ITANAGAR, Jan 12: Chief Minister Pema Khandu today asserted that youths of Arunachal Pradesh have tremendous potential to meaningfully contribute in nation building as envisioned by the great of monk of the country, Swami Vivekananda, whose 158th birth anniversary was celebrated as the National Youth Day across the country today.
Speaking to the youths on the occasion here at the DK Auditorium of the State Legislative Assembly, Khandu said youths of today have access to education like never before and therefore are better equipped to shape the future of the state and the country.
He said Arunachal Pradesh is unique owing to its culturally diverse communities – about 26 major tribes and more than 100 sub-tribes – and that the onus is upon the educated and conscious youths of today to foster the pan-Arunachal identity by maintaining peace and communal harmony.
Underscoring ‘quality’ in education, Khandu said youths of today deserve quality education, not quantity in education. In the earlier days there were very few schools but quality education was provided, while today schools are aplenty but the quality of education has dropped, he observed.
The Chief Minister lauded the Vivekananda Kendra for venturing into Arunachal and providing quality education specially in the late 70’s through Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalayas, whose students are today in service of the nation in various capacities.
Khandu also emphasized on the role of today’s youths, who, he pointed, can be game changers if they have the will and guts.
“Youths today must have ‘muscles of iron and nerves of steel’, as quoted by Swamiji. They must have the guts to stand up against what is wrong. When they start to raise their voices against all things wrong, not only the outlook of the society will change but also keep the government on its toes,” Khandu said.
The Chief Minister, meanwhile, took a veiled shot at random protests and protestors. He said few people tend to take democracy for a ride in the garb of fundamental right to protest.
“Such people forget about their responsibilities. But they must know that majority of the ‘silent’ population know the truth. But because these majority of population remain silent, they always get away with their vested interests,” he said and urged the youths not to remain mere spectators to such instances but reject them in one voice.
Talking about reforms in governance, he admitted many – including some politicians and bureaucrats – may not be comfortable at the beginning but asserted reforms must come.
“We have to come out of the comfort zone of yesteryears. To root out corruption and hassle-free delivery of services to the common people, reforms are must in governance. At times we have to take tough decisions, which may pinch a few but will be beneficial to our youths who are the future of our state,” he explained.
Taking advantage of the presence of large number of school and college-going students, Khandu raised the issue of drug abuse and termed it ‘dangerous than terrorism’.
“Drug abuse can wipe out the future of an entire generation. Only educated youths like you can help in its eradication and further spread. We are here to help you,” he said.
Gracing the occasion, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Mama Natung highlighted the contributions of Swami Vivekananda to the nation and also how he worked to unite the youths of the country.
The theme of the National Youth Day celebration was “Channelizing the youth power for nation building”.
The function was organized by the Directorate of Youth Affairs in collaboration with Vivekananda Kendra, Arunachal Pradesh. On the occasion, 15 young achievers were felicitated in recognition of their success in their respective field.