It is high time the youth in India took control over the reins to run the largest democratically elected parliament in the world.
V.P Singh was the 7th Prime Minister between Dec 1989 to November 1990, clearly displeasing Chandrshekar Singh (from Ballia constituency) who wanted Devi Lal Choudhury as the National Front’s choice for the PM. But soon, as a ‘clever move’ and political strategy, Rajiv Gandhi supported Chandrashekar Singh on the floor of Lok Sabha house and Chandrashekar Singh became the Prime Minster, though only for few months before Congress withdrew support and the Mid term parliamentary elections were called for in the year 1991.
Congress was the only party with massive majority votes in their favor till around 1996, under the leadership of P V Narasimha Rao, the ‘interim’ prime minister who surprisingly completed his full term of five years. Of course, Congress got the benefit of election ‘sympathy vote’ in 1991, resultant of gruesome assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE militants while he was campaigning for 1991 parliamentary elections, in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu State.
When Atal Bihari Vajpayee could not sustain the Government in 1996 due to lack of Majority (i.e. 272+ seats) in the Indian Parliament after being just 13 days old, the ‘Third Front’ formed the Government headed by Deve Gowda as Prime Minister, who was in office from June 1996 to April 1997. Then, the ‘United Front’ elected I K Gujral as their leader and he was sworn in as the Prime Minister in April 1997. But unfortunately, Congress party again withdrew support and mid-term elections were called after ‘Third Front’ government failed twice. This time, the newly formed National Democratic Alliance (NDA) chose Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the Prime Minister. The NDA proved its majority in the parliament. Towards the end of 1998, AIADMK withdrew its support from the 13-month old government.
After four failed coalition Governments and two mid-term elections, Vajpayee took oath as Prime Minister of India for the third time, this time in October 1999. The Coalition Government (led by NDA) that was formed lasted its full term of five years – the only non-Congress government to do so till now.
After graduation, Rahul Gandhi worked at a management consulting firm in London. In 2002, he was one of the directors of Mumbai-based technology outsourcing firm which he gave up. Right from the start, Rahul Gandhi believed in focusing more on building the Congress party at the grass-root level, stressing to remove the organizational shortcomings or demerits. Around 2004, when Rahul Gandhi officially entered Indian politics (after he got elected from Amethi constituency) – Indian National Congress, led by Sonia Gandhi now, was the single largest party in the alliance and along with many minor ( about 15 of them) parties, Congress party formed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). With the conditional support of the left parties from the outside, the UPA formed a government under the ‘remarkable’ leadership of Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, with Dr Manmohan Singh nominated by her as the Prime Minister of India. Dr Manmohan Singh proved to be the best choice under all these political conditions and Congress party led UPA even managed to get re-elected in the year 2009 and its second term ends in the year 2014.
At all times, youth power has been one of the most important assets for the civic and economic growth of our country. It was the youth power that got us the freedom from the British Rule. Indian youth power becomes even more significant when viewed in the context of a fast ageing population in the developed nations. ‘Consider this: in 2020, an average Indian is expected to be only 29 years old against 37 years in China and United States, 45 years in West Europe and 48 years in Japan.’
However, youth power can be a double-edged sword if it is not managed efficiently. As the working ‘youth’ population grows by leaps and bounds in India, it is imperative that this new generation of workforce is equipped with skills and knowledge if our country has to harness its potential. More importantly, skills and knowledge accretion need to be in sync with the aspirations and ambitions of the youth. Failure to do so could result in a host of societal problems, and unemployment as well as poverty could drag down India’s economic prospects. Therefore, the focus should be not only on numbers but also on quality of this human resource.
Youth (aged under 35 years) will comprise 70 % of Indian population in the coming future, by the year 2025. Already containing 17.5% of the world’s population, India is projected to be the world’s most populous country by the year 2050. Surpassing China, India’s population will reach 1.6 billion by 2050. So, anyway you look at it, the Indian youth population will be the largest in the world and cannot be ignored. Necessarily, the Indian youth has to be involved in every important as well as significant aspect of the country whether it is – in bringing inclusive politics ; gaining youth empowerment through education ; enabling globalization of Indian corporate sector ; modernizing agriculture and the supply chain ; promoting research and development in pure sciences ; and/ or establishing laudable governance in the country. We need to build the right skill-sets among our young generation and these skill-sets should be of global standards to take advantage of the demographic dividend.