निराकरण की खोज में "युगांतर"!

"Yugaantar" signifies the transition from one era to the other. A situation that is desirable, sustainable and progressive. We all would wish to undertake such a journey and achieve this transition to something that is better than the current state we are in. Not only individuals, but nations across the world are trying to enter into such a progressive state of affairs. Who is supposed to play a role in this transition? Who will lead this change? Is it possible to attain such a model era of governance and prosperity in India? What is the role that youth of the country will play in such a mode of transformation? These and some other pertinent questions and curiosities gave birth to the idea of "Yugaantar" which culminated into a National Youth Conference on "Youth for Socio-Political Changes in India" at the M.S.University of Baroda. I was privileged to be a part of this conference right from the very beginning when the seed of thought for the event was sown. There was one other reason for this conference being held and that was the 150th birth anniversary of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, the epitome of progress and development of Baroda. The team of Yugaantar decided to dedicate the event to this great visionary ruler of the city and aimed to discuss and deliberate upon the ideals that he had laid down for a good rule and a good state.

The symbol of Yugaantar 

The team wanted "youth" to be the focus of the conference and hence the above mentioned theme was finalized. But there were to be sub-themes under which papers would be presented by students and researchers across the country. The tagline given by the team was "Yugaantar ... Kaaran nahi Niraakaran" which means that we have spent enough time talking about the problems and issues faced by India's political system, there has been endless discussion on what is wrong with our system and what are the challenges lying before it. The team wanted a different take. Lets now talk about some concrete solutions about what can be done to India's democracy, how we can produce good leaders, how to practice politics with principles etc. Thus, the entire line of focus shifted from cribbing about negatives to discussing about positive and applicable aspects. The research papers were asked to be focused on what practical solutions they could offer for the betterment of the country's political system. In this way, there was a surge of innovative solutions that the youth had in their mind and this was thought of as the best platform to let them express their views on different themes.

I have come to realize that being a part of the organizing committee of a National level conference is not an easy task. It is easier to present a paper at an individual level than to be part of team dynamics during such an event. But let me also admit that it is a thrilling experience like none other because you get to interact with a wide range of people, get opportunities which you may have not got earlier (for me - I got the chance of moderating some of the sessions in the conference which I had never done before, so it was a learning experience). Also, the mad and hysteric rush of getting things done and completing deadlines is what I enjoyed the most during the conference.  When you are doing something with passion and you are committed to the cause of it, the joy of working doubles up. There were so many such instances during the organization of the conference and during the three days of the conference which I still cherish and which provided me with a chance to showcase my skills. Also, when you are part of a team it is altogether different since you try to work in coordination and hone your own skills in the process. The added advantage of being a part of the conference was of course being able to meet and listen to a galaxy of wonderful academicians and speakers like Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, Shri Ram Madhav, Dr. Subhash Kashyap, Dr. Chandan Mitra and many others. 

Yugaantar ... the transition to a new era ... was in the literal sense of the term a transition for me! It was a great team effort. For me, it was the first of its kind experience in organizing and managing a National Conference. I realised that organizing such a large scale event requires coordination, cooperation, team work and the spirit of dedication. It was a learning process for me. The audiences also participated with great enthusiasm, acknowledged the aim behind the conference. I also want to thank all the volunteers who played their role as the perfect ambassadors of M.S.University of Baroda. And the icing on the cake was to listen and to meet excellent speakers and dignitaries who reinforced that fact that now the youth have to take the mantle of the nation on their shoulders...they have to take the nation ahead. Each speaker was special in his own right and I feel that I was privileged to hear them. Got inspired to work for the country ... thanks to Yugaantar! I feel privileged and honoured to have been a part of the core team which organized this event ... Wonderful memories ...I am now not looking for excuses but for solutions ... i have imbibed the mantra of "Karan nahi Nirakaran" which was the guiding force behind the inception of Yugaantar!

Yugaantar proved to be an excellent example of what a team can do if it has conviction, if it believes in the purpose for which it has been set up. I must admit that formulating the concept of Yugaantar was one thing, visualizing it another and actualizing it into reality something really different. The baby called 'Yugaantar' was born not just in a day but it took months of intellectual brainstorming and systematic planning. There were many people who silently contributed to this process...I think they were the unsung heroes of Yugaantar... they who were not visible on the stage but they who strived hard and worked relentlessly for the success of the event...their contribution to the event and its magnitude is immense. As also the participants who presented their unique ideas on the themes in the conference. I think the best part of the conference was a sense of shared success that the team realized at the end of the event. For me ...Yugaantar has not ended ... it has given birth to new ideas, thoughts and innovations ... has called for action and positive attitude ...towards the nation ... Yugaantar has actually just begun and we hope to take this spirit to each and every one in the country!

While we are talking and basking in the success of Yugaantar ... we will do well to recognize the inspiration behind this event. Why did this event occur in the first place? Who inspired the entire team of Yugaantar ... He was a great king, a great ruler and a visionary. The whole setting of Yugaantar and the themes that we finally chose for presentation stemmed from this man's vision ... a man who was ahead of his times! I wonder what would amazing heights of progress the country would have achieved if he were to be our leader today. I visualize that under his leadership, Baroda would have been the best city in the country and Barodians would have received all the amenities requisite for a good life. He was Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, the erstwhile ruler of Baroda state and Team Yugaantar is proud and humbled at the same time to dedicate the success of the conference to this statesman of Baroda. At a time, when rulers were busy fighting for territory and trying to establish their power, here was a leader who was concerned about the well-being and development of his citizens. He gave birth to progressive laws, developed institutions, built infrastructure and envisaged education as the root of a forward looking mindset. Can we thank him enough? We can just sincerely hope that we have leaders like him or we become leaders like him. Yugaantar would be incomplete without his spirit and ideas. Yugaantar owes it to him! Let his vision and dream be realized in its best form and let all of us get the strength to fulfill it...

From here on, I can only wish that let there be more "Yugaantars", newer transitions and further boundaries to cross to achieve what we set out with ....





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