Research Foundation for Governance
कार्यम सर्व हिताय

Home > "Have the youth become indifferent to politics?"


Prof. Sabestian Morris at the panel discussion
(Prof. Sabestian Morris at the panel discussion)

RESEARCH FOUNDATION FOR GOVERNANCE IN INDIA (RFGI) and OPEN SPACE, AHMEDABAD (OS-A) jointly organised a film screening followed by an interactive talk on ‘Governance in India: Have the youth become indifferent to politics’, on Sunday, April 26, 2009 between 11 AM to 1 PM at the Ahmedabad Management Association.

The debate was very well attended and discussed many pertinent issues regarding barriers to entry for the youth in politics today. The event started with screening of films, which were 2-minute, vox populi films on issues of democracy and governance shot in various areas of Ahmedabad by OS-A participants under the guidance of Ms. Raheel Dhattiwala (Fellow, OS-A) in March this year. These were followed by an interactive discussion with distinguished audience members, and young achievers from different walks of life. Representatives of NSUI, ABVP as well as Revanta Sarabhai, son of Dr. Mallika Sarabhai, entrepreneurs such as Ankit Chona of Havmor and Dinesh Hinduja of Hinduja Group attended the event and addressed the audience on their thoughts and experiences of youth and politics. Representatives of Indicorps, Yuva, Aman Samuday, students of IIMA as well as members of various NGOs across the city also actively participated.

Ms. Kanan Dhru, Founder of RFGI anchored the function. One of the startling statistics, according to PRS India, 72% of Indian youth is below the age-group of 40, whereas the MPs representing this age-group in the 14th Lok-Sabha were only 6.3%. Looking at the statistics, Kanan stressed how youngsters today are required to think beyond elections and voting to participate actively in the present governance structures of our country. The key discussant was Professor Sebastian Morris of IIM Ahmedabad, who gave an intriguing talk on the Indian Democracy, the problems with the existing system including Anti-Defection Law and lack of inner-party democracy. He also discussed some of the possible solutions, including that of making the system more decentralized by giving extra powers to the local-government as well as actively encouraging youth to take interest in political processes of India.

Mr. Vinay Tomar from National Student Union of India (NSUI) talked about how more representation of youth is required at various levels of governance in India. Mr. Praveen Shukla of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) pointed towards the fact that the youth with a background in politics finds it much easier to join politics/public life as compared to someone who has no godfather/family backup. He also mentioned that politics as a profession has to become more financially attractive, so that youngsters from different academic background get motivated to take a career in politics seriously. There is a vast difference between politics and governance, noted Mr. Revanta Sarabhai, whose mother Dr. Mallika Sarabhai is contesting elections as an independent candidate from Gandhinagar, Gujarat. He also added that youth has a great power to bring about radical changes and that such discussion forums are a great start to start mobilizing the youth in the right direction.

Panel Discussion
(Prof. Dilip Mavlankar at the panel discussion)

Prof. Mavalankar, another faculty at the IIMA provided his valued comments on the process of governance and how India could learn from other democracies across the world. He also suggested that reforms are required in judiciary as well the administrative wings of the Government. Mr. Tjeerd, a student-union member of Netherlands’s liberal party explained in detail about his experiences as a student leader and shared his observations on Indian democracy. According to Mr. Tjeerd, in most European countries, youth political parties consist of members below the age of 30. Once passed 30, a member has to become part of the mother party. However, the youth parties abroad, he said, operate quite independently of their mother parties which allow many different activities and debates to take place amongst the student communities without much outside interference.

The objective behind the event was to invite various perspectives on issues of governance, especially from the urban youth who are perceived to be increasingly moving away from politics and the electoral processes.

(Top: (L to R): Vinay Tomar (NSUI), Raheel Dhattiwala (OS-A), Revanta Sarabhai (Artist), Swar Shah (Director-RFGI)
Bottom: (L to R): Pankaj Shukla (ABVP), Kanan Dhru (MD-RFGI), Prof. Sabestian Morris (IIM-A), Kelly Dhru (Director-RFGI))


Home | About Us | Activities | Publications | Blogs & Articles | Media | Contact Us
Copyright © Research Foundation for Governance. All Rights Reserved.