Involving youth in the political history of India

Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi launched Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in March 2021 and it will continue till Independence Day this year. The objective behind the two-year long phase is to inspire Indians and encourage them to connect with the rich history of India’s freedom struggle. This year is going to be even more momentous as we prepare to inaugurate the new state-of-the-art Parliament House. The construction of the new building, which started during the Covid-19 pandemic, has almost been completed in two years, thanks to the determination, strength and courage of New India. While a new building was a necessity, we need to ensure that our Parliament also engages more and more with the citizens and makes them more aware of its work and rich heritage.

Since the early years of independence, the Central Hall of Parliament has been the main venue for commemorating the contribution of freedom fighters, eminent and visionary leaders, former Prime Ministers and other such prominent national personalities. Renowned sculptors and artists have contributed immensely in preserving this history within the walls of this historic building. It has been an established tradition to celebrate the birth anniversaries of these leaders with floral tributes and commemoration of their contributions. Usually, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, MPs and other dignitaries participate in these events in the Central Hall or designated areas inside the Parliament complex. Over the years, it has become a routine practice with little attendance – a routine photo-op, not really a celebration of his legacy. The purpose behind laying such wreaths is not only to remember their contribution, but also to take their legacy to a larger audience.

The event has got a new life and vibrancy under the guidance of the PM. The Parliamentary Democracy Research and Training Institute (PRIDE), Lok Sabha Secretariat has given it a concrete shape. Pride has made a constructive effort in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports by providing an opportunity for active participation of young people in the wreath laying ceremony organized in the Central Hall of Parliament on whose birth anniversary. National hero of the country. It is now sought to be made as an opportunity to connect the youth of the country with the larger vision, ideals and values through “Mansa, Vacha and Karmana (where one’s thoughts, speech and actions converge)”.

In the last one year, the birth anniversaries of many such great stalwarts have been celebrated in the Central Hall of Parliament. This enthusiastic participation of youth selected from across the country was brimming with energy and creative spirit. The first special program was on October 2, 2022, on the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri. For the event, the Secretariat selected 75 young citizens from across the country to visit Parliament and participate in remembering their contributions. They were selected on the basis of several competitions held in schools and colleges. These events not only helped them celebrate history but also inspired them to understand the relevance and function of the institutions. Moreover, the opportunity to interact with senior parliamentarians added enriching experience and inspired the youth to become more aware citizens. On a few occasions, PM Modi himself took out time to interact with these energetic and enthusiastic young Indians.

As we celebrate the birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution, it is apt to remember the values and principles he stood for and inspire the youth to come forward for nation building. The reason is that the youth have immense possibilities and potential. Thousands of years ago the Greek philosopher Diogenes said that the foundation of every state (i.e. country) lies in the inspiration and consciousness of its youth.

Today this young man comes to Delhi and discusses the works and ideals of his great national heroes in such events and returns from Raj Ghat, Prime Minister’s Museum, War Memorial, Duty Path and Central Hall of Parliament with inspiration from their life and life. Contribution of great leaders of the country This is a thoughtful initiative in the nectar of freedom. This will have far-reaching positive effects. Inspired by the life and works of the great leaders of the country, the talented youth growing up will also be inspired to enter public life.

In 2047, the country will complete its 100th year of Independence. While laying the foundation stone of the new Parliament House, PM Modi emphasised that today, we should decide how far and how to take the country forward in the coming years. This journey towards a developed nation and a vibrant India will be driven by young Indians. It is our responsibility to provide opportunities and avenues for this young India to broaden their horizon.

Harivansh is deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha

The views expressed are personal