My beloved nation of India has been on a rollercoaster ride since the beginning of this decade.
When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a parliamentary majority for the first time ever in 2014, the whole country, including the young population, was quite hopeful. “The youth of the nation has its finger on the mouse of computers and is changing the world. India’s journey has gone from snake charmers to mouse charmers!” said prime minister Narendra Modi during a keynote address at a top college in 2013. That particular speech was so powerful that it became Modi’s one-way ticket to winning the young hearts and their votes. However, the charm didn’t last.
Six years into the Modi government, India’s youth appears to be amazingly baffled and disappointed. Honestly, why wouldn’t they be? In the last 12 months alone, India has encountered the most ruthless type of riots in New Delhi where Hindu and Muslim mobs demonstrated their wrath, and innocent college students were beaten up mercilessly by the police. While Kashmir is still using 2G network, the rest of the country is planning for 5G, police brutality is at a record high, the country’s transgender rights bill has majorly disappointed the LGBT+ community, and multiple minority groups like Dalits are constantly being let down by the government.
India’s economy is breaking down at the speed of light, with 33 per cent youth unemployment. There are insufficient opportunities after graduation and the youngsters are being forced to work below minimum wage positions – and they only get that if they’re lucky. What young Indians want is pretty simple. They want the government to update the old law and enactments and utilise all the funds available in all the right places like healthcare, and education. Instead of spending over £25m on building statues, Gen Z and millennials want the government to invest in worthwhile areas, like the northeastern region of India that encounters dangerous floods every year, or the infrastructure and sanitation facilities of millions of hospitals, government schools and colleges all over the country.
It almost feels like the government doesn’t want to help build the country up and move us in the right direction. Such a significant number of assets have been invested in initiatives that weren’t even needed. The government’s decisions of answering to wants before needs are getting tiring and so many assets have likewise gone MIA because of corrupt officials. No one can blame the youngsters for taking to the streets and starting social media revolutions every now and then. An official YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey also states that the majority of the young population believes that India’s economy is going in the wrong direction and I can’t help but concur.
As we enter a new decade, the main hope I have for my country is to truly push ahead, united, while making decisions that benefit more people. I wish for the administrative authorities to stop hiding information, and let the media and press carry out their responsibility of revealing what’s truly going on.
It’s high time that the ruling body starts listening to all the young Indians because not only are they the ones who have genuinely taken a stand about the vast majority of the pressing issues that need consideration, but they also have established that they are the future.
The old ways and ideologies don’t work anymore, and it’s time to concede that reality.