New Delhi, Aug 24: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on Friday urged students at Delhi University's St. Stephen's College to join politics. Speaking at a programme "Role of Youth in Democracy", Kejriwal told students to join any party of their choice, whether it is the Congress, BJP or the AAP, but not remain aloof from politics.
He cited dirty politics to be the root cause of all problems and said collective participation is required to bring a positive change in the system.
Whether the AAP can prove itself to be a formidable political force is for time to tell, but Kejriwal did a commendable job in encouraging the youth to take part in politics of the nation. This is certainly what the country requires today for the supply of fresh and genuine servants in the field of politics has been so crippled that the vacuum is being filled up by negative elements, who are being sustained by a client-patron relation by the power centres.
Politics needs bright and honest servants today
Politics, just like any other lucrative profession in this world, deserves bright and honest servants for it is a very crucial part of man's everyday life and an unhealthy and threatening political climate can harm our survival in an irreparable manner. Entry of young talents might lead the political affairs towards a temporary confusion but in the long run, the pattern will benefit us in many ways. It is hence very essential that students and young people make foray into politics and make it a broad social affair, instead of just a means to tap votes.
The Indian democracy needs to be more individual-oriented
A big problem with our democracy is that it doesn't acknowledge individuals but rewards a community-based 'give and take' model. This has been the result of a top-down democratic model that our country had adjusted itself to in the formative years. The more the democracy deepened on lines of socio-economic fragmentation, the more group identity asserted itself and populist leaders came into prominence, the significance of individual identity got blurred.
Leaders with personalised style of functioning have a bigger appeal
We can see today that the urban educated middle-class, who doesn't believe in community orientations on divisive factors like caste, language or religion, back leaders like Narendra Modi, who has established an effective personalised style of administration in Gujarat.
It is this class that aspires for an American system of governance where individuals deliver on people's expectations and transparency gets an even chance. Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi were leaders in the past who were revered by a large section of the middle-class for their charisma.
Kejriwal himself has also succeeded in creating a space for himself in the Indian politics and has a bigger appeal than his party. For such leaders, young people are always an attractive lot to appeal to. And rightly so. It is the individual who matters in a democracy and should get his or her due recognition.
Fresh leadership can help people across the society to gain even without populist sops
The youth is the only electorate who can effect a change towards a democratic system where individual merit is recognised and genuinely works for commoners' problems instead of just playing out as a tool to catch power. Once the fresh leaders who have a new line of thinking and a complete understanding of the pressing issues take over, the positive impact can be felt among those communities who have to depend on corrupt and populist power centres for their 'welfare'.
The immense task to overhaul India's rotting socio-political system has to start somewhere and amid a lot of discomfort. Kejriwal's appeal to the youth to join politics is a welcome step towards that.