turning 30…

I read an interesting fact today..

700 million citizens of India are under 30 and that gives India’s leaders great optimism for India’s future.

That’s a big responsibility on the Indian youth. That first made me feel happy and then very sad. Because I’m one of those 700 million. With only one more year left until I turn 30, what have I done for my country in the last 29 years that the leaders should base that optimism on me (I do share 1/700million of that responsibility after all!). And around me I see many who are similar to me.. but as they say speak for yourself so I’ll stick to just ‘I’.

What have I done that I should be proud of? Nothing comes to my mind except for the fact that I paid taxes (honestly) for 5 years. I don’t think those taxes even covered the subsidies government gave for my education in IIT for four years and I still complained all those years that 30% is too high! After that? I am now a non-resident Indian. I am proud of my identity, I search for everything Indian around me. I feel an instant bond with someone Indian, I smile every day I cross the Indian Embassy on my way to school and see the tricolour, I eat Indian food almost 80-90% of the time, I listen to bollywood songs and I dream of one day when I will join the Indian Planning Commission.

But that’s where it ends.. and that leaves me fairly embarrassed and also thinking that is the hope on youth a misplaced one? But if not youth, then who? I am lucky to know a lot of people who are working towards this hope. Many have started their own businesses (doesn’t matter if its social or completely for-profit), volunteering their time, paying taxes and directly contributing to the economy but by just taking the decision to stay in the country they are contributing to it growth.

I’ve been given reasons of poor healthcare, competitive education and just a general lack of infrastructures, for why I should think of settling some place (“developed”) else. But just the fact that we are all searching for ‘India’ even if we are outside, the fact that we create our own ‘little India’, makes me want to go back. Not saying NRIs/PoIs (I don’t know if there are more similar statuses) don’t contribute. Obviously we cannot ignore the contribution of remittances. But again I should talk only of myself.. I hope I can do something to feel that I truly was part of that 700million that the visionaries of my country look to. And I’ve got just more year…

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