Sunday, March 4, 2012

Force of change

It is a sign of India’s coming of age.

More and more, I come across young people who are secure enough in their hearts and minds, to dive into circles of larger influence. These are children opting for roads less travelled, out of choice. They could have had it easier but are choosing to chase a personal fulfilment of the kind, my generation only dreamed of. They are the face of the new human evolution; they are a determined push for equity, equality and engagement in the truest sense of the words.

Undoubtedly, social commitment looks great on a CV drafted for grad school, but that would be too linear and cynical a view. And even if it be so, no harm that future leaders go to grad school with more than a whiff of poverty in their nostrils. Who is to benefit, if those sitting on crucial negotiating tables hear the voices of the underprovided for, whispering in their ears?  Is a larger good not feasible when those who aid formulation of wide ranging policies do so against a personal experience of the world, beyond their walls of security?

Too often, we as parents, envision a picture perfect post card life for our children. Adequate money, an appropriate life partner, a smart house, a decent car, a great job…all neatly slotted for the family portrait. But what if the kids hear a different note in their heads? What if they nurse ambitions of changing the world, of making a difference, of influencing the larger good, of making this a better place for all?

I grew up on Ayn Rand’s philosophy of rational self-interest but over the years, I have come to see that there are segments of society, it does not, cannot apply to. And therefore, it stands to reason that businesses have to be run in a socially responsible way. The products created must come out of processes that show respect for social and environmental issues. For far too long, the herd has given to the goatherd; it is time for him in turn, to assume some responsibility. This is the time for ethical banking, ethical lawyering, ethical teaching, ethical doctoring and ethical writing. The warning bell has long been sounded, with spring in New York and snowfall in Pathankot.

Corporate philanthropy, personal charity or social leadership of the young, there has to be a force of change. I am glad our educated youth feel secure enough to explore the potential of their social conscience.
May India’s social policy begin to stir in real earnest, under watchful and angry young eyes ! After all, not apathy but empathy and sympathy are the defining features of a robust democracy.  

Current points of interest:

Pics by Aqseer

No comments: