Q: Why should the young engage with politics?
In my view there are three main reasons why we need youth to engage with Politics
a. Politics is a medium and a platform which makes decisions that have an ever lasting impact on the society at large – the decision making would become skewed if youth are not part of the decision making process
b. Political decision making at times is a thankless job – in my observation all politicians start with being idealists but soon grow out of it – younger generation have infectious attributes such as “idealism, passion, energy, mind to dream without any restrictions and un cluttered “ which would act as check and balance to the rest of the political class
c. Most importantly young India needs a young shoulder to carry the responsibility of steering India in this 21st century – how long can we rely on Manmohan Singh, Pranab Mukherjee, L K Advani, Sharad Pawar, Mulayam, Lalu, Mayawati, Karunanidhi, H D Devegowda and others….Is it not time to give them some well deserved rest for all the hard work they have put in the last 4 decades.
Q: Why is such an engagement important?
If we accept the importance of politics and its impact then – for a young country like India – why is there a lack of quality in efficient and effective political leadership?
Youth of India form the largest block of population – if this block is not engaged in political process – how can one steer young India in this 21st century?
Need for continuity of efficient and effective political decision making - Founding fathers of India very young when they engaged with the freedom movement and after independence they provided an environment of democracy to flourish and the current set of political leadership were young when they came one board to steer India through the last 3 decades. It is time for a new set of youngsters to gain experience and eventually graduate to the helm of the political process.
Q: If they do wish to engage, what are the various ways in which this engagement can happen?
First and the fundemental step of enagegement is to participate in the political process, by registering to vote and to turn up at elections time to vote (hopefully for the candidate who presents a vision and can carry your views along to the highest decision making process!!)
Secondly - awareness of political decisions and their potential impact on the society at large. This process needs to pro-active rather thean being reactive and or being an arm chair critic!!
Thirdly contribute to the political process, either by entering active politics or by enabling a political checks and balance which can be acheived through NGOs, RTI, Sefl help groups, media etc...
Lastly dream and dream big for the bettermet of the sociecty, dont forget you are part of the society, if you dont help and do your bit, one has no right to expect as well!!
Q: What options are available to get involved?
If one needs to enter active politics then enter one of the established political parties as a volunteer, member and grow up the ladder (this is like any other profession, you need to work hard to get promoted. Can't expect on the back of ones qualification to get a party post which is powerful, it is wrong to expect as well without any contribution. But if you do get the chance then take it, becuase it is important to be part of the decision making process to bring about a change or make the voice heard).
For those who don't want to enter ative politics and yet be part of the political process then join think tanks, NGOs, self help groups, pick up issues help each other to promote address grivienaces and needs that the government has overlooked (i am debiberate in not trying to sound negative). The theme of such involvement should to to enable greater participation of society in political process, and to understand people are the real power behind the political leadership!!
Q: What are the positives & negatives of youth getting interested or engaging in politics?
Defition of Youth for the matter of discussion - anyone in the age group of 18-40yrs and those with an intent and the drive to serve the society and shoulder the responsibility of steering the country in this 21st century.
Positivies - uncluttered mind filled with idealism, passion and willingness to work hard!!
Negatives (though not really a negative) - expect change instantly!!