Losing 44 men in a matter of a few minutes and seeing their bodies and belongings blown to smithereens was too much to process the day it happened. From that day onwards, I made it a point that I wouldn’t watch television to get news updates on the Pulwama attack, I decided to rely on news websites.
If at 18, an individual gets voting rights, it means his/her intellect regarding a matter should be trusted. My gut feeling is that it was impossible to believe that an attack of this scale could have been planned and executed without anyone sensing anything. As far as the ‘surgical strike’ at Balakot goes, I am quite skeptical about that also: if not the act per se, then at least about its impact. However, when I saw Wg Cdr Abhinandan in captivity, it hurt. It just showed how futile wars are. We need to plan and strategize better as a nation to tackle terrorism. War is not the solution, you cannot douse fire with fire.
I was amused, when I saw a group of people burn an effigy of Pakistan. They did not even wait for the effigy to burn completely, they simply walked off as if their share of patriotism ended with a few matchsticks and loud slogans. It was as if everyone wanted to show ‘ke dekho bhaiya humne bhi desh prem ki formality poori kar li.’ Love for the nation isn’t a formality, it is a beautiful feeling that brings about a sense of belonging within you. You don’t need to wear it on your sleeves and show it off on the streets. I think this makes quite clear what I think of candlelight vigils for peace. Each individual needs to take responsibility to maintain peace around him/her and it is enough most of the times.
Many of my friends gave me gyan about which television channel to watch, what line of thought I should follow, but I stood my ground and refrained from television. I am glad I didn’t get swayed easily. I am proud that I always use my power of discernment to assess a situation as a responsible citizen of the country.
Important issues are being sidelined, because of all this war mongering. We youngsters especially need to keep track of the development work, of employment opportunities, for it is our generation’s future at stake. The next five years will be the most crucial phase of our lives. The building blocks of our future will be laid. It is therefore, important for us to make sure that the government we bring into power ensures equitable and sustainable development.
Recently I personally witnessed how nearly thousands of post-graduates and PhDs were applying for Category ‘D’ government jobs. If this is the condition of the well educated, degree-holders, what job opportunities are left for those, who could not avail of better education facilities in the first place? On the other hand, I also feel many youngsters lack courage. If you really have passion for any particular activity or art form, one is bound to make a name for themselves.
But that doesn’t mean that the government can be let off the hook. There are many people, whose family conditions don’t allow them the luxury of following their passions. The government needs to answer on all fronts, ours is a democracy. I have so far voted only once during Vidhan Sabha elections and this would be the first time I would vote during Lok Sabha elections. I would like to make an informed decision, right before the elections so that I have a clearer picture regarding important issues.