According to the 2011 census, more than 70% of India’s enormous population is under the age of 35. By the year 2020, India will likely be the youngest country in the world, with a median age of just 29 years old.
While for years this youth population growth has been considered a point of contention for the country, the time has come for a conceptual transformation. Rather than be burdened with malnutrition, a severe lack of education and overcrowded villages, the youth in India are taking a stand for political change.
With elections coming up in May, the nation’s younger generation is pushing for an agenda that directly addresses their concerns for development, employment, educational opportunities and increased inclusion in the political sphere.
Indians have catapulted their political system into a throng of idealism in which people with great ideas yet no background in government enter the political realm through the Aam Aadmi Party. The party is an offshoot of an anti-corruption campaign that came to popularity in 2011 and 2012. Fueled by an enthusiastic and expectant youth, the Aam Aadmi Party gives hope to the masses looking for change and agency to those willing to make that change happen.
Intense loyalty to the responsibility of social justice and inclusion augments the Indian population’s surge to the polls. The Times of India, for example, has initiated the I Lead India campaign to encourage youngsters to vote and to create a Youth Manifesto. The campaign stresses accountability of politicians and promotes activism among Indian citizens.
If all goes well, such strong desires and opinions could bring about extensive successful alterations in Indian politics and social life. But the risk is not to be discounted.
The large numbers of these young Indian individuals rising up to have a say puts great pressure on the future of India’s political system. And the youth are not extremely patient. Lofty expectations and an inability to patiently await the change that will, as all change does, inevitably take time, threatens the optimism this youthful group has inspired.
– Jaclyn Stutz