India’s political landscape is changing. Every second day, we see a political unrest rocking the world. A political leader lands in controversy. Protests are organised, petitions are signed, seminars are held, but at the end of the day, we find it hard to find a solution.
Ever wondered what the problem is? The problem is: youngsters aren’t interested in politics. Well, we can’t blame the youngsters. Almost every year, we see chairs being thrown by our respected MPs during Rajya Sabha meetings. No matter how disinterested you are, you can never run away from politics. Political decisions keep affecting you throughout your lives.
The moment your high school is over, you get yourself enrolled in a university. Quite frankly, it is quite easy to keep political developments at bay during graduation. As a student, political events taking place in and around the country never caught my attention. During graduation, we had 10,000 different things to look into. All of us wanted a job, and that’s about it. And so, in a quest to get our hands on a lucrative job offer, we distance ourselves from anything that’s even remotely political.
The Truth (Well, Yes)
No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to run away from politics. Politics is all pervasive. Suppose a housing bill is passed. It will affect all the students who plan to buy a new house. Furthermore, if metro fares are hiked by the AAP govt in Delhi, students commuting through the rapid transit are bound to get affected and so on and so forth. You know what they say about “personal being political”? One cannot escape politics and one must not either.
The Necessity Of Being Politically Aware
As students, we need to make our presence felt. It forms an important part of growing up. Start speaking about what you believe in. Universities provide you with an excellent platform to make yourself heard. Discuss, debate, critique policies and statements by our leaders. Not everybody needs to become an MP. You need to stay on top of the political developments because all of these developments, no matter how small or insignificant they might appear, will end up affecting you in the long run.
I remember attending a seminar at the Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi back in 2012. Arun Jaitley (Minister of Finance 2014-2019) had been invited has the chief guest. He was an Honorable Member of Parliament back then. He spoke on Public Accountability and Legal Reforms in India. I was asked to attend the lecture because many of my batchmates were on leave and some wanted to simply reach home a bit early. I decided to attend the lecture in order to grab some chai and samosa. That lecture, I must admit, rekindled my interest in politics. The lecture was enjoyable. It kept it me on the edge of my seat. I was so engrossed that I completely forgot about the chai-samosa. Today, I make it a point to keep myself abreast of all the political developments.
But Why Aren’t Youngsters Interested In Politics?
Politics doesn’t sound exciting. There’s a belief that Indian politics does not do anything for the welfare of its citizens. Most of us think that politicians are busy lining their pockets. This happens to be a common belief. Furthermore, the country’s current political landscape does not take every youngster into account. It goes without saying that a lot of political debates fail to attract youngsters. They aren’t ‘exciting’, but the lack of excitement certainly cannot undermine the importance of such debates. Just once in your life, go and attend a seminar, a debate, or a protest, and your outlook towards politics will change.
As far as the protests are concerned, the contemporary student activist has a host of resources at his disposal. Gone are the days when dharnas and hunger strikes were organised to protest against oppressive governments. Today, all we need to overthrow a government is a successful, channelised social media campaign. If there are enough signatures on an online petition, then the parties in question will have to step down. Power cannot be retained if people go against you. Hierarchies can be broken today, and that’s a luxury we didn’t have earlier.
The decisions taken by those in power will take years to come into force. Many of the decisions will be implemented only after you’ve graduated. Nothing will change overnight, but being politically aware and active will always help you stay on top of the game. If an oppressive government comes into power, a politically-informed citizenry can make it bite the dust.