Saturday, December 6, 2008

Youth and Politics part2

My dear friend,
In last letter we agreed that change is required, change is possible and politics is necessary instrument for any broad and stable change. In this letter i want to put forward my opinion on two questions: why interaction of youth and politics is particularly important, and what are steps youth need to take in order to do positive politics.
Interaction of youth and politics is important in our country because:
1) Some 47% of country's population is under 20 and 70% is under 35. Youth (age group of 13 to 35) make around 40% in countries population. For any strong and healthy democracy involvement of such huge section in politics process is very necessary. Today youth are alienated from politics and that's why they sometimes disrespect democracy itself. If india has to be biggest democracy in reality and not only in textbooks, youth would have to politicise themselves and politics would have to create space for young.
2) Young, since they have ability to dream and think beyond immediate personal gains, are least interested in maintaining the status quo and if something better is possible which would improve the lot of masses, they will be ready to fight for it. Justics, Equality, Liberty all such great values attract them and if given proper platform they can be the most passionate satyagrahis for a just, egalitarian and free society. Politics need the passion of youth.
3) If youth wont do politics, they will become a silent spectator and hence supporter of other's politics. The best friend of status quo are those who feel that it is unjust and inhuman and yet prefer silence. As i already stressed in first part, world wide a special kind of politics is going on: politics of hunger, startvation and prolonged malnutrition, politics of individual and state terrorism, politics of ecological destruction etc. Either youth will do their own idealistic politics against this mainstream rotten one, or they would remain a passive instrument in the hands of those who do mainstream politics.
4) Any individual who is a bit sensitive and socially conscius would be forced to ask this question, when he sees around himself: Is this the society, the nation, the world I want to leave for my future generation to live in? and this is not an insignificant question. It made our freedom fighters give their lives so that we can be citizen of a free nation. Soon he will find the answer: no, there are many things that ought to be changed. His sensitiveness would force him to find ways to do something for society and bring a positive change. and the best way to bring a positive broad and stable change is politics. So for sensitive youths, the hope and the vision to create a better society, a better country and a better world would find its destination in politics.

Now i come to the final topic of my letter: What are precautions youth need to take or thing they need to learn in order to do positive politics:
1) Fault in character or in understanding: We all talk alot about faluty character of politicians: that they are corrupt, greedy, selfish etc. Any problem comes and we attribute it to the fault in character. Thats why few youth who think of coming in politics, assume that since they are strong in character, they are not corrupt, greedy or selfish, they dont have to worry about anything else in order to do positive politics. But in reality fault in understanding is perhaps bigger reason of evil winning the battle. So youth who are interested in politics would have to form an understanding of problems of world: in short Idealogy. If you have to connect farmers suciede in Vidarbha, BT cotton and GATT agreements or inflation and opening of markets or poverty and richness going side by side and form a view about any broad issue, you need an idealogy. It does not have to be dogmatic but you need one if you have to do politics. Like for example, i think in present day india, to form an idealogy, we need to learn from socialists like ram manohar lohia and JP, from Cast system opposers like Jyotiba phule and B. R. Ambedkar, from revolutionary side of gandhi and bhagat both, from feminism and envrionmentalism, from 19th century marxism as well liberalism and form an understanding of the issues our nation and world is facing today.
2) Where to start: I have seen many enthusiastic youth organisations coming and vanishing in last 2 years. The reason behind it are two: first they dont understand that rome was not built in one day (change comes slowly) and second they fail to identify where the potential for change or revolution is, in our society. Since last 25 years this energy for change is coming from various grassroot people movments working through out the country.(You might search on net about MKSS: Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghtan, Aazadi Bachao Andolan, Narmada Bachao Andolan etc). Youth who want to do something for society would find these people movments as an excellent platform to put their passion in practice. Many people movments after working for decades on ground have realised the need to intervene directly into politics and together they have formed Lok Rajnitik Manch(People political forum). It is a flexible organisation of organisations. If you are interested in doing pro-people politics, i invite you to become a part of the manch. This is the platform for you to start.

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