By Lata Jha:Â
If not totally disgusting, I think it would be safe to say that the youth today find politics extremely tiresome. Political apathy characteristic of our times stems not being witness to countless tenures known only for fake promises and unfulfilled dreams, to the extent that it has become a joke.
From having watched self-absorbed people take centre stage to give a performance the fact that a lot of us don’t see a future at all for this country anymore.
An average minister today is 65-year-old. A 25-year-old doesn’t just feel a lack of connect, but complete absurdity in most things he says or does. The foggy head probably doesn’t know his times, or the issues of his times. He’s chosen to hobnob the spotlight years after he should’ve made a graceful exit. The relatively young in the Parliament make up an embarrassing fraction. It seems as if ours is a country run only for those who witnessed partition.
The 25-year-old also doesn’t see why someone born with the golden spoon who has never had to think about looking for a job should be talking of unemployment, or hunger or per capita income. He’s never had to go through the grind. Which degree or lineage in the world gives him the right to formulate policies for people whose lives he knows nothing of? For that matter, how seriously can we take a woman who walks around with half a dozen bodyguards and talks of a rape victim who was forced to take a bus at night after waiting for an auto for hours?
They have nothing to do with us. They hardly even get us. But what saddens each one of us is that the sense of alienation and disconnect has led to absolute disillusionment among the brightest of us. A democracy can’t really function this way. It needs its people to wake up, not give up. We’ve already faced the worst of dictatorship, corruption and deprivation. We can’t take worse apathy now.
Issues that bother us, which we feel strongly about should be addressed, not scoffed at. Also, political apathy need not be redressed by directly forming a party or wearing the khadi kurta. That is not everybody’s cup of tea, but raising one’s voice is; being active and conscious is. We just need to redefine our notions of political participation. We need to realise how much our voice and initiative matter. We can’t change the country, but we can let people know how much scope there is for change, why and how.
It was one young man who unleashed the first revolt of independence against the British Raj. He didn’t quite get all he wanted, but did create a desired impact. Maybe it is time for another round of revolutionary activism, for people to realise that taking all of it in your stride is not the key to change.