The words of a world tyrant, Adolf Hitler, shall surely convince you when he says, “He alone, who opens youth, gains the future.” As we grow up, we change, and we continue till we seek no more. Ever thought to yourselves, why do we change? Or, to be more precise, for what do we change? Youth is a phase full of energy and vibrant hues. It is an age where one pursues the best, works for the best, and strives to make a settled life. In the language of Shakespeare, youth is the age of rebellion, even after no one is near. Competitions, team works, thoughts, everything blooms for a youth. Sayings like, “Breaking glass brings bad omen,” worry us the least during childhood. However, as we grow up, hearing them again stirs different chords in us. You, as young blood, cannot help but think, “Why is it so?” Perhaps this “Why” is the beginning of the revolution, solely by the youth.
Youth do not only play a role in bringing positive change, but they can also make their nations fly. Every nation works to establish more but worthy. Countries desire a youth population because they can think new, work vitally, pave the way for new technology and eradicate what continues to hinder the region. They are the hopes on which an entire society relies. They are expected to wash away the vulnerabilities of their families and the country. Most importantly, youth becomes the shoulders of those falling. They take us to a more developed land, where freedom is greater than the bending norms, where thoughts only enlarge, never to suffice.
Generally, when the word youth is heard, we think in a pessimistic direction. There is a denial of the dark shadows that come in this age. Yet, the light of potential growth and overturn shines in these green salad days. Today, we can be proud of our youth for the nations and the world. They are striving hard to change the wrong into right and to desiccate the roots of illogical beliefs. Today, they demand explanation behind every practice, put their voice fearlessly and ask for all to follow their hearts. According to the elders, if you go through history, you will notice the achievements of youth, the “ununderstandable.” Since the year 1990, the youths have advocated poverty. As a consequence, extreme poverty has shrunk to 50 percent. Education has now grown to be the number one influence. Nine out of ten students go to school, and the tally only increases. There is more to them, for they do not wait for the next sunshine. There are
times when the youth boomed. And with this, they claimed or are claiming to stand firm with their views and ultimately bring a “modification”. Here are the times when youth were there for youth.
- The March on Washington
At a time when the world asked for more humanity than biasedness, youth took the initiative to straighten the discrimnation. In the year 1963, an enraged, massive crowd of 25000 people assembled in Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The soul of this march was to free all the African Americans from the challenges and inequalities they were facing. Youth committees like the Student NonViolent Coordinating Committee(SNCC) had marched around the schools in JIm Crow South. They also asked for freedom from racism, wanting the nation to treat all equally. Not the physical violence or the no acceptance by the country, had stopped these fierce hearts. They formed an integral part of the Civil Rights Movement in the USA, wanting progress which eradicates all the atrocities and calls for peace.
We are Indigenous, but we deserve water too
Imagine yourself going without water a day. Life needs essentials and water is one of them. When it was denied, youth fought for it till it came flowing to them again. America has tried to build pipelines for oil supply, endangering the lives of indigenous people. However the indigenous youth are struggling hard to fight for their basic necessity. The International Indigenous Youth Council has inspired hundreds of indigenous youth to protect the environment. This committee has grown out of the Standing Rocks protest, and demands pure drinking for the indigenous lives in America. This committee has outshined itself, fighting for the disastrous projects that hindered the waters and the environment, such as the Keystone Pipeline case.
Menstruation- All of us instead of why me
In a world where a natural process has remained a taboo for so long, the youth has come again to raise its voice. Adding to their list of changes, youth has been active in providing all women with necessary menstrual products. It also aims to break through the factors which hinder the women from progressing forward. The Student Period Movement in Philadelphia, conducted donation drives for women for their menstrual cycles. The distributed the necessities like sanitary napkins, tampons to the young girls and women, who faced constraint in affording them. They also started a social media campaign to break the preconceptions and misconceptions regarding menstruation.
Celebrate the colours of Pride
For a long time, you and I have been either a boy or a girl. A boy had a specific appearance and so did the girl. But, today, gender is not enough to be either a boy or a girl. We are more than being a boy or a girl. We are colors and we can live together, being whomever we want to. The youth pride movements had taken the world by storm. However, they also became beacon of hope for those who were scared to reveal their identities. Youth pride movements led by youth like Ose Arheghan(18), Ella Briggs(11) gave hope to many. The month of June has now been recognised as Pride Month. Millions of people march and take pride in their diverse identities. Youth had also dedicated pride organisations, supporting those who feel alone in revealing their true selves.
5. The fierce hearts of Tiananmen Square
China, one of the world’s most ferocious countries. It is known for its huge paddles of development. In 1989, fierce youth in Beijing raged in protest against the government and the army troops. This movement came after the death of Communist General Secretary Hu YaoBang. This had led the people to become uncertain about the future of the nation, even amidst the social change and economic strides. After eight days of protest, the army had gone relentless with the protestors, open firing and killing many. A picture which well describes the ferocious faces of the youth during this period, was of a man in tank top, standing in front of the army. This fierceness in Tiananmen Square stands for the youth, participating in eradicating inflation, corruption and demanding proper training for graduates to deal with the new economy, which is emerging.
6. Black Lives Thrive: Going beyond skin shades
Raged, discriminated against and demanding, this was crowded in 2013. The streets filled when Michael Brown was killed in 2014. The movement only became enraged in 2020 when white police officers killed George Floyd, a black security officer. Even after the pandemic had hit the nations, youth went out of their homes with masks, shielding their face but not the spirit. It was after a day of Floyd’s death, youth in Berkeley and California, went on to protests for ending racism in the country. This sparked the minds of other and they were joined by thousands and thousands of people on the streets. Prominent youth role models like Bella Hadid, Harry Styles, Halsey, joined the common people to lend their voice for the support. This movement also brought in support to NGOs working for eradication of racism. Celebrities and bands like BTS contributed to this cause too.
7. Safety: Rapists are needed to be punished
In December 2012, India received shocking news. The body of Jyoti Singh, a 23 year old physiotherapist, was beaten, raped and tortured. Her body was thrown out of a moving bus, shaking the hearts of the country. This brought the youth of India together, demanding justice. The crowd assembled to light candles, shaking the government from sleep to protect the citizens of the nation. The victim narrated her tale, earning the name of Nirbhaya, the Fearless. The young hearts demanded for protection, strict jurisdiction. After 8 years of protests and verdicts, the nation hanged the culprits. What youth got from this was the courage to speak. Today, various organizations take part in protesting for what goes wrong in their nation.
Youth have always been understood as the aggressive generation. But these instances tell us that we have changed, because the youth in us never subsided. Everytime the roads fell, the bridges collapsed, inhumanity thrived, youth never failed to raise their voice. They were there in the times of independence, in the times of civil rights movements and in the hours of happiness. If we had no youth like Bhagat Singh, Mangal Pandey, the nation would have never felt what a youth could do. If we had no youth like Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, we would have not felt the compassion a youth holds. History bears witness that youth are productive. In the words of Stephen Vincent Benet, “Youth is the pollen that blows through the sky, and does not ask why.”