I read this post[click] from one of the blogger I follow.
As it happens, when the topic of politics and middle-class youth participation comes up – it starts with bringing up the problem first. A student from middle class family cannot make his/her way into political system on his own even if he/she is interested.You may cite examples proving it wrong. However, the problem is not only about bringing middle class or lower class. It is for youth in general. It is about bringing youth closer to politics & politics closer to youth.
It was enough to make me curious. I started thinking about closing this gap with what ever current knowledge I poses.
The posts point was mainly about introducing the youth into Politics through Youth Parliament in metro cities. I would like to know your view(for/against) this point.
I put forth some foolish & naive solutions for it. At that time I was reading the ‘District Development Cell'(trying google – it won’t work. Try reading govt. reports or try the links at the bottom) provisions in our constitution for development initiative. For me – politics is not limited to ‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Price Tag’ anymore. It has expanded to the ‘real’ – ‘ measurable’ – ‘tangible’ development works & initiative. So, if I want to put youth into politics I would prefer this path where they are introduced to the political system through development i.e. through real change. This way their participation can result into some thing tangible even if it is small as a week’s work or a week program.
There was this link I found about ‘Applying to govt. to set up a Entrepreneur Cell’(To Get specific Detail do check the aicte Website and the various respective sections there) in a college. As the two names sound similar with ‘Cell’ & ‘Govt. Grant’ present in them – I thought,
Why can’t student bodies of colleges situated in a district be allowed to open District Development Cell for their respective districts ? Or Why not have a body of students as support/volunteer staff in these District Development Cell??
Just think about its possibility. There are many youth which will be left out but I think it can be one way to initiate them into socio-political work.
I discussed it with one of my friend (who is keenly interested in entering politics). I found that this is not how the ‘District Development Cell’ system works. They can be established only when DMs,Municiple Heads, Panchayat Heads of the district come together & decide to do so. Plus there is already little say of local bodies in such organization. Having student won’t change anything.
I am still skeptical though, having a curious, impatient, interested & energized youth may create new channels of working in such development cell. Further, the important part is to connect the youth with such process.
I didn’t left him after his feedback. I asked him to suggest what are his views to close this gap. (I would like you to suggest some too)
He proposed that to close the gaps students of a college first have to be included in decision making process. They should be active to ask questions to the college authority. They should be able to propose development initiatives required to better the college infrastructure & administration. For example:
Why it took 5lakh to make a speed breaker?
Why there was no open tender to bid for hostel construction?
Can the college put a computerized system for hostel food/canteen management?
Can college have a gender sensitivity program for its teachers & new students?
Will college help the near by slums in solving some of there problems?
How the central funds were spent in two years & in which activities? How they improved the conditions?…(likewise)
Students coming up to ask,suggest & inquire the college administration. As college are a small reflection of the society outside, so if individuals are active in ‘positive’ college politics then they may do so outside college. One may say that same happens in colleges. But I said earlier it was not about ‘Game of Thrones’ or only being a student representative bodies. No.
What I mean by these is that – we don’t want representative participation in college. We want individuals in college to participate in politics. Representation never works if individuals don’t have any spine to ask the authority. And I prefer if students participate in changing their college first & then their district and then head for the country politics. At present, Students do come out in protest & demand actions from the govt.How I see it is like, student protest for college politics or national politics. What about district??
To conclude it, I say if the ‘District Development Cell’ idea doesn’t work only because it is not allowed in current system – Why not create a new system which enable to do so or better modify the current one.
It is a very naive opinion/proposal. Nevertheless, I consider it to be a worthy idea to be considered. There are some obvious weak points which I am proposing like slowing down the administration, useless bickering of students over small issues, disruption in curriculum & studies(which is main focus of college), focusing students being too much active in political actions. Still, being a ‘Rational Optimist’ – I think these flaws can be overcome by little improvements with each passing year. Our constitution is such an amazing organic document, so why can’t we make such organic politico-development cells for participation of Youth.
I found this idea really interesting. So I will keep it in my mind & contemplate over it. Because I know that my understanding of the actual system is limited by my limited exposure of Indian Political structure. Our media is useless in enlightening common people like me about it. I hope the temples of education can help put some light on it – to kindle the fire into hearts of the youth.
Few links of District Development Cells :