Who am I?An Indian Teen’s Identity Crisis

NOTE:This was the article I wrote for the What’s My ID Contest for Youth Ki Awaaz. I won a Nokia Lumia 710 and an internship with them. Here’s the picture :

Nokia Lumia 710 Won By Siddharth Gupta for What's My ID Contest for Youth ki Awaaz

As a seventeen year old teen, I can confidently say I’m an Indian who is astonished by India daily. With the second highest population in the world, the only way of describing us is “we’re everywhere”. Some rejoice by this unique factorial, claiming it to be a bright prospect for the country’s future. But what I, and most of today’s youth sees, is a situation of identity crisis. A situation that doesn’t look good at all.

Today, every child, by the sole act of his birth, acquires multiple tags, which already define him before he or she can logically think. When a foreign dignitary visits India, the first lesson they learn is of our cultural integrity, but they never learn of our inhumane and excruciatingly complex divide. May it be on the geographical distribution of states, or of the language rolled off their tongues, we have a nasty little intuition to immediately separate each other out. It’s interesting to note that most of the geographical and language issues are simply banal. Consider this: at the time of our independence, we had 15 odd states which today stand at 28. Looking at certain separatist movements, we may see an increase in the number. But the point that stands out is that over time, fragmentation, re-merging of areas, division etc stops mattering because over the years, the only common link geographically between people has remained that of belonging to a common nation- India.

Moving on to the touchy issue, caste based discrimination. It’s not that we are not trying to move past it. With each passing generation, the emerging youth of India has slowly worked towards making it a figment of history. Unfortunately, our social stigmas and laws haven’t caught up. As a child when my mother taught me equality, I often thought “How can I say XYZ is equal to me when he gets a reservation in educational institutes, government jobs and many other such similar offerings while I don’t?”

Bringing in the gender divide, I slightly start feeling disgusted. For a nation which claims to believe and worship in a goddess, we are simple brutes. As a staunch advocate of equality among women, I simply find myself in dearth of a true identity, because associating myself with any of them highlighted here, causes a revulsion in me.

Identity. The word itself resonates a feeling of unity, of oneness and in true essence, describes the individual persona of each person. Sadly, as an Indian who is still in his growing years, I’ve discovered that I have multiple facades, multiple descriptions associated with me. Why, is a question I’m yet to answer, because the search goes on. In India, you never have a single identity. It’s always a concoction of many different ones. But whatever the potion may be and whoever may be the brewer, one thing is apparent and crystal-clear. Something is wrong, and we must change. I hope we change. Soon, Fast and Now

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We Fought, We Endured And Now We CHANGE

A quick glance at the supposed “glorious” culture and history of India yields nothing but a simplistic opinion to today’s populous. Pick up any book, any year and we notice this; We fought for something, and our opponents( under the veil of secrecy) gave it to us, we rejoiced and discovered that we were deceived.

Today, I was re-reading my copy of Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger  and came across certain lines which put me in a fix, making me write this article and also make the video attached alongside. I don’t remember the lines to the exact punctuation, however in essence they talk about how democracy was nothing but a shrouded opportunity for India(metaphorical assumed as a Zoo) to be turned into a Jungle by the powerful. partly I agree to the viewpoint. Mr.Adiga made an excellent note about how our nation should have had alleviated problems such as water supply issues, poverty etc. and then focused on Democracy.
Anyway,my point is that we have lived for nearly two millenniums under force. May it be an emperor or a federation of states, India has nearly never had a full scale democracy except from 1947; We were oppressed, we were labelled, we were killed, we were tortured. We fought, we protested and tried to hit back. But two points remain:
1. We still fight.
2.We still endure.
Bolne mein hum sab aage hain;par jab road pe kisiko bematlab maarte hain, we turn into silent spectators, ENDURING everything. But the time has come for a Change. We stop enduring and we change.
You may think that, okay another person crying about change and getting passionate. Who will bring the change?What will be the change?
Change as I define it is that we stand up to whatever we want,whenever we want.  Don’t promise anyone anything that you will alleviate poverty or blah blah blah. Nothing of that sort. But promise yourself that you will stand up to what’s wrong; it may be standing up to your milkman for mixing water in the milk or it may be standing up to your local MLA and telling him on his face “Tu Paise Khata Hai!”. But do stand up.
We Fought, We Endured And Now We CHANGE

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