|Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Why are ethical people not willing to come forward to join active politics? Steps needed to motivate youth to join active politics.
Conclusion. Way forward.
India is a young democracy with 65% of the population below 35 years of age. Despite favouring demography, youth play a very minimal role in active politics. As per the 2014 data, India still elects the oldest cabinet, and only 12 Members of Parliament are below 30 years of age. The inclusion of youth with ethical conduct in formal politics is important. With involvement of youth with moral conduct, fresh ideas and new leadership help to overcome authoritarian practices. Politics should not be seen as the participation of experienced and old people only.
Why are ethical people not willing to come forward to join active politics?
- High entry barrier: Entry into the role of full time politicians is difficult. It demands money to win elections. Further, politicians use muscle power to prevent entry of good people to enter politics.
- Social stigma: Politicians are viewed as corrupt and evil. Therefore it is not the aspiration of people to become one. This is a rare exception that someone encourages his/her child to become a politician.
- Family discouragement: India follows a family system. Most families in India discourage their relatives from joining politics due to the poor image of politicians and fear of harm to family by criminal politicians.
- Risk of failures:The chances of failure of high and very few people become successful. Further, many have a deep psychological fear of going into jail, getting mocked and so on. These are part of a politician’s life however it discourages people from entering politics.
- Perception:General perception of a common man about a politician is someone who is deceptive and corrupt. So people from well to do fields tend to avoid themselves being listed in categories of politicians.
- Dirty politics: Nowadays parties play all kinds of tricks to prevent the entry of good people. Many fail to enter due to dirty politics and due to fear of harm to good image. Unethical practices have become the norm in politics in contrast to the practice of morality in politics.
Following steps can be taken to motivate youth to join active politics:
- Rewards: There should be significantly better rewards and incentives in place for joining politics and for displaying ethical behaviour. A significant increase in wages of MPs and MLAs while getting rid of all of the perks can help in achieving so.
- Dismantling barriers: We then need to work on thechallenge of dismantling barriers to entry. For example,the enormous amount of money is now required to contest almost any MLA or MP election. For this state funding can be explored.
- Election reforms: Electoral reforms have to be top priority.Electoral spending & campaign finance are at the heart of large-scale corruption in India. A lot of people do not join politics due to this. So we need better accounting and tighter auditing of electoral funding.
- Youth parliament: It must be conducted regularly to instil interest in political issues and desire to become political leader. Many people lack knowledge of such platforms. Thus, awareness campaigns regarding youth parliaments must be made especially at grass-root levels.
- University elections: Elections in Indian universities are a glimpse of national politics. University elections need reforms like non-involvement of political parties and strict vigilance over use of money and muscle power. This will encourage good students to join politics.
- Emotional motivation: Good people must be motivated by rousing the feeling of patriotism and projecting politics and a means to express the value of the love for nation.
- Role modelling: Youth must be motivated by highlighting the stature and role of important leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Lal Bahadur Shastri etc. in nation building. It is important to make youth aware of the struggle these leaders faced for the country.
The country needs some young leaders with enthusiasm, morality and diligence in Indian politics. At the time of independence, many youths like Jawaharlal Nehru participated actively in the active politics and freedom movement. But the scenario is completely different now. Nowadays, we only have a handful of young leaders. The majority of the youngsters only view politics as a dirty game, and do not want to enter into it.