Saturday, February 20, 2010

Politics and youngsters

Vladimir Putin was 42 when he became the President of Russia.
Tony Blair was 44 when he moved to 10, Downing Street.
Barack Obama was 47 when he became the Commander-in-Chief of the US Forces.
Gordon Brown's cabinet's average age is 49.

Indian Cabinet: Average age - 67

Shashi Tharoor in his recent TED Talk said thus.

.....the last elections, five years ago, gave the world the extraordinary phenomenon of an election being won by a woman political leader of Italian origin and Roman Catholic faith, Sonia Gandhi, who then made way for a Sikh, Manmohan Singh, to be sworn in as prime minister, by a Muslim, President Abdul Kalam, in a country 81 percent Hindu
The pluralism in our democracy has transcended the barriers of religion, caste, gender and region. Still we don't have enough youngsters in our political system. Let me define two words before I move any further.

Cynicism is an attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives.

Politics is the art and science of government and public life.

The popular cynicism about politics among the youngsters in our country is disheartening. Immediately after the terrorist attack in Mumbai, NDTV ran a campaign, ‘Enough is enough’. I would like to quote from an NDTV report dated December 01, 2008.

The 26/11 terror attacks have left Mumbai in shock, anger and outrage. The city known for its spirit, finally said, “Enough is enough”. Everybody in Mumbai is angry. Vikram Bawa, a Photographer said, “I think we can shut all the politicians up and tell them to just get out of here and let us live our lives.”

NDTV is not the only channel which did such preposterous and irresponsible reporting. CNN-IBN went out gauging the Indian Youth’s opinion on politics. And the opinion was, obviously – “I hate politics and politicians”. In fact, one of my friends wrote a year back thus.
I do dream that one day will witness the extinction of the political race and then political parties will become defunct. I do dream that elections will be eliminated and precious public money will be invested to make life better for the people and not to bring pests to power.

It is this attitude that will hurt India in its quest to be one of the most leading and respected world nations. While it is true that the youngsters are upset about the way Indian politics is working nowadays, it is surprising that most of them don’t want to enter politics and try and make a difference. Because criticizing from the outside is always easy. Getting in and bringing about change is difficult.

A Politician is corrupt unless he proves otherwise – this is what is holding back many from entering the political arena. All politicians are painted corrupt by the general public and the media. The Indian youth has this habit of criticizing politicians for being corrupt, misappropriating funds when they themselves do it at a lower scale. Be it a school fest or a college fest, money is laundered from the budget by showing it under a non-existing head against a fake voucher/bill. To imagine that some of these students eventually would end up as CEOs or IAS officers or politicians or public servants of any capacity is frightening.

May the best youngsters join the Political System of India and make it a better place.

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