New Politics: A Vision For An Empowered India
India’s youth is eager for change. A vast number is upset by the pace of development and misgovernance India has witnessed in recent years yet wants to actively participate not only in the democratic process, but also governance and policy making. They dream of building an India that offers them hope, confidence, and a future.
I believe it is time we focused on “New Politics” towards realizing that dream. This new politics will focus on a development-oriented, transparent and accountable politics.
It will focus on redefining inclusiveness to mean a contributing, educated and fully employed youth who can dream about a secure economic future. This “New Politics’ I propose would have three core elements: Education, Employment and Empowerment.
A literate population is an essential prerequisite for any nation to compete in the information age. This would start by making 100% literacy an imperative. Our “New Politics” needs to be built on a strong foundation of knowledge through education, skills training, and technology. A focus on education will not only transform India into a knowledge based economy, it will also create a more productive, engaged and aware citizen to build the base for a “New Politics.” A critical element of educating and skilling will be to inculcate an entrepreneurial spirit in our youth.
We have over the last decade heard numerous times about India’s “demographic dividend”. India is projected to have a working age (24-59 years) population of 70 crore by 2020. What we need to remember is that with each passing year, we have less time to cash this dividend and could potentially be faced with a demographic liability. “New Politics” will focus on the nearly 10 lakh workers currently being added to India’s workforce each month, and how we can create productive employment for them in the coming decades. This requires us to strategically manage the underlying transition of our rural agrarian workforce into a skilled, productive workforce that can be absorbed into manufacturing and services sectors. I believe this can happen under a “New Politics” where manufacturing and services sectors are allowed to develop rapidly to create employment through economic development. For India to achieve its potential we need to become a manufacturing powerhouse. I also believe we need to act immediately to enable this large workforce with skills that will generate employment so they can become productive members of our economy.
Finally, a “New Politics” needs to reflect the aspirations, dreams and ambitions of our youth. This can only happen when we invite and look forward to engaging our youth to constructively contribute, in any capacity, towards building an empowered India.
From Kashmir to Kerala and Maharashtra to Manipur, our youth yearns for an engaged and empowered politics that gives them a voice. The youth both in rural and urban India, across the economic and ideological strata want to be a part of the solution and decision making process. We must provide them that platform. No matter how small or big an idea is; we must discuss, engage and give it the platform it deserves.
Our young boys and girls, men and women are fighting for a stronger, economically stable and safe India on the streets and on social media. India is ready for a “New Politics” that solves the challenges of this century and propels India towards global leadership. As an elected representative, I see 84 crore young people who are no longer just ‘the future of India’ but the torchbearers of change that will bring in a “New Politics”. These young minds must not be seen as a ‘vote bank’ but rather a ‘bank of ideas’. They hold the key to transform India. It is time, we listen and we involve them in that transformation. They are looking for a new idea, new hope and a new vision for an empowered, developed India.