Youth have always been in politics especially at the time of reform movements. Most of these young people are in informal politics rather than formal politics. Ex – Social movements, Pressure groups etc.
There are some formal student wings in political parties dedicated to the young peoples’ participation in politics. Ex – AkhilaBharatiyaVidyarthiParishad, Indian Youth Congress etc.
Importance of youth in Politics
Fresh and innovative ideas.
Comparatively young people have less responsibilities and more zeal towards the betterment of society.
Youth are tend to more enthusiastic, energetic and flexible.
India is one of the youngest democracies having 65% of its population below the 35 years. But the percentage of the young MPs is just 13% in the parliament, which is a drawback to the representativeness of the democracy.
Policies effecting youth can be framed by young people themselves rather than old politicians, who most probably cannot feel the contemporary problems young people are facing.
By making politics accessible to youth, the negative perceptions on politics can be slowly erased in minds of young people.
The involvement of young people in politics ensures inclusiveness.
Older politicians have to prove their loyalty to their political parties by supporting their authoritarian practices because of the long term commitment to their parties. Young people are at advantage in this case, because for them, ideals and ideas dominate their commitment to the political parties.
Young people tend to have idealistic and unrealistic visions for society, which may not be successful in implementation.
They lack experience. Experience teaches tolerance and the ability to have realistic visions.
Young people can easily be manipulated and can be used as mere puppets in the hands of older politicians. This can be clearly seen in the violence and destruction of public properties by a few student groups.
Some innovative suggestions
Reservation for youth should be created in the political parties and in the parliament as well. The children and relatives of the politicians should be excluded from this reservation benefits.
Political participation of youth should be beyond mere casting of vote. Young people must be involved in the process of elections as election observers, poll station workers etc.
Youth should be given opportunity to do internship in the parliament.
Political awareness should be given to the students of schools and universities and they should be encouraged to participate in the politics.
Student wings of the political parties need to be given more strength and priority.
Skills training has to be provided to the young politicians by the experienced politicians.