Two youngsters who won the Vision75: A Billion Dreams competition talk about their dream for the country.

When I am awake and alone, I dream; not all my dreams are entirely reckless, I do get ambitious dreams – dreams that form a vision, for me and my nation. From several interactions I have had with similar minded contemporaries, I have noticed with pride that though we are all federally, culturally, racially, linguistically, religiously, intellectually, musically, and essentially different from one another, we are united by our dreams for India.

Dreams in video

The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and Young Indians (Yi), recently conducted ‘Vision75: A Billion Dreams', a competition that invited students from across the nation to submit video presentations on their visions for India 2022. While winner S. Chandilyan adopted the novel idea of showing a newspaper in 2022, carrying news of wonderful changes we wish to see in our nation like foreigners preferring Indian education and elections going online, runner-up Harikumar Krishnamurthy's vision was to give the next generation, a pollution-beggary-corruption-poverty free India. Both these MBA students from the University of Madras are not professionals at video-making; both of them hadn't expected to win, all they wanted to do was communicate their thoughts. Chandilyan and Hari had faced many constraints.

While Chandilyan had just Rs.100 to spare, and just one day before the contest closed; Hari knew what he had to say, but did not know how to say in a video presentation.

He went about interviewing people at the beach, noted their thoughts on Indian development and wrapped up the video within a week. Chandilyan won Rs. 30,000 and Hari won Rs. 25,000. Their videos can be viewed at http://www.vision75.in.

Vision

I went through their videos and asked the winners what they perceived as India's single biggest problem/handicap. While I expected run-of-the-press replies like poverty, inflation, illiteracy, exploding population and the ilk, I was surprised to get a response that was singular in consensus and common in essence. “People who want to serve the nation are not weighing politics as a medium. Hence, ironically, politicians are understood to be people who want money and power,” said Chandilyan. He further added that our individual successes in chosen arenas should be used to fuel our nation's development.

“Lack of intent-patriotism is India's biggest problem,” opined Harikumar. “What you give to the nation, you get back multi-fold.” Both these winners seem to point to what many of us have already realised as the panacea to India's social maladies — we, the youth, must play a direct, natural and a more important role in Indian politics.

Hari went on to say, “The first step is bringing us to think politically and competitions like ‘A Billion dreams' do just that.” This is very true. As both these winners did, we must examine the right and wrong of our current political milieu. We don't want progenies of political families to be trained in the mathematics and sciences of politics, we want them to be trained in nationalism and patriotism, in sound economics and policy engineering; this way, they wouldn't end up like their predecessors and buckle under the unreasonable demands of their respective vote banks.

We don't want the current “young political brigade” to be glib speakers and style monks; we want them to be responsible citizens first — responsible commonplace citizens. However, we will not oppose their rise, if it is by merit; we will accept them as our leaders and give them as much of Indian warmth as possible. This way, they would add credibility, which is currently conspicuous by absence, to the Indian Political Class.

The most urgent question is: What are you going to do for the nation? Are you going to walk along the stride of creative change-makers, or are you going to be seated in darkness, content being mere onlookers with derived benefits? Let patriotism fuel intention. If we want to propel India to the heights of prosperity, we have to be the procreators who willingly rise to be the policy-makers. Let us select not one, but many messiahs from amongst us, to direct our simple Indian dreams into staging globally, an Indian fascination, an Indian inspiration, an Indian revelation and an Indian illumination. For this, let us look forward to and participate in more competitions as “Vision75 — A Billion Dreams”. They craft our thoughts, mould our beliefs, show us the direction and get our words heard too! Congrats to Chandilyan and Harikumar, hope you become the architects of your own dreams.

Seshasayee is pursuing chartered accountancy.