No, I didn’t make a mistake, but thought some parallels could be drawn between the two countries’ young people. There are certain similarities in the problems of sorting out the mixture of politics and religion. The demographics are similar with Egypt’s median age as 24.6 and India’s at 26.5. This is the number that divides each country into two equal groups by age. As a contrast, in the US , it is 37 and in Europe, 40 years of age. One contrast is that the Egyptian youth, in the last years, have become very energized and active in political parties for the sake of rebuilding the country. Evidence of this is all over the stories in the media. The Indian youth are less involved in politics as far as I have observed. Bhagat appears to be calling them to action. I found a book entitled Egypt on the Brink by Tarek Osman , but I haven’t read it. From the reviews, it seems that Osman is trying to be the voice of the youth in Egypt as Bhagat is trying to articulate the voice of young India.
In India, there was much talk of Mr. Modi being the next Prime Minister. He is a strong leader who has zero tolerance for corruption. Currently he is the Chief Minister of Gujurat where we lived. There were comments in the country that Mr. Modi is not secular enough because of the trouble in 2002 involving the Muslims in Gujarat, which thankfully has not happened again. Bhagat asks hard questions and demands answers while he presents solutions in simple straight forward and rather simple English. I think this is to ensure that more Indian people will be able to read his work. The ability to read in English is not common throughout the country.
Chetaan Bhagat articulated the India dream on page 179:
” I think what the Great Indian Dream should be is that every citizen should work hard, prosper and succeed through innovation and hard work and once successful, every citizen should give back to the society that made her or him what he or she is. ”
And from pages 180-181
“Things do change and so will our country. However, it will change much faster if you come on board. It will change for the better if you want to change. Let us contribute to this new direction India needs to move in. When people look back at our times, they may say this was a period of great turmoil. But let them not say it was the time when people sat around and did nothing to make things better. Just like the freedom fighters who made such sacrifices for us, let us also join hands to make India a better place. There is no Hindu India, or Muslim India. There is no Punjabi India or Tamil India. There is no upper caste India or lower caste India. There is not even a Congress India or a BJP India. There is just one India, our country, which we all want to become a better place. We want a nation that is rich, respected and has a good place in the world. We want a society with good values. And as long as we are on the same page for that, I will continue to have high hopes for my country.”
Presumptuous as it is, I think that the youth of Egypt could read the above paragraph and insert Egypt for India.
“Talent is a most precious natural resource and we must nurture it.” ( Bhagat)
Dream on and do all you can, India and Egypt, to strive for freedom and justice for all!”
Amen, (let it be)