Today’s youth is far different than what it was 20 years ago. Lot more interested in governance, politics, and with the advent of digital media, there is plenty of information available. With the General Elections around the corner, naturally the question on everyone’s mind is which political party is a favourable option. For the majority of the youth as well as myself, factors which distinguish a political party and make it favourable is the vision and dream it offers and whether it can build a connect with the youth of today.
The BJP over the past five years has offered a vision towards building a future, a New India where the aim is to scale new heights. This is backed by schemes, policies and programs across different sectors. A few which come to my mind are focusing on digital governance to improve lives of citizens, promoting the start up culture in our nation, providing LPG connections to poor women and aspiring for every Indian to have a house by 2022.
When I was a teenager, I witnessed the Anna Hazare movement against widespread corruption as compared to today’s day and age where corruption has reduced. Similarly, from 2004-2014 the Prime Minister’s Office was inaccessible but now with the use of technology we can reach out directly to the Prime Minister.
Segments of society do complain that the government has not delivered on all that it has promised. Bill Shankly’s quote ‘Aim for the sky and you’ll reach the ceiling. Aim for the ceiling and you’ll stay on the floor’, seems apt in the current scenario. For today’s youth what matters is the sincere attempt which has been made and efforts being undertaken to translate this into reality, with considerable success.
In contrast, the Congress Party and Rahul Gandhi have not yet delivered a vision for our nation in the future. The Congress Party is merely relying on the idea of criticizing one man and voicing out problems. For example, Rahul Gandhi has attacked the current government over lack of job creation time and time again but is yet to offer a solution to the same. Therefore the question posed to the party by a lot of youngsters is that to view the Congress as an alternative to the BJP, what plan do they have in store ? To which there is no answer which stems from the lack of thought and vision.
At best, the plan offered by the Congress is anti-industry, laden with loan waivers and freebies. In my opinion, this politics of poverty will only take India back to 70’s where economic growth had stagnated and unemployment was at an all-time high, where as today’s youth aspires for high economic growth and prosperity.
This brings me to my next reason, being the Congress Party’s disconnect with the youth of today. Rahul Gandhi is almost 20 years younger than the Prime Minister but still appears to be off course while trying to connect with the younger generation. Whereas the Prime Minister seems in sync with the problems and aspirations of my generation. The youth of India does not want the sympathy of any political leader but in fact wants opportunities and a platform to showcase their talent, skill and potential. It wants to succeed on merit, on the basis of their abilities which is in contrast to the Congress Party where only recently another member of the first family has been yet again parachuted into politics.
Now that it has been a month since Priyanka Gandhi has entered politics, a stark observation comes to my mind highlighting the difference between political parties in India today. When Narendra Modi was chosen as the Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 election, there was an excitement about his policies, schemes and ideas that he was to bring to the table. Whereas when Priyanka Gandhi’s entry was announced, all that has been covered by the media is her striking similarity to her grandmother and the fact that yet another member of the Gandhi family has taken a plunge into politics after several years of indecisiveness. Members from the older generations may form a connect with someone who has a resemblance to leaders from previous eras but for today’s generation, this does not make an impact. The youth’s advice to the Grand Old Party would be to bring in new ideas on board instead of newer members of the family into politics.
If India is to brace the challenges of the 21st century like possibilities of a global economic slowdown, trade wars between superpowers, intrinsic security challenges and the threat to jobs posed by artificial intelligence, a political party with a plan and vision which will maximize the potential of the demographic dividend offered by India is most likely to be favored by the youth. With the BJP ticking both these boxes, it appears to be the most favourable option for the youth in 2019.