A Message For Youth India From Kalki Koechlin
- IWB Post
- August 17, 2015
Actor & writer Kalki Koechlin, has written a powerful letter to us, the youth of India, on the occasion of Independence Day.
In the letter, she appreciates us for having a fighter’s spirit to claim our rights, at that, she talks about the many expectations from us. She indicates, “Take responsibility for your freedom or watch it being taken away, one ban at a time.”
Read the complete letter below:
I like this new India. This Youth India. That fights for its rights. That doesn’t let the ghosts of past traditions dictate its worldview but at the same time stays aware of its history, its diversity, and enjoys it through language, travel, love, religion, music, stories, philosophies and, of course, food. Don’t worry fundamentalists, if all else fails, food will keep us loyal to our Indian roots. No country in the world can compete with the choice in our menus. Hell, we’ve even conquered the indomitable Chinese with our own version of their food — the North Indian gobi Manchurian or the Chennai-origin Chicken 65.
So yeah, I like this Youth India that has started awakening to sexual liberation and women’s rights, that is confident enough to question its own laws and flaws, that concerns itself with the struggles of minorities – racial, religious, sexual. It even stands up for causes outside India.
Now, of course, some of you will argue that this Youth India is non-existent, that it is in itself a minority, that it’s just a bunch of ranters on Twitter and Facebook, a bunch of libtards who know nothing about the real India. And yeah, you’re right. (Not about the libtards part — a lot of them are not liberals and nobody is a “retard”). You’re right that they are a minority. This Youth India is at its infancy. But there is something that this Youth India has which the rest of the nation does not… and that is… youth! Yup. Pure and simple. And youth, let me tell you, coming from a recently labelled “mature” actress, is the most powerful dictator of the future.
Mind you, this Youth India still has a lot of learning to do, a lot of growing to do, a lot more to discover that’s worth fighting for. Poverty and pollution are the largest and most obvious problems that need fighting. Problems too large perhaps… it’s easy to help one person or pick up one plastic bottle but see a slum-full of people or a mountain-pile of bottles and we turn away because we think it won’t make a difference. But I don’t know, I just have faith that we’ll get there. I see it as a work in progress, this Youth India, and before it is able to add a drop to the ocean it needs to deal with the ocean in every drop.
Anyway, basically this Independence Day I wanted to remember Youth India and give it some credit for growing all by itself. And if there is any wisdom to impart to it at my ripe old age of barely 31, then kids, listen up, this is for you.
The bare, naked (I had to use those words) truth is that nothing and nobody is responsible for you. You don’t owe anyone the heights of your successes nor can you blame anyone for your screw-ups. It is all up to you to be the grown-ups. So stop waiting for rules to be implemented to regulate your life — apply those rules to your daily life and try to live by them. Take responsibility for your freedom or watch it being taken away, one ban at a time.
Value your life. Value your family. Value your friends. Value your neighbours. Hell, value your enemies for making you insecure and forcing you to strive to be better. Value strangers, so that kindness survives. Value authenticity, so that marketing and money don’t make you a robot. Most of all, value your time, which is shorter than you will ever know. (Ever heard that phrase “youth is wasted on the young?” Yeah. That.) Don’t spend all your time watching the clock tick, the tweet click, or another week slip by. Put your time down for a while. Switch it off. Turn the clock around. Life is meant to be lived, not spent.
I mean that’s it. I’m sorry, I haven’t lived long enough to go on and on! Besides, you’re already on the right track. Keep fighting the good fight, for your rights and for what’s right for others (the two are rarely the same thing).
Happy Independence Day.
Love from a senti, mental, “mature” but young-at-heart actress,