With population of over a billion people, Republic of India is the world’s largest democracy. For all obvious reasons, it is a cumbersome task to govern a country like India. India, the packet of diversified cultures, ethnicities, languages and mindsets, has always been a mysterious country when it comes to its integrity. Since the country got independence, it is undergoing major changes in terms of social, economical, political and technological aspects. But, political system of India also plays a key function in the development of other aspects.
Indian politics has been interesting since its inception. Governments change over a period of time; power slips from one political party to another. But the so called properties of the political system mostly remain the same. The average age of a politician in India is 65 years and the average age of the Indian populace stands at 29. At the time of Independence, Gandhi called upon the youth to participate actively in the freedom movement. Young leaders like Nehru responded to his call and came forward to the forefront of the movement. Afterwards, a lot of young people came into politics during the JP movement (the political and mass movements opposing the Emergency of 1975) and a number of them, though aged by now, are still there very prominently in the political arena. But this is not the case now. Nowadays, there are very few young politicians coming up. Now, we have only a handful of young leaders and they are there mostly because they belong to influential political families. It is next to impossible to find a young leader with no political family background in the present scenario of politics. There can be two reasons for this deplorable scene of Indian politics. One may be that the youth today are not interested in actively participating in the political field. Second reason may be that young people are not given opportunities to prove themselves. The old guard rule everywhere, they do not allow young aspirants to rise to the top levels and allege that the young do not have enough experience to participate actively in the governance of the country.
It is a long held belief of the people of our country that only aged people have gained enough experience and are, therefore, suited to administer the country. It is so because it is believed that they know and understand the country and its requirement better than the youth. This has been the pattern mostly. If we talk about main stream politics, initially, youth was not taken into consideration and gradually their mindsets changed in such a way that they stopped bothering about it. Even if they seem to join politics, it is not for development of nation but only to get famous. Under the circumstances, interest or passion in today’s youth for doing something for the country seems to have been lost.
Kiran Bedi once mentioned in one of her interviews that “the youth must enter politics, but only considering it as a public service and not for the sake of powers.” Many initiatives are taken in schools to develop interest among students to enter Indian politics and to change the pre-set conceptions about politics not being suitable for educated and young people. Also, old people should realise that proper development can take place only when they make way for younger people to take control of the activities. There are few things which need to be clarified. Firstly, that youngsters do not mean people who are below 20 years of age with no experience at all. Youth in this context is meant to refer to people in their late 20s or 30’s or early 40’s with a good mix of energy and experience. Secondly, it is not intended to to mean that old people should leave the political scene and rest. What is wanted is that they should be there for guidance because they are treasures of invaluable experience. When a young person, who is not from a established political family, joins politics, the process is too long to reach a proper designation and till that time you are just a worker for the party. This discourages many a young person.
Actual politics can never be taught, it has to be learnt through experience. Also what works at some place and some time does not mean it will work everywhere and every time. Therefore politics is a function of space and time. Our society respects only white collar jobs. Parents dissuade their kids from choosing any profession which does not guarantee a white collar job and politics does not guarantee that. To get success in politics, it takes a lot of time like a decade and hard work. Youth make a lot of money in many other fields during the same time. Also, amount of effort put in politics does not necessarily yield good results but by same effort success is for sure in other fields. There are society issues, economic issues that force the youth to make different career choices. We should work upon resolving these issues and once one feels secure in life after adopting an option like politics, surely some of the good minds will come into politics. What really matters in life is that one is able to fulfill his daily requirements by doing a job but politics does not do that. You are only able to do something when you are in power. A system should be made where we provide some security to people involved in politics even when they are not in power and then, surely, people will be happier to step in the field of politics.