Youth is associated with energy, impetuousness, ambition, independence, fresh ideas and enthusiasm. Every field, be it science, education, research, technology, literature, music or filmmaking, the youth plays a significant role in them. Youth forms the future and the hope for progress in right direction.
But when it comes to the sphere of politics, the youth are seldom seen in the forefront. Especially the urban youth studying in schools and colleges have distaste for politics. Very few youngsters have an ambition of pursuing a career in politics. They cannot be blamed entirely, as many politicians do play a dirty game under the guise of politics. Neither is the system of getting into a political party and transforming its internal dynamics so simple or transparent.
Rural and uneducated youth are more susceptible to the promises and the teachings of hate politics practiced on distinctions of caste and religion. So they end up entering politics for all the wrong reasons and fighting for the wrong causes. The semi-urban or urban youth is wiser to the kind of tactics that politicians employ. Some go as far as calling it a way of increasing the bank balances by sacrificing whatever ideals democracies stand for.
Idealism is important for the proper running of any democracy. The youth are becoming cynical and very few believe that idealism and politics can coexist. The riots roused, the bribery given and taken, empty promises made by mountebanks; are all characteristics of our political system. But our responsibility does not end with stating this as a fact and shrugging it off. Building and maintaining peace and progress of the country is something you can start at your own individual level; by saying no to intolerance and unjustified societal dogmas and saying yes to education and unity.
Today’s youth icons of India, like Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Omar Abdullah and Rahul Gandhi, show promise. And although the idea may be repulsive, Raj Thackeray is a youth icon to many. When people who claim to lead from front are preaching the wrong philosophy, it becomes difficult for impressionable minds to judge between right and wrong.
Recently, Omar Abdullah was sworn in as the youngest Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. His heartening ‘I am a Muslim and an Indian too’ speech in Parliament has won him approval of the youth. Here is, at last, something that makes sense in the civilized republic of India. This is a far cry from the religion based politics played by most politicians in India. But isn’t it ironical that we are admiring something that should be a fact, not an out of the world declaration?
By 2015, 55% of Indian population will be below 20 years. This shows what kind of prospective power rests in the younger generations. We have to see that they are empowered through the right education and the proper spirit is nurtured. Then there will be no looking back on the communalism, resentments and violence of today. So, it is now time to let go of the ties that are tying us down to hate and intolerance. The dream of our nation can be converted to a reality if the youth join hands and pass on new legacies to the future.