India has a total population of about 1.3 billion. Out of the total population in India, one-fourth of the entire population comprises the Youth i.e. 19% of the total population. Statistics also say that 65% of India’s total population belongs to the age group below 35 years. But only 6% of the ministers in India belong to the age group below 35 years.
The statistics mentioned above clearly show that the political scenario inIndia is facing a significant shortage of energy, talent, and enthusiasm. In order to make the political system more representative, people from all parts of society and the age group need to be included. The political representation by the young age group of men and women remains very limited in India. To make a long-term difference by building stable and peaceful societies and implementing policies that respond to the specific needs of the younger generations, active participation of the youths in politics is very necessary.
If the country’s young generation faces obstacles while participating in the formal and other institutionalized political processes, young people may feel disempowered. Many start believing that their voices won’t be heard.
Active involvement of Youth in politics is needed for many reasons. Following are some of those:
- From Political to Civic Engagement: The involvement of Youth in politics would lead to civic engagement. It is considered much more significant than that of a political engagement as it refers to an increase in the service on the community level in health, education, charity work, etc. Political engagement is considered as one of the aspects of civic engagement which gets expressed by the voting.
- Better Citizens: Young people who are seen to be actively participating in their communities from an early age go-ahead to become engaged citizens and voters. Politics can play a significant role in building young and better citizens.
- Breaking down the Status QUO– The fresh ideas of the young generations can also give a new shape to democracy and also to good governance. This can also help by making the leaders listen to the voice of the Youth, and there should not be any autocratic rule prevailing in any part of the country.
- Youth for Youth– The country’s Youth faces lots of issues that are generally seen to go unheard. With the active participation of the youth in politics, there can be some improvement in the new generations of the country. The policies would be youth-centric.
In developing nations like India, the active participation of the youth in politics is very important. Active involvement of Youth can help bring democratic values to life. Participation in the formal electoral process and structures includes:
- Becoming a member of the political party
- Standing in an election as a candidate
- Being a part of an election commission
- Participating in the election as an observer
Participation of younger generations in active politics is comparatively low as compared to that of the older generations. Voting, which is considered to be one of the most important formal avenues, proves this fact of less participation. Youth tends to participate more in informal ones than formal ones.
As per a report by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India(ASSOCHAM), over 4000 to 5000 crore was spent on advertisements in a strategic way to target the Youth of India at the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. A campaign led by Young India Foundation had been raising awareness on the importance of youth rights and the essential representation needed in a country like India where 670 million people are below the age group of 25 years.