Work as crusaders for change: Somnath to youths

Rohtak: Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee Monday asked youths to work as crusaders for removing the ills plaguing our society and provide leadership to change the system for the better.

"It is of little use to be just critical of the aberrations or non-achievements in the society. You have to be participants in bringing about the change and not be mere bystanders or critics," he said at the 15th convocation function at Maharishi Dayanand University here.

The country has great expectations from its youth who should bring in freshness of approach along with youthful energy and passion for addressing the imperfections in the institutions of democracy, he said.

"Parliament still remains the most potent vehicle for translating people's expectations into reality, to bring about socio-economic and political transformation...the country requires larger numbers of committed youths to come forward to occupy the political space," he said.

Stressing the role of education in building a nation, Chatterjee said education alone can bring about democratic consolidation, social cohesiveness and sustained growth.

"Education is the most effective instrument to acquire knowledge, to nurture social and moral values, and to make citizens socially sensitive, responsible and forward looking," he said.

He rued the fact that in spite of substantial progress made during the last seven decades, India presents a contrasting picture of affluence and deprivation.

"On the one hand there is India of the rich, of those who have had the benefit of modern education and are intellectually and materially empowered, and, on the other, is deprivation, squalor, illiteracy, ignorance, intolerance and prejudice," the former Lok Sabha speaker said.

He regretted that polity fractured on religious, caste, regional and linguistic lines and influenced by confrontational politics was greatly weakening our democratic structure and simultaneously stifling the country's progress.

Earlier, renowned classical vocalist Pt Jasraj was conferred the honorary D Litt degree in the convocation for his outstanding contribution in Indian classical music.

Jasraj hails from Pili Mandori village in Haryana.