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Youth loathe POLITICKING

"An ideal government should be a mix of youth and experience," say Pankaj, Mahesh, Remy, Shravanti and Suvarna (L-R).


This will be for the third time in the history of Indian politics that a Government in majority has recommended for the Lok Sabha polls prior to the completion of its full term, the earlier being in 1971 and 1984. In AP, the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, has dissolved his Assembly to seek a fresh mandate. While political analysts term it as a tactical game called political opportunism, the ruling parties say that they need a fresh mandate for better governance.

Whatever may be the reason the battle lines are drawn, the days for the showdown are declared, agendas and manifestos are finalised, yatra routes have been decided and the cadres are getting ready to give the final touches to their paraphernalia under the hawkish eyes of their leaders.

But before sounding the bugle, has anyone in the innumerable political parties that dot the political scenario in the country given a thought as to what do people, especially the youth, want, what do they feel about Indian politics and so on?

There is a growing feeling of distancing from active politics, unlike a decade ago when political discussions topped the gossip chart. Politics was the key ingredient when students lazed on campus ambience and over tea in college canteens. Today they feel that they are used as weapons on and off by different political parties to serve their goals and dropped like hot potato once the mission is accomplished.

Mohammed Ali and Dawood Baig, MBA students of AQJ College, say, "Basically we are more keen with the development on the economic front and the business policies that are framed by the ruling government than the politics in its true sense. We are not keen to know about issues like who hails from which constituency, which government would be better, what are the election promises and who is joining which party for what."

Though they are not very keen about the political happenings they prefer to have a government led by a young crop. "A government with young blood would make a lot of difference for the country. Its wavelength would match with ours and it would have a more dynamic approach. Moreover, they would not rake up trivial issues like mandir, masjid, caste and religion to divide the country," Ali and Baig opine.

But their opinion is countered by another set of students from the MHRM (master in human resources) Department in AU. Supporting the duo's claim on the one hand that the issues mentioned above are almost redundant among the educated youth, the batch of five comprising, Pankaj, Mahesh, Remy, Shravanti and Suvarna, feels that an ideal government should be a mix of youth and experience. While the former would be a motivational factor and reflect the face of a vibrant India, the latter would actually run the show with their years of experience and seasoned political acumen.

On the `feel good' factor and the `India shining' campaign, most of them carry a similar euphoric view and like to associate with them as proud Indians. Except for a few like Mahesh, who is also happy to be part of the developing country but strongly feels that whatever may be the happenings, which is contributing to the `feel good factor', be it the BPO or the stock market boom, they are nothing but part of a global phenomenon or a cycle and not generated by any individual or any government in India or abroad. No party or person should claim that it is all because of it or him or her and make it a poll plank.

The mood is upbeat among the youth and they would like to exercise their franchise (first time for a good number of them). They also suggest that the government should keep politics out of certain issues like education, national security and sports.

The medico twosome, Praveena and Alpana, strongly feels that the recent issue involving the medical students and the State Government was politically motivated and has left a bad taste in the mouth. The politicians should keep their hands off education and sports and concentrate on issues like unemployment, health and welfare. Though they give full marks to Chandrababu Naidu as a leader they are peeved with the way the strike was handled.

Talking of Atal Behari Vajpayee and Chandrababu Naidu, they seem to be riding high on popularity among the youth. Unanimously they feel that the former is an epitome of rationalism, patience and experience while the later is a symbol of dynamism.

Pankaj goes to the extent of saying, "By now even the children in the school regard today's politician as corrupt individuals. We do not want to go into such details, but what we feel is that Atal ji and Babu both have taken some initiative and done something, which others have not done, so far to my knowledge." Even Vasavi and Shalini from Samata College, feel so, though they are least interested in elections and politics except for the economic issues.

Though none of them seems to be seriously interested in the political game, at the same time they do not favour a coalition government. They feel that leaders spend most of their time settling infights in a coalition scenario and neglect core issues. While a few heartily welcome the entry of young people like Priyanka, Rahul and Varun on the political arena, a few like Shalini and Vasavi call it a pure poll gimmick.

Coming to the hue and cry being raised by the NDA Government on the nationality issue of the Congress party president, Sonia Gandhi, most of them come out openly saying that it is not a big matter, but with a `but' somewhere down the line.

"Sonia Gandhi being an Italian does not matter to us at the outset. But somewhere down the line it pinches. The very thought of we being governed by the same white skin from the same continent that suppressed us for over 300 years, does make us ponder at times," says Dawood Baig.

Well, the youth have their own opinions, sentiments and emotions. The important thing is that they are part of this nation that relies on them for its future.

SUMIT BHATTACHARJEE

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