The candidates they vote for must be clean, committed, and able to represent them effectively on a broad range of issues.
The growing religious tension in our country, rising issues of security and gainful employment, and a general feeling of unease is creating a cauldron of apprehension among citizens, ones that have lived in a secular country. A young leader, mover and shaker speaks of the need for a more proactive approach towards progress
We as a nation are poised at a historical juncture. Tremendous latent potential is available to make us a front-ranking economic and scientific power. We are slowly climbing up the value curve. How much we are able to accomplish depends on youth, our largest, most innovative, and productive age group. They have the ability to be responsible stewards of the past and visionary shapers of the future. Although, we think of youth as an undifferentiated group, there are, in fact, many youths, by age, gender, access to educational and other opportunities, each with distinct potential and burdens. This realisation is important for crafting appropriate policies, but is there something every young Indian can do? The most important is to keep their eye on the big picture, on tackling the demons of poverty, malnutrition, and poverty. These challenges are also opportunities for adding to personal and common good, which must go hand in hand. Only a balanced apportionment of individual energy between self and society can set up a virtuous cycle where people work together to create an egalitarian society based on core freedoms and values guaranteed by our Constitution, and society creates a rising tide that lifts all boats. The surest route to this is to enlarge one’s education and skills, work collaboratively, and keep faith distinct from secular pursuits. The youth must wade through a thicket of divisive slogans and slogans intended to keep them distracted towards issues peripheral to development. If a critical mass of youth keeps focused on public issues like direction of economy, education, health, and infrastructure, grip of sectarian politics on national life would weaken and allow progressive forces to impart the momentum we need to become a modern nation proud of our history and traditions. The public sector needs talent as badly as any other sector, the real strength of the youth lies in leveraging their energy and ideas to create new businesses, to transform sectors of economy untouched by technology, and meet existing demand in innovative ways. They must maintain high rates of political participation to elect youthful representatives to positions from important policy decisions are made. This would ensure that our agenda and focus becomes youthful and promotes processes and procedures that accommodate goals of sustainable development, creation of intellectual property, and value addition across all sectors of the economy. Not only should young people choose to become more participative in our electoral politics, they should also choose well. The candidates they vote for must be clean, committed, and able to represent them effectively on a broad range of issues.
They should support candidates for their achievements, not their nominal attributes. As digital natives, young people should look beyond online personas of people looking to lead them. I would also urge people to reconsider their views of politics as a profession. Quality of politics is no more than a reflection of quality and amount of popular participation in political processes. Every democratic process runs the risk of being derailed by ratcheting expectations. Unless people hold political parties firmly to realistic norms of governance, extravagant promises may continue to be made with little action on the ground, as we are witnessing today. Every person matters, the youth especially so, because they can create and transmit values of a new India to the coming generations. The task before us is urgent, before the demographic dividend begins to dilute away.
— Sachin Pilot is politician, and a former minister of IT, telecom and corporate affairs, Govt of India, president of Rajasthan Congress, Commissioned officer of the Indian territorial army and an activist and progressive thinker.