[Editorial Analysis] Nobody speaks to the young

Mains Paper 2: Governance

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Youth empowerment and challenges

Context

• Sixty per cent of our country is under the age of 30.

• Yet, there is little substantive participation of our young in defining the direction of the nation.

• The average age of our MPs at 56 years is more than double the median age of 25.

• Ask 10 young people outside of the elite circuit about political developments in the country most will struggle to respond.

• Ask the youngsters to talk of their stand on some topical issues.

• They will shrug.

• We can, of course, say that young people today are selfish.

• They are too distracted and lack commitment.

• But this is, at best, a partial truth.

Today youth participation

• Youth, today, are responding to the cues and incentives around them; and paying attention to those who are reaching out to them.

• Ask a young person to name the top five actors and s/he can. Sports statistics?

• Yes, sir. Specifications of the latest phones? Indeed. Song lyrics? Of course.

• Celebrityhood practising a dance move, the boy spending time at the gym.

• There is no lack of commitment there.

• We cannot ignore Young India if we care about our democracy.

• Nor can we pick and choose what we want to prioritise our politics has to be representative of their needs and aspirations.

Way forward

• We have to talk about the things that matter to them in a language that they understand.

Equal educational opportunity rhetorical statement.

• Seventy per cent of our higher education is in the private sector and, increasingly, even public universities are getting privatized.

• There are no classes, students study in coaching centers.

• Students are paying exorbitant fees and graduates are saddled with debt without job prospects.

• We want those who work with us to demonstrate “work ethic” reliability, punctuality, diligence but it is unclear what exactly is gained for the young person in being all these three things?

• We have to acknowledge the essential role of young people in nation-building and create meaningful opportunities for them to engage with politics and governance.

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Prelims Questions:

Q.1) Uniting for Consensus is associated with which of the following?

(a) Protection of rainforests

(b) Opposition to BRI

(c) UNSC reforms

(d) South Asian connectivity

Ans: C

Mains Questions:

Q.1) The youth need a sense of purpose and political identity, not sops. Comment.

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