Youth Representation In Elected Bodies: Need Of The Hour

Posted on October 17, 2010 in Politics

By Kush Kalra:

“Man is by Nature a political Animal” –Aristotle

India is the largest democratic country in the world. It is possible because of the largest number of voters who are a part and parcel of the establishment of the government. In 1986, the then Prime Minister of India, Late Rajiv Gandhi thought of assimilating the youth of the nation in building the government by reducing the age of the right to vote from 21 to 18. It was a historic step in the democratic set-up of the nation. Now-a-days the most progressive, articulate, inspired and dynamic segment of the Country’s population is the student’s community. Students are the back-bone of any economy, system or structure of any nation.

They are the future of every nation. It is their responsibility to apply everything they learn, practically and thus contribute to the development of the nation. Politics is the best way to accomplish this very potential. Only an efficient leader can take a nation forward. That is the reason why we conduct elections to choose our representatives. Students have a burning zeal to excel. The power of the youth is like a mighty river, waiting to be channelized. If it is utilized in a constructive manner, only then can progress be made.

“Students should study politics and be alive to the current problems.”

K.M. Munshi

Since, from the time of Vedic period, we can take the examples of history. History is dotted with examples of students playing a vital role in overthrowing corrupt tyrannical regimes, freeing their people from overseas bondage, and launching persistent crusades against such evils as social injustice and exploitation.One is not expected to stay behind unreceptive in the face of criminalization of politics, dismantling of democratic organizations, corruption, socialism and casteism. Most of the great leaders in history entered politics during student life.

There, political education or training during student life is important for success in life. Many student’s unions like All India Students Union Federation (AISUF), National Students Union of India (NSUI), Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), All Manipur Students Union (AMSU), etc., are big and powerful organizations in our country. Their clout is so great that they can even go against the general people’s verdict; where politicians fail, they succeed easily. The power of the youth can indeed be great agent of social change.

Political experience constitutes an essential part of this learning curve. This experience prepares one to face the challenges better and enables one to understand the condition and feelings of the people. The much-hyped dirty, murky nature notwithstanding, politics has the potential to inculcate qualities like general awareness, keeping abreast of current happenings and above all, leadership qualities in an individual.Tackling tribulations, solving disputes and handling crisis situations, however small or big they may be, infuse confidence in them. It helps them, in developing skills to deal with people from all backgrounds and of all shades of opinion.

The present political scenario in India is a fanatical struggle of diverse political parties engaged in enlisting the support of students. In many cases, different political affiliations have led to deep division within the student community. The existence of student groups with differing ideologies has sometimes resulted in instances of agreeably acrimonious exchanges between antagonistic groups. So much so that even the campus elections held in educational institutions have also become some what tainted by undue political fervour among the student’s community.

The emergence of youth as a new political class is a consequence of the creation of the idea of youth as a distinctive life stage with its attendant cultures and social understanding. That has been made possible by a rapid change of the educational system. And it has all been supported mainly by the requirements and rewards of industrial economies. In our country, and in a number of other developing nations, modern educational institutions have created a young political class along with the others such as the middle and the working classes. Due to the pride of place given to the youth in the political hierarchy in these nations, the students’ community has gained prominence as a potent political force.

The significance given to the students for an active participation brings positive results to the society and the nation. In India students have always played a vital and crucial role in the political process.But the sanctity of youth politics needs to be kept intact,and not be influenced by the party politics in the country.Youth participation in politics does not mean that these young enthusiasts will eventually become what we detest now,It is for a paradigm shift in the system.Sadly,NSUI and ABVP have today ended up becoming mere imitations of their central supporters,at the university level.That is exactly what we do not want.

Given the special right and importance to the student’s politics, certain questions assume much importance and interest whether or not student politics is like national politics and integrates with it, whether student’s politics is separate, from, opposed to, or ahead of national politics? Everything has its advantages and disadvantages; this general rule is applicable in the case of student’s politics as well. The entry of politics into the premises of educational institutions has caused untold damage to many students. It is often seen that students get rusticated owing to their active participation in politics, thus losing their hold on studies. But all this does not mean that the participation of the students in politics should be banned. The participation of students in politics should be promoted but through getting them channelized in a proper manner. They should be given adequate guidelines, their energy and power should be mobilized so that they can be able to participate in politics to understand the soul of democracy.

For example, all the participants of youth brigade of UPA started political career in student life.