India 2024: Have faith in the youth, says Leela Samson

"They work on being better human beings and mostly reject discrimination based on sundry prejudices"

Representative image of Indian youth in a Pride parade with the rainbow flag and a placard saying "Love only knows equality" (photo: National Herald archives)
Representative image of Indian youth in a Pride parade with the rainbow flag and a placard saying "Love only knows equality" (photo: National Herald archives)
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Leela Samson

My faith is anchored in the youth. Whether from privileged backgrounds or not, from rich or poor nations around the world, they carry an unmistakable hope in their hearts. They aspire, they dare to dream. Those dreams may seem shallow, but they have faith.

Perhaps the faith placed in their parents, teachers and friends is sometimes misplaced or driven by notions of what society thinks is good for them. We fail to give them the opportunity to discover something we never thought of or couldn’t pursue because of the restrictions placed on us.

Their idols are not mahatmas, yet they love them for who they are, forgiving what is not attractive about them. Their love is not blind, but accepting of warts and mindful of the circumstances that shaped the lives of those they look up to.

They care about their children, they love nature, they work on being better human beings and mostly reject discrimination based on sundry prejudices. They are not necessarily looking to love their own kind, only another who shares their philosophy of life or fires their imagination.

It has been so hard for our youth to ‘come out’. To tell their parents they are gay. To live an impossible life with a partner of their choice. And yet, it is happening all around us.

Is there hope? Yes. When you look into the eyes of your children, you know they are less prejudiced, less judgemental, less vindictive than us. There is hope, because there is love.

LEELA SAMSON is a Bharatanatyam dancer, teacher, choreographer and actor. Views are personal

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