Where is “Young Blood” In Indian Politics?
If you follow Indian politics just tell me the names of few Indian politicians who are below forty five years old? You may be thinking now of Rahul Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot and Omar Abdullah. What do these young politicians have in common? Their parents were all politicians and they never have to come through the party ranks. So what does that point to? As youngsters if you want to enter into politics and make it big you must be born in the family of politicians. In India politics is for the old people.
Just have a glance at the age of the politicians in India occupying top post. President of India Prathibha Patel is 73 years old, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari is 75 years old and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is 77 years old. If you look at the age of the Chief Ministers of Indian states it is even worse. We have six Chief Ministers over 70 years old of which three have crossed 80. The oldest Chief Minister is the Kerala Chief Minister who 86 years old followed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi who is 85 and Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal who is 82. Other Chief Ministers in the seventy club are Delhi Chief Minister Sheela Dixit (71), Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi (73) and Uttarakhand B.C Khanduri (75).
Now see the list of the youngest Chief Ministers – Omar Abdullah (39) is the youngest followed by Shivraj Singh Chauhan (49) of Madyapradesh and Ashok Chavan (50) of Maharashtra. In this list both Omar Abdullah and Ashok Chavan come from well know political families and Shivraj Chauhan as far as I know is the exception to this rule. He has risen from the grassroots of RSS to become the Chief Minister of one of the biggest state in India. But examples like this are rare.
I used to think – if Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both who become the President of United States in the mid forties were to be born in India, will they ever taste political success? Even though they have great organizational skills and ability to lead they may have found their going tough in India as they don’t come from a family of politicians nor have the support of any political heavy weight. The ability to lead and do things is the last thing you need and the right contact in the right place at the right time is all that you need to climb ladders in Indian politics.
So if you or I who don’t have any god fathers in politics want to join politics, do you think it is possible? It is next to impossible. The people who never went to school or who were doing anti social activities like disrupting the normal life of people in the name of protests get preference over you even if you have the passion and ability than anyone around. Your success in politics initially is directly proportional to the ability to please the leaders that matter. You should be doing all that the leader asks you to do to make a name for yourself in politics.
So what happens to the young people who really want to do good things for the country by joining politics? They get frustrated with the entire system and never try their luck in politics as they are clever enough to know that ability alone cannot take them anywhere in politics. There may be hundreds of Clintons and Obamas out there in India but we don’t have a political system that can nurture them so that they can join politics and work for the development of the country.
I dream of a time in Indian politics when youth of India take over the political power.Jai Hind