Co author: Meesha Gandhi
India’s youth make up more than 50% of its population. Their views on critical socio-economic issues are paramount to shaping India’s progress. With an increase in media exposure and information access, the Indian youth are taking a more progressive and liberal stand towards issues such as gender, environment and human rights. In an increasingly xenophobic political environment, Indian youth are looking for a leader who doesn’t shy away from publicly acknowledging the progressive needs of the 21st century.
Here is how the youth of India relate to the charismatic and youthful Right Honorable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:
Trudeau has often described himself as a strong believer and supporter of feminism. In fact, in 2015, his first act as a sitting Prime Minister was to appoint a cabinet with equal number of men and women. Trudeau advocates that feminism is not only an issue for women and girls, but also for everyone to participate in and advance further. He has also spearheaded the process of making the lyrics of the Canadian National Anthem more gender neutral. thus taking a positive step towards gender equality.
As India struggles to find its place in the global feminist movement, Trudeau’s openly progressive outlook resonates with the modern values young Indians are moving towards. The discourse on feminism has become even more persistent in India as artists, activists and youth have increased their participation in various campaigns including the recent international #MeToo movement.
Trudeau’s stance on the LGBTQ community was made abundantly clear when he marched in the Toronto Pride Parade in 2016. With Canada setting the example for LGBTQ rights, Trudeau has become a global icon for liberalism.
The past year has seen an outpour of LGBTQ supporters and initiatives in India. The first step towards victory for gay rights is the Supreme Court of India’s decision to re-examine the validity of Section 377. There is hope of decriminalizing homosexuality and ousting the archaic law which was heavily criticized by activists and liberals on various platforms.
Trudeau, unlike his American counterpart, publicly accepts the scientific reasoning behind Climate Change, i.e. alteration in the world’s climate has been caused by human activities. Though controversial, his government is actively focusing on creating a Pan-Canadian framework on climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as putting a price on carbon pollution.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent address at the World Economic Annual Meeting in Switzerland also mentioned how climate change is one of the most significant challenges to civilization. As the second largest populous country in the world, India’s battle against climate change can determine the fate of many others. With increasingly disturbing levels of pollution in various metro cities in India, the youth are working towards different interventions to curb the effects of climate change
India and Canada share a strategic partnership underpinned by shared values of democracy and pluralism. At a political level, both countries have also seen high-level interactions on trade and commerce. To this end, the Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be visiting India later this month to work on strengthening the bilateral strategic partnership in key areas of counter-terrorism, energy and trade.
Being a promoter of youth and development, Mr. Trudeau will also be interacting with over 5000 Indian students, young professionals and entrepreneurs at the 8th United Nations Young Changemakers Conclave on the 24th of February at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi.
If you wish to be a part of one of India’s largest youth events, here is a chance for you to register for free! Sign up at registration.youngchangemakersconclave.in to interact with the beloved political leader!