“The greatest power is not Money Power, but Political Power” – Walter Annenberg
India is a 70-year-old democracy and one of the most well-performing countries in the world in that. The parliament of India is guarding its democracy. But there is a problem which is not unidentified in the present times: youth is disappearing from national politics. They are not made part of the administration. The country is facing many threats such as destruction of personal freedom, the best example for this is the recent issue of mob-lynching which is happening around India, raising the differences between religions and groups. Politics is completely filled with age-old politicians and their families. However, the presence of youth in politics can reduce this issue to a large extent.
The process of elections was clearly explained in our Constitution. Article 84(b) and Article 173(b) are some such where the age requirements for the MPs, MLAs and MLCs were properly explained. They state that the minimum age required for the MP of Lok Sabha and MLA of state legislature is 25 years whereas the minimum age of MP of Rajya Sabha and MLC of state legislative council is 30 years. A recently conducted survey on MPs age shows that the average age of the Lok Sabha MP is 56 years. The average age of an Indian is 27.9 years in which more than 50% of population is under 25 years and more than 65% of population is under 35.
Indian politicians are not ready to lose their power. Some of them have been in active politics for 70 years. The founding member of CPI(M) in Kerala V.S. Achuthanandan and founder of DMK party Karunanidhi served for 78 years in politics. They both served to a large extent for the development of respective states, but what is the need of electing people of that old? Rather, we can elect a young person who is aware of the problems and have many ideas to change the society. Why can’t political parties support those new leaders.
Some support aged politicians as they believe that ‘in youth you learn, and in age you understand’. This is not correct in the current scenario. Youth are not given proper positions to prove themselves. How can you judge people without even knowing their capabilities? Aged politicians only know how to acquire power and how to save it. If that is the what they want youth to learn, then we don’t need it. Youth should be politically educated; educational institutions should provide a base to increase their knowledge on politics. The student councils in various institutions are useful to solve the problems of students and increase their knowledge on power games. Even this is polluted by many political parties by starting groups in various universities. This should be stopped.
In the year 2006, to provide proper guidelines to student politics and their elections, a committee was appointed by the Supreme Court of India under retired chief election commissioner Mr. Lyngdoh, where he gave a lot of useful information but sadly many of the universities are not following these. The committee rejected the involvement of political parties in university elections. It also rejected the usage of money and muscular power to influence the elections. Only few institutions like TISS and others are following these regulations, whereas many prestigious institutions like JNU and DU see the involvement of political parties in their elections.
Some of the student groups are Akhil Bhartiya Vidyardhi Parishad (ABVP), which is the student group of the RSS, Students Federation of India (SFI), which belongs leftist parties, and National Student’s Union of India (NSUI), which belongs to the Indian National Congress. Many of these groups are involving in activities which disturb peace in the campuses, like the recent entry of ABVP members to the counting center of student elections and destroying the materials. This is not the voice of youth.
On the other side, many universities are not allowing students to raise their voice. Questioning is the real power of the democracy, suppressing it is not the correct procedure. Many institutions like Young India Foundation are working for the involvement of students in politics. Youth should take it as a responsibility to correct the system which is presently corrupted. The greatest power which our country possesses is youth, and we should use it.
Another important aspect which is spoiling the country is family politics. A true leader is the one who moves people forward by guiding them from the back, but that is not happening in the present day. The present politicians are only encouraging their family members. The people are electing a member who is not native to that region, then how can they solve their problems? Our Prime Minister is from Gujarat and he was elected from Varanasi constituency. The family members of many popular leaders like Mulayam Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Chandrasekhar Rao, Chandrababu Naidu, Dewa Gowda are not only just politicians but also hold key positions in the government in the form of various ministries. Instead, they should take the youth who are well aware of the situations. Family politics is suppressing the entry of fresh leaders to the top. The youth are only limited to lower party workers. Only those with a political background are rising.
This is not what people want. People want freedom. They want equality. They want the basic principles on which the country stands to be preserved. Youth is an important pillar on which we stand today. They need to be protected. Media is for the people, not for profits. The freedom of media should be protected. Government institutions in the country are to be given an autonomous status. Political parties should be banned to enter educational institutions. Present politicians should take a call for a better future. Power should not drive the leaders…the idea of change should flow through the veins of every citizen for a greater tomorrow.
“The Youth of a Nation are the trustees of posterity.” – Benjamin Disraeli