Youth Activism And Politics In India

Posted on August 19, 2011 in Politics at Play

By Ankita Rastogi:

Youth activism in India started acquiring prominence during the 1970’s and has grown since. The origins of students’ movement in this country dates back to the origin of the whole concept of organised movement.

Almost every political party makes its presence felt in the University elections, through its youth leaders, which definitely represent an important channel for an inter-generational political dialogue.

NSUI (Congress party), ABVP (BJP), SFI (CPI Marxist), AISA have been prominent student organisations that have sustained the trend over the years.

National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) is today, not only India’s, but one of the world’s largest students’ movements. It is politically affiliated to the Congress Party.

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is politically affiliated to the BJP.

Founded in 1949 in Delhi, it has gradually spread its work across various universities in India.

ABVP runs projects and programmes aimed at national integration and social consciousness programmes to solve the economic and other problems of the students and programs to encourage the hidden talent of the Students, with a view to bringing the best out of everyone

The Students Federation of India (SFI) was founded in 1970.

It is active throughout India, it is most prominent in student politics in the states of Kerala, West Bengal, and Tripura. It also has some pockets of influence in Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan , Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. It has a strong base in the universities all over Kerala and West Bengal . It has a few other strong-holds which include Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh University in Shimla, University of Hyderabad, Osmania University, and University of Rajasthan.

It is the major student organisation in Kerala.

This group believes that Education is a major tool of social transformation and that this concept is especially relevant in a country like India, where regressive forces still prevail. Proper education, they believe, will counteract such forces and will help to build a new society based on rationality and justice.

SFI identifies with a society’s progressive forces and is totally committed to the idea of independence, democracy, and socialism. It includes students from all the academic institutions of India – from schools to colleges, from professional institutions to research academies.

All India Students’ Association (AISA) is a radical left students’ organisation, associated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist—Leninist) Liberation. Feeling the need to defeat the forces of far right communal fascism, and conservative neo-liberalism, and to fulfill the task of building a pan-India radical students’ movement so as to not only win the struggle for students’ rights, but also to channel the energy of country’s youth into the task of nation building on progressive lines, AISA was founded in Allahabad on 9 August, 1990.

It came into existence with the merger of many like minded state-based students’ organisations like All Bihar Students’ Association, All Bengal Students’ Association et cetera, to form an all-India level students’ organisation.

In the wake of the recent information technology advancements we have witnessed the incidents of online activism; which are on a rapid rise.

The primary reasons for this being that the virtual world has its own virtual markets producers and consumers.

For years, students in India have always looked forward to their further studies, wherein most of them are considered responsible and mature enough by their parents to be given substantial freedom.

The youth at this stage are entrusted with freedom but are usually funded by their parents. It is therefore quite easy to indulge in activism than in later years when they have a job or the responsibility of a family, which basically makes their time too constricted to remain driven to usher in social change.

People create portals of information and these are made available to people looking for that information over search engines. The finances come over from advertising and funds are allocated in webpage designing, publicity and media designing.

The relatively new ways of activism have had a large part of media usage say the use of video films, articles, sloganeering et cetera.

But more than this aspect of technology inclusion the major jump in activism has happened due to the convenience that it offers.

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