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Youth in Politics - A Conversation

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, business, events, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

This is the tale of two best friends - Rahul & Vaibhav. Rahul is extremely passionate and involved in politics while Vaibhav on the other hand is disinterested and does not care about politics. Below is a conversation regarding politics between both of them.

Rahul: Hey, did you watch the news last night? Everything got so heated and I can’t believe those people would do that?

Vaibhav: What are you talking about? Also no, I don’t watch the news. I don’t see the point of watching people screaming at each other.

Rahul: That’s alright, it’s okay to disengage from dramatic political actions portrayed on these debate shows, but wait? Do you not watch any news at all?

Vaibhav: Yes, I don’t read/ watch any news.

Rahul: But why?

Vaibhav: I just don’t see the point. It does not interest me to know what the Prime Minister of the UK said, and for that matter, I couldn’t care less about what the Prime Minister of our country says. Whatever happens, happens - nothing is going to change anyway.

Rahul: That’s such a negative way to approach politics, Vaibhav. Throwing blanket and generalized statements and assumptions is not the way to go. Remember, that our country is a democracy - which means that it’s ruled by the people and the power lies in all our hands. It is because of us that a government and parliament exist in the first place. We hold the responsibility of the country.

Vaibhav: Maybe, but why do we as the common man ought to try changing the world when we know that nothing we say will be taken seriously.

R: Maybe, but that does not mean we stop trying. Never underestimate the power of the common man - we have the power to bring down those who do not use the power they are granted to do good to society. We are the ones who elect these leaders, so the onus of responsibility ultimately falls on us as we need to elect leaders who are trustworthy, dedicated, passionate, and qualified instead of supporting people who bring shame to our political system.

V: But there’s nothing I can do to stop evils in our political system like for example, corruption. How can I, as a youth of the country, change systemic corruption in Politics?

R: The best way to create change is to first create awareness. Use your platform and your voice to shed awareness on these topics and get more people to engage with them. It could be in many ways - from a tweet to protesting, everything is a valid form of creating awareness.

You draw, right?

V: Yes, I do.

R: Then use your art to create awareness. Draw comic strips or paint to capture these problems - for example, corruption and use your platform to spread the word. Join youth rallies and political parties and make a difference.

V: But do youth really have a say in politics? Because most people I’ve seen are in their fifties and sixties and I’ve never seen a young, spirited person taking the reigns and leading the country forefront.

R: Yes! We do! As the youth, we definitely have a say and can make systemic changes. First, we need more people like ourselves to help change the passivity and disinterest among the younger generations and create more awareness so that people know what’s going on and what they’re fighting for. Youth should also voluntarily intern/work in government organizations to gain experience and thus help shift to more political ventures.

V: But don’t we have enough people to do that already?

R: No, we don’t There is a dire need for the youth of the country to rise up to the occasion and take more responsibility. Only we can fight for our rights and if we don’t, who else will?

V: But I have so many things to do! As a 22-year-old - I have a full-time job, going to the gym, studying for my masters, and just managing my house. I hardly have any time to do extra work like working for a political organization.

R: There are other ways to engage in politics. First and foremost is to be more engaged in general awareness about what’s going on in our country. Read the newspaper or watch the news to get an idea and then spread awareness among the people you know.

Discussion and debate are extremely important as they shape the political discourse in our country. Even inspiring one person to be more political makes a huge difference, so talk about this among your friend circle.

Like I had mentioned earlier, as an artist let politics influence you. Create awareness through your paintings. And of course, please vote when the elections are around the corner. Each vote matters and makes a huge difference!

If you can afford to volunteer, please do or see if you could contribute to a cause of your choice with a local organization and support them instead as they will do all the groundwork but are in need of more hands-on board and more resources.

There are a lot of ways to make time to be more politically aware, it really all boils down to the effort and willingness you have. You need to make time to fit political advocacy in your schedule as it involves your own rights as an individual as well as the rights of the citizens of the country. Know what’s at stake and act on time.

V: What you’ve shared makes a lot of sense. I’m sorry I was neutral earlier but I now realize that my passivity is a part of the problem as well. I’ll definitely try my best to be more politically aware and create awareness among my friends and loved ones. Thank you for educating me!

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