Dr. Satywan Saurabh
The future of a country depends on how talented its youth is. All youth between the ages of 15-24 are usually college-going students. Their career options include Engineer, Doctor, Teacher, Sports, Defense, and some entrepreneurs. In the context of India, politics is rarely taken as a career option. Thus there is a huge shortage of young talented minds in politics to define and lead the world’s largest democracy. The place has been taken over by those who have criminal charges, are illiterate have money and muscle power thereby jeopardising India’s vision of becoming part of the League of Super Powers Nation.
Currently, youth and their families are more satisfied with the jobs of private multinationals due to the events of globalisation. Youth like Hardik Patel and Kanhaiya Kumar take a very small percentage in active politics, although there is little response from the Government in these cases. The Government should actively encourage college politics and recognise student unions so that students can participate actively in politics in later stages.
‘Champaran Satyagraha’ is an example of how youth can change the politics of country. In this Satyagraha, youth like ‘Babu Rajendra Prasad’ emerged as active activist on the call of Gandhi. Gandhi prominently associated the youth with the independent movement, resulting in great leaders like ‘Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’, ‘Jawaharlal Nehru’, ‘Sarojini Naidu’, etc. At the same time, the visionary revolutionaries and socialist aims of Yuva Bhagat Singh are still a source of inspiration for youth of the country.
During the medieval period and colonial era, the youth had little choice but to take a direct part in politics, yet at that time young people who moved forward in politics became great leaders but after independence, the Constitution of India set norms that a person should be an Indian citizen and minimum age should be 25 years for becoming MLA or MP, 21 years for Gram Panchayat Sarpanch. Thus once their education is complete, they can directly participate in politics.
It is also necessary to bring a change in politics so that it is possible to include youth. In college politics, criminalisation has to be stopped and improper expenditure must be controlled. In college politics, the interference of political parties has to be limited and the mobilisation of students will have to be stopped for political gains.
For the political development of the youth, autonomous and independent college politics, as well as childhood, one should establish the qualities of an ideal leader, including the development of the capacity of deliberation and argumentation by the schools. Children have to be given the ability to analyze their surrounding problems through education. Panchayats and municipalities will have to play a big role in the development of political skills among the youth. By training at this level, youth can be prepared for future politics.
Apart from the legal norms, the Parliamentary Committee on Youth Affairs related to the participation of youth in politics should look into the aspects which can encourage the youth to take-up politics as a career option. Government initiatives like ‘Mann Ki Baat’ provide scope to connect the youth and create awareness about problems facing the country and to fight the open defecation and corruption. Anna’s Lokpal agitation, Delhi gang-rape persecution, create political awareness among youth alike.
However, despite all these, the present youth believe that politics is not for them. This is largely due to the image of current politics – persistent corruption such as 2G, coal scams; Money in parliamentary proceedings, use of money and muscle power in elections, frequent collapse of coalition Governments, greed for power, politics, and the immoral game of arrest – all of them fear the politics of thinking and keep the youth away. Encouraging children to participate in politics is a danger for parents. But the present time shows a worrying situation where the youth’s share in politics is falling. Today in our Parliament, only 20 per cent of the leaders are below 35 years of age and only 70 to 90 percent of them have come into politics only through family relations.
Youth participation can bring positive change – they are young and innovative who usually work hard in nature, they can be invited in policy-making related to Make in India, crime against children, corruption, women empowerment, etc. Youth can be the brand ambassador of Startup India and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. At present, youth are being separated from evil forces like drugs, human trafficking, as they can be the solution to these problems.
Currently, youth and children in India account for about 55% of the total population. India is a young nation and the fastest growing nation in the world. We need inclusive growth to reap the demographic dividend. Youth politics is an untouched area that the government should focus on and innovate to contribute to policy making. A nation with the largest youth population should not stop at the leaders of Rashtrapati Bhavan after the current dynamic leadership. The above views of the former British Prime Minister show that youth is the time when a person has the power to bring great changes.
Youth is like the air that can change society, politics, and the world at its own pace. The youth has an ooze that keeps them alert to new ideas and they also can learn from the past. When the youth enter politics, the stream of new change flows, and new thinking is created. When the youth returns to politics again, the country will progress on the path of development.
“Sirph hangaama khada karana mera makasad nahin,
Meree koshish hai kee ye soorat badalanee chaahiye,
Mere seene mein nahin to tere seene mein sahee,
Ho kaheen bhee aag , lekin aag jalanee chaahiye”.