Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Youth in Indian Government

It is said that India has a youth bulge. About 31% of its 1.17 billion populations are below 14 years of age and about 50 % is below 35 year of age. In all the major Indian political parties there is a huge talk about youth in power. Media is all mad about Young-istan. But is this Young-istan really taking the country to a new level of success? A large amount of youth is not even sufficiently skilled to earn a decent living, forget about actively contributing to nation building. And the few who are skilled have their focus elsewhere. Looking around there are very few youngsters who are really into doing something for the country.

This prompted me to do some search some time back (actually this was supposed to be my Aug 15th post) to find out

* How much youth power was involved in politics and governance?

* To understand better the “youth” in government.
We can have a look at our Central ministry of UPA government. It has 33 Cabinet ministers and 38 Minister of state.
Only six of the 79 members of the council of ministers are below 40. These 6 members are much talked about, with tons of pride by politicians, media and even common man. They are hailed as representatives of India’s youth.
37-year-old Jyotiraditya Scindia (Commerce and Industry)
Son of late Shri Madhavrao Scindia – political big shot
34-year-old Jitin Prasada (Petroleum and Natural Gas)
Son of late Late Shri Jitendra Prasada – political big shot
28-year-old Agatha Sangma (Rural Development)
Daughter of Shri P. A. Sangma – political big shot

31-year–old Sachin Pilot (Communications and Information Technology)
Son of late Shri Rajesh Pilot – political big shot

35-year-old Arvind Yadav (Youth Affairs and Sports) and
Son of Subhash Yadav (deputy CM of MP) – political big shot

36-year-old Prateek P Patil (Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises)
Son of Vasantdada Patil (former CM Maharashtra) – political big shot

Atleast the list above looks more like a list of representatives of a few Indian political families rather than representatives of 0.58 billion youth. But in Indian politics probably below 40 is a kid and below 60 is young and above 60 is senior (still not old). So to be a kid and a minister probably you need have it in your blood.

So we can also have a look at the 40s. There are a dozen in this age group. Following are the people in the list
On fast track due to parents in politics:
R P N Singh, Daggubati Purandeswari, M M Pallam Raju, Tusharbhai Chaudhary, Dayanidhi Maran, Selja Kumari
On fast track due to Uncles in politics:
D Napolean, Ajay Maken
All is not that bad after all. At least in 40s there are a few
who come otherwise:
S Gandhiselvan, Pradeep Kumar Jain, Vincent Pala
But then the joy was short lived. These people had their own specialties like - lot of money, influential friends or caste to support them.
But is it that bad? If one of us takes it as our life’s mission to be a part of building India will it be impossible? Is Indian politics all about having the right family?

Answer is probably a NO.

Every election India does get a few great leaders who started from the scratch, without any god fathers. Often they are already in their 50s or 60s when they make it big and those are the few who help me be proud when I call India a democracy.

(Actually a lot more)

** The data/information is mostly from Internet and while I try to be accurate but agree that there could be mistakes. So if any corrections please feel free to let me know.

** With the new editor I am not able to upload picture!

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