Jalandhar: Taking the message of utilization of free speech in a great democracy of the world-India, top personas of diverse fields ranging from cinema to politics, journalism, society, comedy to rappers’realms reached at Shanti Devi Mittal Auditorium of Lovely Professional University campus, today. All of them inspired the next generation of India, young students at LPU, to emerge as involved citizens of the country. Occasion was 9th edition of the Print’s event ‘Democracy Wall’, a free speech campus initiative at LPU. The event commenced with Youth Icon & Bollywood top star Ayushmann Khurrana who interacted vividly with LPU students and inspired them to follow their passion by continuously working hard to achieve what they desire the most. Talking about free speech, he shared that in democracy all are free to speak but speech has both strength and weakness: “It is just like a sport of table-tennis and we receive the ball as we push”.
LPU students were seen very excited and eager to know so many things about his charismatic success in the film-industry in spite of his being a simple next door boy. In response to one question put about his initial failure in bollywood, he inspired all by following that “Your failure is your real friend, philosopher and guide. I have learnt a lot from my flop-films than from successful ones. There is scope for everything in the life, never get dejected, keep on trying hard in life.” In another answer he laid stress on importance of education which is a key to success in every field. He shared that there is no end to education in any age and hard work is real password to achieve everything in life. If you want to do something right, do it now”. In the end of his valuable conversations, actor Khurrana also sang two of his favourite numbers with the aid of Guitar on LPU students’ persistent requests “Mere Dil Ke Lifafe Me” and “Paani daa rang vekh ke”.
Top Journalist Shekhar Gupta informed that the event is a movement where students come out boldly and encorageously with their individual views. This campus free speech initiative seeks to better understand and further enhances our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. He shares: “We aim to involve students in the finest campuses across India in open dialogues on issues related to free speech and democratic rights with thought leaders and prominent, successful, mostly young people from diverse fields.”
Other than actor Khurrana, there was an astral list of eminent speakers and performers at the event including MP Bhagwant Mann, PWD & IT Minister with Punjab Government Vijay Inder Singla, top Journalist Shekhar Gupta, Social Activist & Researcher Arnika Singh, rapper Feyago & stand-up comedian Abijit Ganguly from Kolkata. During different sessions of the day, all of them shared their experiences to motivate LPU students, and students too got engaged with them to learn a lot from different authorities in their respective fields. Politician, social worker, comedian, singer, actor Bhagwant Mann inspired students to be always socially active with full zeal. In his famous satirical and amusing way, he guided students to bring “a new mechanism of governance and model of development. Keep in mind that all ‘Grassrooters go up, parachuters go only down. Be master of your own field.” Minister Singla advised students to avoid shortcuts and adopt hard-work. Everyone should have one’s own set rules to have a wholesome personality in the long run. He also declared his intend to make the Punjab state as an IT hub. Arnika too proved energizer for LPU audience and talked about counter speech. While talking about fake news & social media trolling, she advised that to every hate speech, the best response is soothing speech. Rapper Feyago and Comedian Ganguly also enthralled LPU audience with the best out pours from their talents.
In fact, ‘Democracy Wall takes the idea of “free speech and meaningful engagement with governance, politics and society” to India’s most vibrant campuses. It offers young and aware Indians a platform to express their thoughts and aspirations: in voice, prose, verse, painting or music. As a forum for open expression and healthy questioning of established ideas and notions, ‘Democracy Wall aims to help the next generation of Indians emerge as involved citizens.