Youth and Politics

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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?

 

Ashish Chowdhary

[Image source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/guptasameer/3080350405/]

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