India is the largest democracy in the world. As per the 2011 census, 1.21 bn people call this country, their home. More than 50pct of the population is below 25, while more than 65% of the population is below 35. India is indeed a young country.
One of the principles of Democracy is, Government of the people, for the people and by the people. There is an electoral process, through which the government is elected, so it indeed is a government by the people. Whether it is the Government, for the people? The Jury is out. The wealth of the politicians in successive governments has increased, but people continue to remain poor. Is this the government of the people, when the average age of the Union cabinet continues to hover around 65, while at the cost of repetition, 50% of the population is below 25, causing a mighty 40 year gap between the two?
What is the cause of this gap?
The few reasons that I can think of are:
The older you are, the more experienced you are
There is a misconception prevalent in our country, rather the world, that the older the person, the more experienced he is and, more able he is. No consideration is given to the intelligence and the ideas of the person, so even if the younger one is a genius, having superior analytical skills and a knack of connecting with people, the bias is always towards the older incumbent.
Stifling of ideas leading to a disillusioned youth
India has always been home to dynastic politics, where several members of one family have dominated politics. This can be seen, both at the centre and the state. The senior members continue to remain in active politics, sowing the seeds, for their scion to reap the harvest. Ideas are systematically stifled. Where is the stimulus for the youth to join active politics?
Preference of the youth
Most of the current kids in school, either want to become a Doctor, or an Engineer, or a sportsperson. Would anyone say, that I want to become a politician? Tangible rewards can be seen, in the first 3 professions, but not so in politics, unless you are a member of a political family, active in politics.
It is a Young India, Vibrant India, Impatient India..straying at the tether, waiting to break free and conquer the world, but how will it succeed, when its policy makers have not kept pace with time. The old timers carry ideas, which are not in sync with today’s reality. They are discounting the rural youth. The urban youth doesn’t even care, more content in taking part in armchair debates over social media, rather than an actual debate. The Current youth is a selfish and lazy youth. It desires a change, but not willing to work for it, in the process, allowing the rot to fester. It then, conveniently blames the politicians and then flies away to distant lands, again content in being part of the armchair debates. The cycle continues…
The youth will have to jump in and get their hands dirty.
First and foremost, they will have to register with a political party, that suits their ideology. This should happen in the early 20’s. They will then have to take additional responsibilities and hone their skills under a senior member of the party. They should then start with making very small and basic suggestions, and work hard to get them implemented. Emboldened by the success they receive, they should then take on bigger projects. The youth will have to identify what , is the biggest challenge our country is facing and then take small steps to counter and overcome that challenge. There would be circumstances, where there would be disagreements with the seniors. They will have to tackle this tactically. Rebellion is the bedrock of many youth movements around the world. If they feel that and if they have the conviction that their ideas are correct, then rebel they must, as this rebellion would lay the seeds of a future leadership change.
They, however will have to take care, that their thinking does not mirror that of the senior politicians. Indians are inherently greedy. The pelf and the heft , can corrupt even the best minds and those deemed incorruptible. Only those who really want the system to change should take the plunge. Otherwise, it would be the case of an old wine in a ‘young’ bottle.
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Swami Vivekananda had said, Arise, Awake & Rest not till the goal is not reached. Similarly, the youth will have to arise, awake, work diligently towards a better system, not get disheartened by failures, manage conflicts for a better India. Remember, the future belongs to them and it is high time that they work for it, rather than wait for that to be handed over to them on a platter.