“I hate it/ Not interested/ Sucks/ Apolitical/ Not interested/Fuck Politics” These are some of the common answers which one gets to see under the ‘Political Views’ column if you visit the Facebook profiles of your friends or acquaintances. First I thought it might be a problem with my friends. In order to be sure; I stalked (Yes, I did) random profiles and interestingly the answers remained pretty much the same. And that exactly is my problem – The growing apathy of the youth towards the politics of the country. Politics/ Raajneeti has become what film line was years back; good people don’t enter it. While the people consider cribbing about the state of affairs in the country as their right; they don’t remember their duty when it comes to voting. And what’s even more worrying is the percentage of voting being less in urban centers than rural. So, the same youth who wore the ‘cool’ Anna Hazare caps doesn’t like to stand in the ‘hot’ sun to vote.
A recent survey indicated that India will become the youngest country in the world by 2020 with the median individual age of 29 years. If the young population of world’s largest democracy show such detachment from the politics of the country, we are in grave danger. Whether you like it or not but politics in any country is closely related to its development. The policies, procedures, laws determine to a large extent the way an economy moves. Governments need to do lots of things to encourage development – they need to build and maintain infrastructure, and raise and spend finance wisely, on the right projects. When governments are inept at managing infrastructure, development is impossible. Today, we stand at a point when the economy is in shambles and market is down. As a country that already faces high rates of unemployment, we will be faced with even more unemployed people in future. Mining, exploration, industry in the country is dying. We have made a world record with the number of scams that unearth everyday. Isn’t it important for us as the young brigade to understand politics so that we can vote wisely? Isn’t our future at stake?
Call me sexist but this ignorance is more in females. I still remember that my best friend who is from Uttarakhand didn’t know the Chief Minister of her state! Don’t you think you do grave injustice to the country when you vote by looking at how deep someone’s dimples are or how fluent one is in English or even the style with which one flips hair? It is NOT a Mr. India pageant! You are bloody deciding who will govern you for the next five years!
As our government plans to launch the Food Security Bill scheme in the country, how many of us even know what it is all about? Do we understand how this populist and non-sense scheme will impact the already weak economy? Do we understand that it will worsen the fiscal deficit situation? Do we understand that India’s trade deficit will be hit hard as the programme will require 70-80 million tonnes of more food grain every year. India which does not produces that much will have import in order to meet the requirements! Isn’t it vital for us to understand what is going on in the country? Why can’t we discuss this with friends along with our many discussions on films, fashion, cricket and music?
What sort of individual you are if you don’t have a political view? You are 18 years old and you don’t know what’s your political ideology? What are your views on economy, markets, social stratification? How can you be ‘Not Interested’ in the politics of your country when it impacts us immensely? How can you be more interested in knowing who will head the cricket team rather than knowing who will head the country? Having a political view is much more than supporting a particular party. For example; I am a rightist but I don’t entertain the idea of ‘Ram Mandir’ which the ‘Indian Right’ party proposes.
Arguments against Politics!
- Politics is Boring– Are you kidding me? Just listen to any of the sessions in Parliament and I bet that you will not find anything more entertaining and gripping. Our parliament (when functions) sees some brilliant debate. Not to forget the drama. It can shame any of our ‘saas-bahu’ sitcoms.
- Nothing is going to Change – For heaven’s sake, every single vote counts! What if everyone were to say “Oh it’s not important”? We wouldn’t get anywhere in the world.
- All politicians are corrupt – For every Lalu Prasad Yadav, we have a Manohar Parrikar. For every Advani, we have a Vajpayee.
- Don’t like the candidates – India doesn’t give you the option of ‘No Vote’ so please go and vote for the lesser evil. Your not voting will not make any difference but your vote will!
The success of every democracy and the making of a responsible government is directly proportional to the voting power of the citizens. A stronger democracy can be built with greater participation of people! Okay, it’s going very preachy and I should stop but with the hope that the ‘Y’ generation will say a big YES to politics and get involved in bringing a change!