Youth Politics is a category which involves or otherwise impacts the Youth. It was first identified in the American Politics with the formation of the American Youth Congress in the 1930s. Omar Abdullah’s recent speech in parliament on the confidence motion started with, “I am an INDIAN first and Muslim second”; and brought the focus on the importance of the Youth in bringing new ideas, freshness and transparency in the Indian politics. One of the stories that unforgettably describes India’s tragedy is- “The mother of India had two sons.
One knew how to run (the country), but went to fly and met his end; the other knew how to fly, but went to run the country and met his end. ” Symbolically, that has always been India’s problem– misallocation of resources and incapable leaders at zenith. It is true that with age comes experience, but the likes of B-School graduates like Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora and others like Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia add life and a fresh set of ideas to the decision making bodies.
Bharat Uday Mission is one outfit of IITians who are planning to enter in politics at a certain point of time. The Indian Army started new programs last year to attract the Youth in the army. There are movies promoting Youth in politics, like Yuva, RDB, etc. Omar Abdullah, 38, was sworn in as India’s youngest Chief Minister in the New Year. Barack Obama is just 47. A prominent stage in Youth involvement came in the form of call given by then Prime Minister, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi.
One of the most violent phases of Youth politics came with the attempted self-immolation by Rajiv Goswami, in protest against the implementation of Quota system under the Mandal Commission. For our generation, politics, as a career, comes way down the career-option list. Rampant corruption, criminalization of politics, lack of accountability, lack of family and peer support, etc. are some of the reasons behind this. In UK, Tony Blair retires at 58 while in India, the chief posts are mostly occupied by the politicians above 50, rather 60.
Another reason is the misrepresentation of the Youth as `cool, young and happening’. Very few people possess a voter identification card and an iota of them actually go to vote, all of which result in a degraded majority and a wrong party on power. “Nobody will ever deprive the Indian people of the right to vote except the Indian people themselves- and the only way they could do this is by not voting. ” Thinking and contribution from freshers is fresh, as it is not influenced by any partial view of reality. J. K. Rowling has aptly said: “Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth”.
In today’s knowledge-based economy, what you have is more important than what you’ve experienced. Recently, the Regional Congress committee hinted that it would positively consider Shahrukh Khan as a candidate if the actor sought a ticket for the coming Lok Sabha polls from a constituency in Mumbai. If we as a nation have to move ahead and build the country of our dreams, we have to use politics as a medium to ensure that the Government remains sensitive and accountable to the people. We need developed and young minds instead of corroded and corrupt minds.
It is us, the generation X (Next), Y (Youth) and Z (Zealous), who can resuscitate India. As the new Airtel advertisement puts it “One act of defiance- can spark a revolution”. The Youth has to become a part of the politics to facilitate the reconstruction of a better society and a country. Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. Is the Shining India ready for politicians who are educated and eager for a Revolution? India, can you hear me? ************************************************
Democracy is the buzz word for our political system. But is it really so? Is it democracy that a nation where a majority of population is below 40 elects a majority of people above 60 to power? Are we really satisfied with the way our country is being governed? Should it not bother us that at the age people generally take retirement and rest, our politicians actually become eligible to be at the helm of affairs? Why is it so that people below 50 years are considered as political ‘kids’? The country desperately needs some young leaders who personify energy, enthusiasm, morality, and diligence.
No doubt we have progressed a lot in the last 62 years but the development pace would have been completely different had some young torchbearers led this process of development. At the time of independence, Gandhi called upon the youth to participate actively in the freedom movement. Young leaders likes Nehru came to his reckoning and led the movement. But this is not the case now. Nowadays we have only a handful of young leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Sachin Pilot, Varun Gandhi etc, but they are in the political scenario because they belong to influential political families.
It is next to impossible to find a young leader with no political family background in the furor of politics. There can be two reasons for this deplorable scene of Indian politics. One may be that the youth today are not interested in actively participating in the political field. They are content with what they are doing and how the country is being governed. But this reason seems to hold no ground seeing the discontent shown by the youngsters towards cases like reservation, Jessica lal murder case etc. The youth of modern India are aware of the problems facing our country and the world at large.
Given a chance they would be ready to change the political condition of the country for better. Second reason may be that young people are not given opportunities to prove themselves claiming that they are not equipped with experience to participate actively in the governance of the country. This reason seems to be more logical seeing the monopoly of old leaders in almost all the major political parties of the country. Old people should realize that proper development can take place only when they make way for younger people to take control of the activities.
There are few things which need to be clarified. One that youngsters do not mean people who are 20 years old with no experience at all. Youth in this context is meant to refer people in their 30’s or early 40’s with a good mix of energy and experience. Two, it is not intended to mean that old people should leave the political scene and rest. What is wanted is that they should be there but for guidance because they are treasures of invaluable experience. There are a few things which I would like to suggest. There should be a retirement age for politicians as well which may be around 65 years.
There should also be some educational qualification for politicians. How can we give those illiterates the key to our country whom we can not give the key to our house? People with serious criminal background should not be allowed to contest elections. As for the youth of our country, they can contribute in more ways than just contesting elections. Much can be done in areas like educating people, raising awareness about various social ills, and many other areas. We can just wish that the next time we go to vote we find more names of youngsters who can make our country a better place to live in.