Sunday, February 7, 2010

Role of youth in indian politics

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).



  1. As you rightly pointed out, they dont lack leadership skills. I think many of us give way because we have aspirations for 'softer' things. Few people would want to fight it out with blood, sweat and tears for a country which wont give them thanks, when they can get praise, adulation, money, comforts and most importantly security by simply studying and working hard in general. Essentially, the individuals (rather than groups) who can make a difference are the ones who stand to gain the least from it being an ace economics student, I'm sure you must have guessed that, Saket :) ).

  2. Surely, Pratik (oops..deusexmachina), I do agree that the aspiration for softer things has become like a marriage of convenience. But, the entry barriers such as muscle power, money power need to be taken into consideration. Also individuals who are not famous but notorious and have everything to gain by grabbing political power are big enough deterrents. So, successful intervention will call for both youth participation as well as isolation of anti-social elements. The earlier it happens the better it is.

  3. I am agree & definately encourage to the youth. If they all have a connect with scions of political families,then what's the problem .....?? Just I want to share u an ex:- suppose I get a B.Tech degree today, & tommorrow onwards I am going to join the company. Am I skilled or trained to handle any kind of problems as I join the company & boss given a task to accomplish on the first day??Ans is no & simple , we really need exposure, training, environment etc.The candidate, who has an exposure & background of it, definately he will do.
    So my dear, youth coming in the politics, we should welcome by the heart irrespective of thinking & commenting on them that they belong to the politician families.

    Lets comment ..........

  4. Farid, you have made a great comment that simply degree or training is not going to get you there. But at the same time why just being born in a political family should get you there? And you also quite rightly talked about exposure, training and environment... But my dear friend how does a young man get access to the above three things with entry barriers created by muscle power, money and family ties?
    The aim behind this article was to search for an alternative way of entering politics for youth apart from blood ties. We are still looking for it. At least "we can ignite the discussion" if we can't have the last word.

  5. Hi Saket!!! This is indeed a wonderful post.
    I want to some more points which are hampering youth to enter in politics:
    1. Family Pressure: Today we became more individual. What happens to the society we do not want to interfere. So when somebody wants to go in politics his family stopped him to go because of security concern. Even in childhood we are told to not go out on street. That's why the fear made a home in our mind.
    2. Future Security: We know very well that after doing some degree or any professional corse we can find a job somewhere. So at least can secure ourselves in future. But in politics there is no guarantee. If you failed first time, it's a big loss coz you won't have enough money to fight next time.
    There are many other reasons also.
    But a good analysis of situation by you. Thanks for the article

  6. Thanks Pratik, the family pressure is indeed a major source of concern. The aspect of future security has been dealt with in the first few comments on the blog. Thanks for highlighting the fear of failure as it's a major deterrent. It's really heartening to see that youth like you have such great insights and are willing to share them as well.

  7. Hai my dear friends its really great to know that atleast such sort of discussions regarding politics are going on among our youth.
    In my opinion there wont be any sort of barriers blocked for us in entering in to politics.However its only our personal perception that blocks us.I believe that joining in a military is far riskier to political entry,but i dont think(even i have'nt find)any of the youth(Confident and matured enough)giving such sort of silly excuses regarding this.No parent will oblige their children to enter in to any field if their children are enable to convince them or either entrust them that a particular field is of their passion and they can prove themselvesin that particular field.
    Regarding the present scenario of Indian politics its merely once negligence and even "HYPERPATIENCE"(Which is INDIAN'S Core genetic trait)that is becoming the strength to our Wicked politicians to rule us.Remaining all are kindergarden excuses.
    When students are ready to make aggitations for their reservations,rights, and benefits why dont they equally Strive for their duties...?
    M.K.Gandhi,Sardar vallabhai patel,Subhash chandrabose,Swami Vivekananda,Bhagat singh etc....were also young leaders during independence,who inspired ,motivated and influenced ppl to take part in the national movement and flourished our name and culture abroad.
    Regarding the political hierarchy we are not in B.C's where kings and their decendents are our only hope to rule us.We are in 21st century that too in a so called democratic its really shame on our part to encourage such trends.Gandhiji (the father of the nation)was a more dynamic leader to any other party member during that time, but wat about the so called EFFICINT leader in politics from Gandhiji's family.
    So Risk is every where even in the softest SOFTWARE jobs,If one is brave & Intelligent enough then nothing is inmpossible for us...

  8. Thanks Lalitha for your insights. I agree that nothing is impossible if you are strong willed but don't you feel that the politicians of yesteryears like Gandhi and Patel had to deal with different challenges and politics was not as lucrative as it's now? It would be great if you could throw some light on how we can encourage youth or make politics more suitable for ambitious, honest and self-made young men or women like you and me?

  9. hii...

    true. Many of us youngsters wishfully want to contribute to the well being of out nation. But, Can we..?
    like the gentleman above pointed a few reasons that stop most to enter this field.. Everyone would first want to have a sound and secure life before stepping into Rajneeti. But why..??
    because if u do not have an identity before no one would entertain a nobody.
    therefore we see actor/actress turned politicians.. at least your familiar face gets you through politics once you can't get any more movie offers.. :P

    Besides its easier for the crooks to survive than the people who want to do some good in here. That is how it works. Unless the majority wants otherwise.

    1. Hi So why the hell Rahul can't able to handle the corruption in their cabinet of ministry..... So why all this happening, because family politics always makes corruption.....

      We don't want young politicians coming from a backdoor of political family... We need educated youth who can handle things better in the field....

      MBA for finance minister

      a chemist for agriculture minister

      and too people should be developed for caring the nation as like their families....

  10. @Sritika, I agree that one needs to make a name for oneself so that s/he is taken seriously by the voters. But the question is how many plan to enter the politics in such a manner? For most of the stars or common entrants, its a stopover to fulfill personal urge for power and wealth. When I talk about the role of youth, I want to focus on their role at different levels be it at the grass-root level or right at the top. At every level there is a scarcity of sincere and educated youth with noble intentions and vision.

  11. So why the hell then he is can't able to handle the corruption in their cabinet of ministry..... So why all this happening, because family politics always makes corruption.....

    We don't want young politicians coming from a backdoor of political family... We need educated youth who can handle things better in the field....

    MBA for finance minister

    a chemist for agriculture minister

    if not happens only fools will rule this nation. Thats what happens at present...!