Saturday, December 28, 2013

Youth can have political aspirations again

As Arvind Kejriwal swore in as Chief Minister of New Delhi today, I could feel something changing within me. I knew million others of my age would be feeling the same change.

India is young. People talk about the country's demographic dividend. It has been benefiting us in some many spheres of life, the shiniest beacon of this success being the IT Services industry. It has grown at an unprecedented scale in recent past. One field of life which was nearly untouched by this energetic youth was Politics. The most crucial part aspect for any country's growth. Young people like me have been skeptic of joining politics. The reason isn't because they wish to play safe, or because they were no willing to serve the society/country.

I have a lot of talented friends, who are natural leaders. Who have the will to serve the society, but they don't want to join politics. They volunteer for NGOs. Teach in slums, orphanages. Do all sorts of things but do not have political aspirations. Even when they know that, it is the avenue to trigger the biggest change. I

When I turned 18, I was excited, I could vote. I could participate in electing the next government for my state, my country. I went to the polling booth, I was confused. There was no one who I could vote for. None of the contestants were pursuing an agenda which I was interested in. This is the reason why a lot of young people still don't vote.

There has been a buzz in the media. In next general elections there will 120 million first time voters. It is a huge number but wouldn't have been take seriously by the political parties hadn't it been to the turn of events in last 2 years. (An unintended revolution)

Before I delve deeper into what has changed, I would like to enumerate reasons why I couldn't participate in the elections when I was eligible for the first time to vote. There are a large number of political parties in our country, but they have been contesting elections of issues which were relevant back in 1980s. Some parties do stand up for things that look beyond the political horizon, talk about growth and progress, but their are other factors that would hinder an aspiring young leader from joining them.
  • Congress is the undoubtedly the single largest party in country, with a rich legacy. But today it has degraded into a mediocre undemocratic organization, which bows before 'the chosen one'. The excellent cadre system destroyed, you need to know more about 'chamchagiri' than politics to rise through the ranks.
  • BJP the only other national party, cannot distance itself from the fundamentalist sister organizations, VHP & RSS. The ideological narrow mindedness means that it will never have the country wide acceptance.
  • Regional parties like RJD, BSP, SP who cater to a specific target group, generally identified by a caste.
In this political scene, a person would have to make a compromise with himself before actually entering in the fray to do good. I personally registered for membership two times, but couldn't do that.

Nitish Kumar in Bihar seemed the only person who didn't have these vices attached. Maybe a few others in Southern India.

In this environment Arvind Kejriwal has broken boundaries. There is a brand new politics, which focuses on contemporary issues. A person of middle class has reminded us again, that you don't have to belong to a particular family or caste to become a politician. Something which was lost after independence, sons & grandsons ascended constituencies from their fathers.

I'm hopeful again, that politics will once again become a passion, it has been a profession for too long.

This gives me hope:

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