. It is stored in a static form in wood, coal, oil and other fuels. That energy needs to be awakened or activated using some processes. Once the energy gets activated, it must be engaged or channelled in some useful task. Otherwise, it will either go waste or can even end up causing harm. Therefore, the plans to channel energy in right direction must be formulated alongside any efforts made to awaken them.
The same principle applies to youth energy. There should be some proper plans already in place to engage heir energy alongside any attempts made to rouse their energy. The youths who are lying idle or living with no hope or are muddle-headed haven’t realised their potentials yet. The youths who are misguided and wasting their potentials in drugs, alcohol, fashion; and those who are engaged in antisocial behaviour, crime, gang activities, terrorism, etc. can be regarded as the ones who have lost their way. Both these categories of youths deserve urgent attention and a thorough and timely remedy. Both the above-mentioned classes of youths have inadvertently become the forces that are creating more problems for society when they should have been actually helping to resolving them. This isn’t a pleasant scenario for any society or nation.
The youths who are simply living an everyday ordinary life and earning livelihood only for them too cannot be regarded as being in a satisfactory situation. Every youth hasmany more times energy within them than that needed to earn their daily livelihood. Earning daily living needs a very small proportion of energy they have. The rest of their energy would either lie dormant or get wasted on fulfilling petty interests.
The youths need to be made aware about their great human potentials as well as their moral obligations. Their enthusiasm and competencesneed to be boosted. Besides, they need to be endowed with an outlook that can help them walk on the path of human ideals. This is the very foundation that will help India to develop in keeping with its great heritage and can help the world with India’s boundless boons. With this glorious aim, All World Gayatri Pariwar has decided to celebrate 2016 as Yuva Kranti Varsh i.e. Youth Revolution Year.
Understand and implement the action plans for Yuva Kranti Varsh (Youth Revolution Year)
Decide a clear-cut and time bound goal and move ahead quickly with endless enthusiasm
Create a brilliant surge
It has been decided to celebrate the year 2016 as Yuva Kranti Varsh i.e. Youth Revolution Year. From Vasant Parva of 12 February, this campaign will be given a brilliant momentum. The speed and brilliance of Youth Revolution Year should perfectly match its name. The words ‘revolution’ and ‘youth’ are both synonymous with the word brilliance. Therefore, it should also have a brilliant start, swift progress and instantly recognizable results. If we make systematic efforts, we will naturally get the most advantageous help and support from The Divine. We would be able to produce such a brilliant wave that can stop the wastage and misuse of youth power as well as make it principled, capable and helpful. Therefore, we shouldquickly make a start as per our action plans.
A national youth brainstorming camp was organised from 4 to 15 November 2015 at Pujya Gurudev’s birthplace Anwalkheda where several suggestions about practical programmes were received. Following an in-depth consideration of all these suggestions, the following action points were decided to guide all our activities so as to bring about a better era.
Youth Awakening and Youth membership drive
The main aim of Youth Revolution Year is to make youths aware about their merits and potentials and to awaken them. The awakened youths should been courage to join Yug Nirman movement which is actively working to fulfil the challenging needs of the time and to bring about bright future for each and every individual. It is possible that the youth pursuing other faiths, sects and social organizations may not be keen on Gayatri sadhana but the formulae or recipies of Yug Nirman(the programmes to create a better era for all) have gained universal acceptance and thought to be worth implementing by the most. Therefore, we should enlist the youths to these programmes.
We should also educate them that it isn’t appropriate for youth power to passively go with the prevailing flow. They should move ahead towards the definite aim like an arrow moving towards its target and in doing so, they may have to go against the prevailing flow just as a fish swims against the stream of water or an eagle flies against the gush of wind. This requires them to build up their character or personality to make it much stronger and fitter than normally needed.
The younger generation instinctively join in many campaigns or movements.However, most movements have been seen either gone extinct or lost their steam after some time.The reason being, they didn’t pay much attention to refining and strengthening their character to be able to stand up to the challenges, difficulties, fear and temptations that naturally come in the way. We need to pay especial attention in this direction.
Accomplishing the goal of making of Nation through making of character
The unique aspect of our movement is that the younger generation are enthused and trained to adopt the approach of moving towards the goal of making of the Nation by means of making of character. Most great thinkers have indeed tried to point in the same direction.
Taitarīya Upanishad: Youths should be good mannered, good natured, studious, well-aware and polite yet determined (having a soft heart but a steely determination).
Swami Vivekananda says: My child, what I want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel, inside which dwells a mind of the same material as that of which the thunderbolt is made.
Yug Rishi Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya says: “We need such youths who have unparalleled enthusiasm, heroic efforts and, hot blood but cool head. They should be as good as Hanuman in spirit.”
We will have to find and develop exemplary youths as pointed out in above thoughts or quotes. We need to make their thinking, character and conduct; virtues, actions and nature principled. We will have to teach them those methods of Upasana (connecting to God) that can go well with their individual belief, to help them develop their Ishwar-nishthā, i.e. dedication to God. We will have to coach them in jivan sadhana, a methodical approach towards self-development and self-improvement to help them develop their atma-nishtha i.e. dedication to self and self-esteem. We need to engage them in sewa i.e. in the tasks of helping community to help them develop, samaj-nishtha, i.e. dedication to society.
An effective structure and system need to be developed to train the youths to help them develop effective character and engage in the activities as well as to train the trainers. Gayatri tirtha Shantikunj has set up a programme of special training camps for this purpose which will run throughout the year. Similar training camps will be run in various regions as and when needed. The training will include delivering inspiring talks; becoming an efficient organizer, manager and coordinator;managing various activities, etc.
Many different types of activities to awaken youths will be run at various educational institutions, schools, colleges, universities, vocational training centres, etc. This will involve talks by inspiring orators, rallies, pictorial exhibitions and video exhibitions.
In addition to activities run at educational institutions, various other small or big public programmes to awaken youths in villages and towns should be organized as per local situations. This campaign can be given greater momentum with the help and support of other community groups as well.
We should train such orators who can deliver talk to youths of different beliefs, persuasions and lifestyles to make them aware about our campaign in the way that goes well with their beliefs. These orators can be young as well as elderly.
Youths who get inspired by our campaign should be joined up in local youth groups formed according to local situations. Those who believe in Gayatri Pariwar ideology and style can be joined up to and made active in Gayatri Pariwar Youth Groups. Those who belong to other religions, sects and organizations can be encouraged to be part of the middle ground DIYA (Divine India Youth Association) which is in fact an integral part of Gayatri Pariwar youth group.
DIYA should be formed in various community groups. The worship and self-development routines for them can be tailored to match their faith. In this way, DIYA groups could be established in various social and religious organizations. They will work together to advance various movements and campaigns. In the same way, an on-going effort will be made to establish new groups and to regroup and reviveolder fragmented groups.
Seven mega movements and five mega campaigns
Youth groups will be inspired and trained to work towards accomplishing seven mega movements as per their interests and local necessities. These are Sādhana or self-development;a Literacy drive; Health; Self-reliance; Drug and addiction free society as well as getting rid of evil traditions; Environment and;Women awakening and empowerment. Similarly,we should try to inspire them to join in the five mega campaigns of youth movement. These are Yuvā joḍo (youth membership drive), Nirmal Ganga-jal saṅrakshaṇ (Ganga cleaning and water conservation); Vriksha Ganga-Harītima saṁvardhan(a massive tree plantation and conservation drive); Bāl-sanskārshālā (schools for teaching cultural values to children and training them to be good citizens); ĀdarshGrāmYojanā (making each and every village of India a model village).
Many passionate and sensible youths affiliated not only to Gayatri Pariwar but many other organizations as well have been willingly joining the aforesaid mega movements and campaigns. We need to put special efforts in inspiring, joining and engaging them. They can help either individually or in group in one or more of the above mega movements or campaigns as per prevailing situations.
Campaign in rural and urban zones
Our campaign need to be run both in the rural and urban areas for which youth gatherings, youth expo (dialogues), etc. will be held throughout the year. Urban and rural youths will be inspired to work for cultural and financial self-reliance depending on their mind-set and needs. We need to give emphasis to developing cottage industries in the villages and technical skills in the town and cities for which cooperation and help of experts in various areas will be sought.
From among empathetic youths, some such youths will be sought who could contribute three months to a year of their time to help in this campaign. They could find some free time soon after finishing their education and before joining a job. The youths working in seasonal occupations may easily get time for this in the intervening season. They can be trained in some particular field and can then be sent to other areas to accomplish some particular aims. For this, we should settle a minimum target of youths in each region and need to put in concerted efforts to increase the numbers and capability of travelling youth workers.
Self-reliant loka-sewi(altruistic volunteers)
When launching the Yug Nirman school at Gayatri Tapobhoomi, Mathura, Yug Rishi said, “I wish to give the world such loka-sewi workers (altruistic volunteers) who would survive not on the welfare aids given to them but will earn their own livelihood themselves.”
The younger generation will be inspired and trained to transform Gurudev’s aforesaid thoughts into a visible campaign. The youths to whom this idea appeals should come together to form a group, create a source of income to be easily able to live a life of an ordinary Indian, and use the rest of their time in helping the community. They can be called Swalokam in Hindi (the short form of Swavlambi Lokasewi Mandal, i.e. a group of self-reliant altruistic volunteers) or SERVE (Self-reliant Voluntary Establishment) in English. Some committed youths of our mission and some students of Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalay have already tried out this idea successfully on a small footing. Now it needs to be transformed into an effective campaign.
The sources of resources
The resources needed to run Youth Revolution movement will be sought through the principle of samay-dāna and aṅsha-dāna (individuals contributing a part of their personal time and resources). The contribution of time by volunteers will meet the manpower needs and the contribution of resources will meet the needs of funds and material resources. Individuals can decide to contribute their time and resources to the tasks they are interested in.
Nothing needs to be told to those who cannot see beyond their selfish interests and comforts. However, those who have at least some empathy for our culture, community and nation can utilize 23 out of 24 hours for their own needs and easily set aside one hour daily for society. If we can mentor 100 such individuals in every district, each district will be benefited by 100x30=3000 hours of time of talented people every month. Well planned use of that time can bring about miraculous results. In the same way, the contribution of resources by empathetic people too can add up to enough resources. There would be no lack of resources wherever empathy abounds.
The element of revolution:
The course of youth revolution should be intense and wide spreadas its name suggests. Not all transformations can be labelled as revolutions. Revolution should essentially have three indispensable ingredients:
Passion means correct awareness:
- Right direction: Revolution happens only for noble purpose to fulfil the needs of the time. The aim of Yuva Kranti or Youth Revolution is that the youths awaken their potentials and worthy values and engage themselves to achieve some ideal aim.
- Rapid pace: Revolutions are swift. There are 65 crore (650million) youths in our country. If we can awaken even one per cent of them, we can hope to join at least 65 lac (6.5 million) youths in this campaign and this should be our aim.
- Far-reaching: The revolution cannot remain restricted to a small area. It happens simultaneously in wider area. Its effect should be visible in every class of people (organizations; caste, class, creed and gender; faiths and sects; rich or poor) and in every region of India, if not worldwide. The spread of youth revolution should also be managed in a revolutionary fashion.
Youths naturally have passion. Acharya Vinoba says, “Youths naturally have zeal. And those who don’t have enthusiasm or zeal cannot be categorised as youths.” Therefore, it is very important to emphasize that passion and awareness must go hand in hand.
Awareness has two aspects—awareness about one’s own potentials and awareness about utilising those potentials in right direction. The Rishis imparted both kinds of awareness to Dhruve, Prahlad, Ratnakar and Hanuman. In the same way, we too have an easy access to Rishis’ guidance.Rishi discipline:
There is a hymn from the eighth chapter of BrahmānaṅdavallīinTaitarīya Upanishad which clearly spells out how a youth should be. It says:
युवा स्यात् साधु युवाध्यायकः।
आशिष्ठो दृढिष्ठो बलिष्ठः॥This means:
Be youthful; be a good mannered youth; be studious, courteous, determined and strong. Each word of this hymn is of essence. Let us look into it.
- Yuva syat – The Rishi says that one should becomea youth in a real sense. Young age is inherently gifted with creative energy. Only thosewho have enthusiasm to do something new are trulyyouth. Nothing less can meet the criteriaof being youth.
- Sadhuyuva– A youth should be good mannered and law abiding person so that he/she doesn’t get lost on evil path. This requires each youth to keep cultivating the following four virtues:
- Adhyayakaḥ - Youth should regularly keep studying good thoughts to help them keep away from unworthy thoughts.
- Ashiṣṭho – The youth should be thoroughly courteous (he/she should expresscourtesy in thinking, conduct and speech and be respectful towards others.)
- Draḍhiṣṭho – The decision reached on the basis of mature thinking should be implemented with a dogged determination.
- Baliṣṭhaḥ - Youths should be strong to be able to fulfil their duties and to struggle against evil.
All reconstructive activities will indeed be included as usual to promote our campaign but we should always strive to conform to the abovementioned Rishi’s guiding principles.