Top 10 Reasons Why Youth avoid Politics
Politics and youth are a heady mixture. We have heard the phrase ” The youth of today are the Leaders of tomorrow” so many times that our ears could start bleeding the next time we hear it. But are the Youth really all that interested in becoming the torch bearers of a system they don’t care about? A system which they feel should not exist in the first place? A system which is governed by people who do not understand their needs and aspirations? A system which is run by people who do not even match their wave length? North America saw an unprecedented amount of campaigning when Barack Obama and Mitt Romney went head to head in 2012 where Obama was re-elected as the President of the United States of America. Both sides used Social Media websites to further their campaign and “connect” with the youth. The Arab Springs has made everyone sit up and notice the troubles brewing in that part of the world and revealed the true power of networking websites when large hordes of people thronged the streets protesting, brought together through social media. Though Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter have has acted as a great dissipater of news and information for much of the previous decade, how many facebookers and tweeters are voluntarily accessing this information? Why is there such disconnect between the youth and politics? We try to explore.
10) General Apathy towards Government and Its Policies:
The constant bombardment of news, breaking news and further developments on cases which have been on trial for years desensitizes the youth towards matters of importance. The adolescents generally do not care about things that do not have an immediate impact on their lives. The policies of the government, issues such as fiscal deficits, FDI in retail etc is not something that impacts the life of your everyday teenager for him/her to care enough about. Seeing the same drama unfold day after day on the news channels and in the papers causes the youth to lose interest and they develop a very lousy attitude about the on goings in the political world.
9) Career Opportunity Not Exciting:
Most of the youth of any country do not view politics as a career option for themselves. The idea of being a public servant to clean up the system they verily abhor is not even given a fleeting thought when it comes to choosing a career. In India as opposed to other countries, politics is considered a dirty word, and when it comes right down to it, really who would like to get their hands dirty? The cavalier attitude of the youth towards the administration of their country does not help matters either. Most importantly, the youth are not aware of what opportunities could come their way when they decide to enter the field of politics. Globally too, the youth shun politics as they feel it is very drab and boring and meant for older men. The inaction by Governments on any matters of administration causes more cynicism in the youth who feel that it is not worth their time and energy to restore a defunct system.
8) Faulty Political System:
The amount of red tape that binds any process is outrageous. The bureaucrats hold immense power and are capable of bringing work to a complete halt. Not only does this encourage corruption, where one needs to grease every palm that the work will pass through, but also creates an immense backlog and delays the start of any project. Legislation that is formed for the prosecution of the corrupt is weak and toothless. This gives a lee way to those who openly exploit the extremely hierarchical political system. The criminals take advantage of the loop holes in the system and avoid facing the consequences of the crime. The vast distrust of youth in anything political is mainly because of this.Take for example the Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi’s case who was charged in the case of sexually exploiting underage girls. He misused the entire state machinery in order to fulfill his greed. Such instances prove to be a turn-off for the youth.
7) Lucrative Employment Options:
There are several Multinational Corporations or MNCs which harness the human resources of the country they set up shop in. These companies have a global presence and offer the world to young and ambitious people. Scope for promotion and self-improvement is seen as greater as compared to politics. Companies such as Coke, Pepsi, Cisco, etc are always looking for young blood in order to appeal to a wider market. With fat salary cheques to ensure them a life of comfort, why would someone consider joining politics as a full time profession? There are a number of emerging start ups and entrepreneurial enterprises which list the help of the youth to expand their business. Most of the youth is interested in earning quick money, and these provide them a means to do so, as opposed to politics where years and years of hard work need to be invested before one can reap any kind of benefit.
6) Slow Pace of Change:
Governments come and go. Regimes rise and fall. The only concrete results of hard work and development can be seen when the tenure of the incumbent Government comes to an end. The stagnated pace of growth and change of the Government causes the youth to lose interest eventually. The sluggish pace of change, especially due to the lack of political will makes the youth avoid politics. Most of the times, the politicians are busy slandering each other and indulging in mud-slinging fests. This further adds to the distaste that the youth develop for politics. Be it the Democrats or the Republics in USA, the BJP and Congress in India or the Labour Party and the Conservatives in UK, the blame game that goes on between them paints a dismal picture for the youth who feel let down by their representatives.
5) Not the Target Segment of Politicians:
The political parties fail to engage the youth in meaningful ways and draw them into insightful dialogue. The politicians themselves belong to an age group of 40 and above and cannot connect with the youth to gain their support. Consequently, the youth feel ignored when their voices go unheard and hence distance themselves from politics as they feel disillusioned with the system at large.
4) No ‘Idol’ Figures In Politics:
Cricket has Sachin, Football has Ronaldo and Messi. These are popular icons that the youth idolise and hang on their every word. These figures have a great sway over the emotions of the youth and spark a certain passion in them. Politics on the other hand does not have any such figures that can connect with the youth to make them take an active interest in politics. Most leaders fail to capture the attention of the youth by words or actions and hence do not arouse the interest of the youth.
3) Influence of Entertainment:
Pop culture is spreading like a wild fire among the youth. They seek glamour and gossip which they find amusing and interesting. Bollywood, Hollywood and celeb talk is far more entertaining as compared to the boring and drab speeches of the politicians who go on and on about issues such as healthcare, infrastructure, agriculture, development ad nauseum. Music fests such as Sunburn see hordes of youth queuing out for a spot, where as rallies and speeches by the politicians see hardly any turnout by the same people. The influence of the entertainment industry is so great on the youth that they care about little else. Who Is Brad Pitt’s ex will generate a faster and more accurate answer than who is the President of the country.
2) Distrust in Politicians:
To please and fulfill the need and demands of a varied group of individuals is not an easy task. The youth are especially a fragmented and disjointed section of society. The opinions and views of this varied amalgamation of people makes it difficult for the politicians to woo the young audience and hence ignore them altogether. The youth in return does not see politicians as trustworthy or as people who inspire confidence. The umpteen numbers of scams and scandals that are unearthed everyday do not send out a positive signal to the youth, who then start viewing politicians as untrustworthy and selfish people who would drop to any lengths to achieve their personal goals. Every time a politicians get mired in a controversy, the faith in the country’s administrative mechanism diminishes, reaching to a point of apathy and general disinterest. It reinforces the youths belief that nothing will ever change in the country, even if they try hard with sincerity, and hence, they just shun politics altogether.
Corruption has infected politics in a manner in which termites infect wood. This problem pervades global politics to such a great extent that it has seeped from the top most to the bottom most echelons of hierarchy. From the clerk to the bureaucrat to the politician: countless palms need to be greased in order to get any work done. An incredible amount of money exchanges hands everyday in any form of Government, be it a Democratic, Communist or Dictatorship. The greed in the system is astounding. People put themselves before the nation, which is a sad condition indeed. This is by far the greatest put off to the youth, to see that tainted people continue to hold office , and that the preachy tones of the people in these high places is just double speak.