A bite from the Youth for Governance convention

Public Concern for Governance Trust (which works to ensure enactment of laws & policies, which promotes honesty, transparency & accountabilityin governance) along with a number of other co-organizers organized the youth for governance convention on 25th January 2012 at Shanmukanandan hall, Mumbai. This post will share some of the views expressed by some of the eminent personalities on the panel.

The key note speaker was Mr. N.R. Narayanmurthy (NM) – Chairman  Emeritus, Infosys while other panel members on the dias included Mr. Arup Patnaik – Commissioner of Police Mumbai, Dr. Ajit Ranade – Founder Trustee, Association for Democratic Reforms, Mr. Vivek Phansalkar – Joint CP Traffic, Mr. Rahul Bose – Actor & Social Activist, Mr. Kumar Ketkar – Chief Editor Dainik Divya Marathi

NM began the keynote by expressing mixed emotions – happy on one hand that India is progressing on the global map (GDP growth etc..) but on the other hand he was disturbed  with a number of facts and figures emerging especially in the area of literacy. Although India outbeats China in terms age of her population the concern however is the literacy level and more so importantly the quality of education being imparted, state of primary schools etc..He felt that his generation had failed to meet the expectations of todays youth in comparision to their earlier generation of Pandit Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Rajendra babu etc…NM also had what I would say a ‘to do’ list for the youths. With all due respect to this great man, I personally was not impressed with the bulleted ‘to do’ list for the youngsters…To me it sounded like I was writing a whitepaper to impress my Business client.

The point that I found to be a take away which I believe is also important to be kept in mind for the youths today was, Disagree with people but do not be disagreeable. Ponder on this…

NM’s note was followed by the address by Dr. Ranade. urged the youngsters in the audience to exercise their voting right and to start doing things at whatever small level which can make a difference in the life of others. He pointed out that youth often feel what difference they can make by their single vote.. His counter to this was ‘a journey of thousand miles begins with a small step’ He also quoted late SC Bose who once said, ‘One individual may die for an idea; but that idea will, after his death, incarnate itself in a thousand lives. That is how the wheel of evolution moves on and the ideas and dreams of one nation are bequeathed to the next’. (Expect a blog piece on this very soon from my end)

Mr. Patnaik during his turn pointed out that ‘win-win’ situation tendancy has been a major force in promoting corruption. He on his end urged to people who pay something to say something, in order counter the menance of corruption. Mr. Phansalkar, who I felt had  a good sense of humor went a step ahead to what Mr Patnaik said. He said apart from saying something, people needed to do something.

Rahul Bose in his address stressed on the point of showing compassion towards others. He also striked an important point with respect to the latest campaign by Anna Hazare and gave some insights for the majority young audience to ponder upon. He cited the work done by Mukul Sharma in Ralegaon Siddhi – Hazare’s home town. It talks about the mean used by Anna to get to ends some often not acceptable in a democratic set up. The greater point being dont follow someone blindly..look at facts and then make your choice, a point also made by NM in his address. With BMC elections on its way this point is of significance. Don’t just cast your vote, but select your candidate based on facts.  

Kumar Ketkar in his address talked about the importance of the celebrating the 2 days of 26th Jan & 15th Aug and stressed on the point of being responsible when we enjoy constitutional rights. He also showed discontent over the ways certain media propogated messages without facts 24×7. He urged youngsters to read but the caveat being read intelligently!

The panel discussion was followed by a skit by members of Smita Patil Theartical group – Yuva. Had some good shayaris unfortunately im not good at remembering them 😦 . It also had some lightening dialogues which followed the thunder from the audience.

Impatient as I am, I left the place post the play but I guess continued for some more time with few video and other stuff. Well the application of the learnings from the event was seen almost within hours when my leo colleagues decided to walk their way to lokhandwala from kandivli stn but not pay the unreasonable Rs. 10/- asked by the rickshaw waalas when the official sharing rate is Rs. 7/-. Hope the effect lasts and spreads.

Thats it for the time being… Kumar signing off

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