Itanagar, 12 January: Youths of Arunachal Pradesh have tremendous potential to meaningfully contribute to nation building as envisioned by the great monk of the country Swami Vivekananda, asserted Chief Minister Pema Khandu while addressing on 158th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda which is also being celebrated as the National Youth Day across the country.
Speaking to the youths on the occasion here at 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. He said 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 lauded the Vivekananda Kendra for venturing into Arunachal and providing quality education, especially in the late 70s 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 took a veiled shot at random protests and protestors. He said few people tend to take democracy for a ride in the garb of the fundamental right to protest.
“Such people forget about their responsibilities. But they must know that majority of the ‘silent’ population knows the truth. But because these majority of the 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 a 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 a large number of school and college students, Khandu raised the issue of drug abuse and termed it as ‘dangerous than terrorism’.
“Drug abuse can wipe out the future of an entire generation. Only educated youths like you can help in their eradication and further spread. We are here to help you,” he said.
Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Mama Natung was also present as Guest of Honor on the occasion organized by the state Youth Affairs Directorate in collaboration with Vivekananda Kendra, Arunachal Pradesh.