By Twesh Mishra:
He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future – Adolf Hitler
Youth, the forerunner of society is the most radical feature of any civilized nation. For a country which needed Rajiv Gandhi to realize the potential of this section of its populace, India has steadily achieved the tag of a youth powered nation. Today our nation is transiting to a future oriented setup where the availability and acceptability in the coming years is a deciding factor while voting for an electoral candidate.
To be precise, democracy might never have reached the Indian shores if it were not for the young. Instigated by works on social equality by the likes of Marx and Lenin, it was the youth that took upon its shoulders to rid the country from the clutches of British India. Maulana Azad the youngest man to be elected the president of the Indian National Congress, India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the firebrand Bhagat Singh were some of the young faces who heralded the Indian struggle for independence.
To this date it is this section of society that has been the harbinger of change. The recent uprising against corruption led by 74 year old war veteran Anna Hazare would have been fruitless if it were not for the youth who vouched for his movement. A democratic procession which resulted in the partial forfeiture of the legislative has been the most compelling argument for youth forte driving the nation.
When studied with a neutral bias, democracy in our country seems to have been ridiculed to the core. Over the past 60 years, youth which has consistently comprised a majority of the electorates has been a neglected lot. Election manifestoes and policies were centred on basic amenities and religious appeasement policies. Today after considerable appeasement to other sections of society, political organizations have commenced concentrating on the future leaders of the nation.
The emergence of young India is of such mammoth magnitudes that political parties are centring their manifestoes on this stratum of electorates. The Delhi University elections were a recent phenomenon where major political parties were at loggerheads to woo young voters. The clout of the opinion of the youth is such that results of the Delhi University elections are considered as the oracle for the coming state elections.
While considering the international scenario, the uprising against Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak in Egypt is another indication of the changing world scenario. A ‘status message’ on facebook by a journalist was suffice to ignite the minds of thousands of protesters at Cairo’s Tahrir Square. A majority of the internet users belong to the youth and internet users in Egypt are no different. The use of new media coupled with the physical dominance and revolutionary zeal was sufficed to counter the dictatorial regime of Mubarak.
The election of Barack Obama as the President of the United States too suggests the involvement of youth in politics. Barack’s fellow contestant John McCain’s loss is also attributed to the involvement of younger electorates.
Coming back to Indian scenario, democracy is incomplete without the will of the masses and today the masses demand a younger leadership whom they can bank upon. Gone are the days when a set ideology was enough to brainwash young minds. The youth today is educated and adamant to react.
The rise of literacy has further empowered the younger generation. Thoughts of social equality and the essence of democracy have finally seeped into the minds of young India. The Indian youth today refuses to be taken for a ride. The availability of the Right to Information is a powerful tool in the hands of the revolutionary young.
One must realize that democracy over the years has lost its credibility in the opinion of the unbiased youth. Politics was considered as a profession of the corrupt and democracy their excuse for being the same.
Today the empowered and educated young are obdurate to fight for their rights. Schemes like MNREGA are highly appreciated whereas a bill such as the government version of the Lok Pal Bill is vehemently opposed. The youth today understands the value of a single vote and is obstinate to elect an eligible representative.
The emergence of new media and it’s utilization as an opinion mobilizer has further multiplied the involvement of the young populace.
In the coming years, youth and democracy will share an impermeable bond. The involvement of this section will multiply as political establishments would tend to cater to the needs of the future leaders.
The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz and a student of Journalism from Delhi University.