Make Way for the New

In 19 years of my life, I have not yet been able to make up my mind as to whether I am a feminist or not. And so, my stand on women’s’ reservation (33% in the parliament) could change every five minutes. After giving it a lot of thought, I realized that one can never be sure of the success the bill might generate, if it is passed.

I don’t know if Indian women are ready, but I am sure the Indian youth is, which brings me to my point- how about reservation for youth? It may sound far fetched, but I have a lot of faith in the abilities of the youth. If there was to be some kind of provision that made it mandatory to have one third of the parliament members to be between the ages of 25- 30, then there would be nothing like it. Of course, the struggle to make a mark would be a long and hard one, but only in the beginning. Give it some time, and the youth could completely take over politics. The level of competition, ambition, skill, and desire to grow has increased commendably amongst the youth in the past few years. They seem to be taking over all sorts of fields, be it corporate sectors, media, sports, movies, and all because, new avenues have been opened up for them, to venture and explore. Thus, I fail to see why octogenarians should be making national decisions, when there is a whole mass of youngsters with improvised education and information that are on the brink of bursting to get out there and make a change.

One might say that if the youth is really capable of handling political issues at the national level, then why should reservation be required. It is required because, in India, getting a ticket into a party, and then emerging as a prospective leader takes away the best decades of one’s lives. By the time a man is popular enough to make a mark, he is bruised not only by age and senility, but also with the inherent corruption and cheap politics that is ingrained in the current scenario. The system, being so complex and long drawn, can sup the energy and enthusiasm that a 30 year old might have. Reservation would be a way to ensure he uses himself to the maximum before problems of health related to old age fail him. Take a look at the leaders around us. The few changes that they propose to make, will most probably never take place, for the oldies do not have that kind of time on their hands. On the other hand, a young person, though an amateur, is someone with fresh ideas, an enthusiastic approach. That is someone whose spirit has not been corroded by unreasonable obstacles that might come in the way to gaining political power.

Perhaps I am being too optimistic, but I too being part of the youth, have a vision. I see sincerity and a commitment to hard work in my contemporaries. I see they have the “never say die” attitude, and a lot of conviction to carry out the right actions at the right time. They know the art of teamwork better than the leaders of yesteryears. Moreover, they are not content with just a seat, they want prestige and honor with it, and to top it all, they are aware that this they can achieve only through earnest and consistent hard work. Of course, there is a long way to go for anything lie this to happen. But I do believe that getting youngsters into politics is the one way to revive our stagnating political system. Do you want proof? Well, ask yourself- when was the last time India saw a revolution, one in which countrymen came together to put the benefit and welfare of their motherland before themselves? When was the last time they worked day and night in spite of harrowing pressures, even though they had the easy way out and be complacent? It was the fight for independence, the freedom struggle. It was a time when we were vivacious and used our inherent powers in all possible ways to ensure that we have a better future. It was a movement dominated by the youth.

If the youth could do it 70 years prior to the age of technology, 50 years prior to the green revolution and in a time when the population below poverty line was much more, they can definitely do it now. The only thing stopping them is the current system and the people running it, who desperately need to step back and give way. As Tennyson said- “The old order changeth yielding place to new”. Well, it is high time.

Sharanya Misra Sharma

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