How the youth now define success has changed. Their vision for the country continues to evolve and grow. In these changing times, what the youth ask for is dynamic leadership at the Centre while securing national interests first. This shows why PM Modi remains a hugely popular among India’s aspiring youth
Prof. Punith Raj KN
One-fifth of the world’s youth population resides in India. Half of our population is under 25. Addressing the aspi-rations of these young people is essential if the country has to progress. Today when we look at the changes in the aspirations of youth, it is phenomenal. Thanks to information technology where the world is accessible at fingertips, it has helped the youth to keep themselves abreast with what is happening around the world and thereby develop their own outlook towards life. The idea of ‘being successful’ has undergone a drastic transformation. Youth today are courageous, ready to take action, condemn, criticise openly, know what is right for them, etc. Contrast this with the situation about 20 years ago. The yardstick of success in India was graduation from IITs/IIMs, becoming an Administrative officer, landing a secure job with a handsome salary, attraction towards International Job opportunities, etc. The most celebrated fields like sports, cinema and politics, on the contrary, were not preferred choices because the success rate depended on the lineage—almost synonymous to dynasty rule. That is to say predominantly a sportsperson should have greater influence to become a sportsperson more than his performance, Star’s progeny could get into the Cinema industry and only the son of a politician could get into politics. The youth (majority) never ventured out into this sphere for the fear of failure or the risk of getting ostracised. Furthermore, the situation was such that, they were not welcomed with open doors. Tapping these doors was a herculean task next to impossible. There were hardly a few people who could swim against the tide and get into these areas. People like Shahrukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and few Sports Stars made it to their success much against the odds they faced in the industry. On the other hand majority of the youth had harboured an aversion towards these domains and developed a mindset that it was not their cup of ‘tea’.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi with a group of youth
Business on the other side was a game of those who had the money or of the continuance of the family business. Youths were only job seekers adding to the slogan of ‘Roti and Kapada’. Very few were ready to take a risk in Entrepreneurship or Business. Youngsters were not encouraged by parents to start their own business. A family looking from the bride for his son were first asked about his Job, a young entrepreneur (with middle-class background) was there last choice.
The increasing pace of New Voters and their expectations have put all the political parties to not to take voters as granted and made them revisit their promises to people during elections On the contrary today, performance is the measurement of success, not their lineage. Sportsmen like Virat Kohli (cricket), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (cricket), PV Sindhu (Badminton), Sunil Chhetri (Soccer), etc. have given hope for the upcoming sportsmen. Film stars like Yash (Kannada), Sai Pallavi (Telugu), etc., who made it possible even with tough competition. These are the people who are the trendsetter for present youth who have reached the top only through their performance, who are inspiring the ‘Young India’.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi interacting with the students of GMERS Medical College at Vadnagar, Gujarat
On the hook and cry on unemployment rate during elections, it is surprised to see placement companies are facing difficulty in recruiting young talent, as these youngsters are busy starting their own venture. Today they are not Job Seeker’s rather they are Job Providers in this country. As per NASSCOM report, India saw 108 per cent growth in total funding from USD 2 billion to USD 4.2 billion in early 2018. In KPMG recent (February 2019) report the number of startups in the country has gone up from 7,000 in 2008 to 50,000 in 2018. This is almost 7.14X growth flooded by value-added Startups with more than 95% of the enterprises are started by a young entrepreneur. From Ritesh Agarwal (Oyo Rooms CEO) to Charith (Selvitate–CEO), from Alina (Mitti Cafe) to Richa Kar (Zivame.com) inspiring youngsters to be ‘Job providers’ in New India. Thanks to the internet and exposure towards entrepreneurship beyond the boundaries of the country, which made it possible what we are at it today. This transformation is humongous, which made Bharat the Startup Hub of the World.
On the other side, the more interesting story is in Politics, unlike twenty years earlier, today youth in India see hope in the political leadership of this country. Thanks to Modi and his team who have changed the meaning of Politics in present India. Politics earlier meant corruption, an obstacle for growth and development, anti-social or choice of Dynasty politics. His leadership has given hopes and dreams to young minds. His approach to connecting with youth is worth commendable. Today PMO is just a mail away, who responds to the common man’s request within no time. Beyond his decision-making skills and leadership of teams, motivating youth and encouraging them to participate in politics is worth appreciating.
When I asked some students in Bangalore if they would join politics, their was mixed answers. When I asked them do they want to be like Modi? Do you want to join Politics to build better India? They said ‘Yes’. Then what was stopping them to join Politics? They said ‘Good Leadership. Therefore the credit for it has to be given to PM Modi.
If we look back what happened in 2014, Center for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi (CSDS) gave a post-poll survey report which showed that more than 68% of Indian youths (18-25 years) voted in 2014 as compared to 54% in 2009 and 52% in 2004 election. “It is important to note that the turnout amongst the young voters who in the past have voted in lesser numbers compared to the average turnout, voted in much bigger numbers in 2014 compared to the past. The 2014 Loksabha elections witnessed as high as 68% turnout amongst the young voters, two per cent higher compared to the average, which in the past used to be nearly four per cent lower compared to the national average”, the article said. In 2014 young voters voted determinedly in favour of BJP which got 34.4% of votes of young voters, more than 3% higher than its average vote share of 31.1%, as compared to Congress. This time almost 45 million youths are participating in this election. Assam and Rajasthan are going to see 13% and 10% new voters respectively as compared to 5% of all India average who are critical for various parties. Once again, the same youth will decide who will host a flag in Red Fort on 15th August, 2019.
This increasing pace of New Voters and their expectation has put political parties to not to take voters as granted and has made all parties to revisit their promises to people. Looking at this pace at which political outlook and youth expectations are changing, political pundits are predicting the change in the ‘political’ mindset of this country by the next decade. At least by 2024, the political arena will change from ‘Pehle main aur mera Parivar’ to country first with no other choice left. The contribution of change in the mindset of political maharajas goes to today’s ‘Youth’. Therefore, the involvement of youngsters in mainstream politics is very important for the future of this country. Even the government should make sure the youths are involved in decision making of policies to ensure it reaches the last man of this country. As a blessing, India has today with over 60% per cent of its youth in the working age group with no other country enjoying this dividend at present. Whichever the party utilise their potential they lead the country in the future. Therefore, most of the political parties are interested in investing in youth’s to attract towards their party. National parties like BJP and Congress are at a fighting door to attract more youths to their party to make sure they win 2019. The side, at which majority youth stand, that decides 2019.
If we connect the above arguments with earlier discussions of this article, it’s quite visible that Modi and his Team have become new trendsetters in politics, which would definitely make other parties follow within no time. Selection of young leaders like Pratap Simha (Karnataka), Tejasvi Surya (Karnataka) and Jamyang Tsering Namgyal (Ladakh) for the Lok Sabha constituency without having any political legacy has made young minds to see politics with greater hope. Not just the last man of the political party even the newest entrant to the political arena is hoping to see the great career in political ‘Profession’ today. As socially awakened and responsible citizens, they have taken up the responsibility to spread awareness about ‘National Welfare’ and ‘National Integrity’. This awakened citizen had given clear message to the Dynasty rulers that ‘Kuch din hi baki hai—Only a few days left’. Almost in all the states, who were waiting in the continuance of Dynasty Rule will have to pay a greater price in 2019 elections, as present-day youth have changed their aspiration from Roti, Kapda, and Makaan of Dynasty rule to the ‘Non-Dynastical rule of Developed India’.
As Vivekananda said “My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like lions. I have formulated the idea and have given my life to it. If I do not achieve success, some better one will come after me to work it out, and I shall be content to struggle.” As Swamiji said the younger generation is changing the way and creating a path of change for the future of this country. They are not just a change maker of present India; they are the creator of New India. Great days ahead.
(The writer is a Professor in Jain University, Bengaluru)