3 Reasons Why We Need Young Leaders In Indian Politics
By: Shreevidhya Ravi
Published On: August 13, 2018
This International Youth Day, we highlight why Indian politics needs young leaders and how you can become one! Read on...
Even as India progresses rapidly, it is not uncommon to see youth expressing their distaste for politics. With more than 50% of India being under the age of 30, previous generations have raised a whole generation to think that “politics is dirty business”. Even today, it is highly common for parents to ask their children to not waste time by getting into politics or for people to assume that it is impossible to alienate politics from caste inequalities.
While what is true and what is false is debatable, the common notion that one associates with politics loosely revolves around this statement- “Politics is not for us, someone else will take care of it” As with everything, there needs to be a major mindset change. Rather than reasoning, why youth mustn't get into politics, it is time that we debate about why it should.
1- Let’s fix the generation gap
More than 50% of India’s population is below the age of 25, and more than 65% below 35. If we were to base our thinking off statistics, India’s youth should already be steering the biggest democracy in the world.
Yet, the reality is far from it. Only 6% of the ministers in the government of India are below the age of 35. Behind every policy, bill, rule or law, the involvement of youth plays a key role. The contemporary social and cultural bearings in the society is a far cry from what it was a generation before.
It is tough for a 40 something to be able to visualize what the youth of today want, justifiably so. For the thought processes behind policies to change, the youth needs to get involved so that they can have a say in what policies and initiatives govern their life.
2- Eliminate inequality of different voicesIt is a great time to be alive, when it comes to social change. Never in the history has there been this level of uproar for equality. Social inclusion has been a buzzword for nearly a decade now. Institutions, friends, family and professional spaces have all led to diverse kinds of people coming together.
Migration patterns have evolved, with loads of people migrating all at once, the diversity of people has transcended caste, creed, race, language etc. With everyone coming together to enable for marginalized and ignored voices to be heard, this is the closest we have come to starting active conversations about inclusion.
For this inclusion to rapidly advance, the brunt of it lies with the youth in actively propagating dialogues and awareness at a policy level, about this worthy issue.
3- Leverage technological muscle to empower
It is common knowledge that technology has been taken for granted, especially when it comes to the recent generation(s). Be it due to unimaginable pace of advancement in such a short span of time or due to the rakish increase in access to technology, being technology savvy has become a common characteristic of today’s youth.
It is not uncommon to find youth making money off their technological prowess, be it becoming a coder or a social media influencer. With youths amplifying their voice through social media platforms like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter, it is no surprise that the access to political news is rapidly growing.
For the first time, the power of technology can be used to do wonders, making unheard voices audible, solving real time problems, spreading awareness etc. We believe that the youth of today are best empowered to create tangible social impact with the help of technology.
Now that we have dealt with the why of the larger problem, it is important to examine the how of it. As explained before, embarking on a political journey can look very similar to starting an entrepreneurial journey. It takes time, practice, effort and lots of patience. Here are some ways in which one can jump on to the political bandwagon.
1- Start Young
As with everything, the pioneer advantage applies for this situation too. One can engage in political discourses in various phases of their life. When it comes to university life, try and join a course that’s inclined towards your political ambitions. Political science is a great course to go for.
Other social science courses like economics, humanities, history or law are also very helpful when it comes to understanding the political scenario of our country. Look to engage in debates or join politically active clubs that belong to different parties. Various parties have a good presence, be it digitally or on ground. Make an effort to join these parties as members. Check these pages out to get involved with popular political parties:
2- Join Fellowships
Fellowships are a great way to explore the various facets that’s associated with the political momentum in India. In the recent years, a lot of politically and socially relevant fellowships have sprung up, thus granting the opportunity to engage in meaningful foundations that will eventually shape up one’s political entry and career.
3- An armchair Politician is better than no politicianSocial media wields immense power these days. Common citizens who understand and comment on social and political happenings have a huge media following. A lot of people trust them just on the basis of mere relatability. While it is a common misconception that everyone who comments about socio-political happenings are trolls, in reality it is not that way. In fact, using your voice to spread awareness about a social problem or a political agenda is still counted as activism.
If one happens to gather a massive online clout because of their social commentary, that will definitely enable them to build a great following, both online and offline, thereby increasing trust, transparency and most importantly, scope.
This is a great way to potentially start your involvement in politics.
The state of politics can be compared to the state of entrepreneurship in our country from 10 years ago.
One cannot help but draw a parallel to the similar apprehensions- risky, unstable, paycheck not guaranteed, burden of revolution can be taken care of someone else, settle for safety etc.
10 years later, here we are with thousands of Indians capitalizing on the very instability, risky and not-so-safe conditions to successfully conquer the start up market. Politics can be made desirable, transparent and lucrative if only we take on the burden of change, heads on.
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