Rahul Gandhi, Agatha Sangma, Varun Gandhi & Sachin Pilot have a common thread running through them. Can you tell me what? For most of us they are the young face of Indian politics. Dig Deep! There is one another connect. They all are scions of political families. A post election analysis of the recently constituted 15th Lok Sabha shows that 50 of the 81 young MPs come from political families. That’s a whopping 62 per cent who aren’t exactly self-made.
Few more facts: The average age of the 15th Lok Sabha at 53.03 years, makes it the third oldest House. Just marginally better than the 13th LS, the oldest House at 55.5 years. All these data are from a country that boasts of or should I say hides behind the fact that “Half of its population is below 24 years of age”.
Why is there a dearth of youth in Indian politics? Why even in an era of change, India remains a young country led by old people? In fact, "Youth representation" during elections is mainly limited to rallies & processions and characterized by mindless activities resulting in violence and mayhem.
Why the educated Indian youth is not willing to take up politics as career? Do they lack leadership skills? No, we have enough examples in corporate world. Is Indian youth devoid of social activism? No, the Jessica Lal case, the Jaagore campaigns are the cases in point.
Well the main culprit is the mindset towards politics - “It’s a dirty world”. Well for your kind information, it is this dirty world that takes all the decisions that matter and takes all the steps that affects the all and sundry.
What can be done to improve this grim scenario? Ban all those above 40 years from contesting elections? No, absolutely not. What we can do, is have a retirement age and minimum physical & mental fitness criteria for the politicians and make election funding process transparent so that the massive entry barrier created by money power can be taken care of. Also educational institutes should include courses on political leadership. After all running a country is as important as running a company if not more.
But all these steps would lead to nothing if the educated youth doesn’t come forward and fights for a change in the political system. "Just casting your votes is not enough, be a part of this process" or tomorrow we would have no one else to blame.
As a famous Hindi poet had once said, “समर शेष है, नही पाप का भागी केवल व्याध, जो तटस्थ है, समय लिखेगा उनका भी अपराध “, (those who are mute spectators of injustice are also responsible for it).