The Power of Youth in Creating “Corruption Free India”
The essay is a study of role of youth to make country a corruption free nation. It is an effort to give concrete view point on the power of the integrated youth of nation who are future of the country and whose efforts are decisive for country’s progress.
It is a no brainer that Corruption in India is at its rampant best. There is not one section of the society that is spared from it. Recent examples like CWG, 2G and Adarsh Society Scams are glaring examples of expanded corruption in all levels of Indian Society. Corruption hinders its dream to become a developed nation and in today’s scenario ‘Corruption Free State’ is India’s need to achieve Vision-2020.
In fulfilling this need, youth power of the country can play an important role.
Youth is a dynamite of any country that can do great good when used in a right way. They are the powerhouse and storehouse of infinite energy which brings laurels to the Country.
Leadership of Adolf Hitler proved the importance of youth in any nation building. He understood the power of young people. After he came to power in Germany in 1932 one of the early actions he took was to outlaw all youth groups, especially the religious ones. In their place, he formed the Hitler Youth and the German League of Young Girls. In these organizations young people were taught to revere Hitler and serve him without question. The youth of Germany were taught that they were the master race and it was their destiny to dominate the world. What happened as a result of Hitler harnessing the power of youth? A significant portion of this generation of German youth committed horrible atrocities in the name of their Fuhrer. In fact, Hitler did such a good job indoctrinating a generation that it was a detachment of Hitler Youth who died in the final battle for Berlin in 1945.
In India, there are two aspects to define youth power. On the one side its history which is full of such young names whose mere mention fills every average Indian with pride such as Prithviraj Chauhan, Swami Vivekananda, Shaeed Bhagat Singh etc. whose dedication and vision for the nation paved the way of its progress. Even in the present time, young names like Sachin Tendulkar, Vishwanathan Anand, Rahul Gandhi are proud of our country.
Power of youth is important for India due to its large proportion in its population.
YOUTH POPULATION IN INDIA
As per the Census of India – 2001 the population under 34 years was around 41%. In the early 1980s China was in a position that India finds itself today. And China’s current economic boom is said to be the direct consequence of the large proportion of youth in its population. According to some estimates the current proportion of population under 25 years in India is 51% and the proportion under 35 is about 66%. This predominance of youth in the population is expected to last until 2050 which basically shows India's resurgence potential as an economic and a socially responsible power rests on the Indian youth. Statistics like 72 % of India's population is below the age of 40, 47% of Indians is under the age of 20 and 10% of the world population is an Indian under 25 is a common assessment of India by all countries now. It is this population of young people which constitutes, for India, a potential demographic dividend and a hope to be a developed nation in future.
Such a large proportion of youth can be decisive in the growth of any nation especially if youth lead the state from the front by actively involving himself in government of its respected country.
YOUTH AND POLITICS
Role of youth in Indian Politics is not a new phenomenon. They are actively participating in Countries progress from a very long time. In the pre-independence era, young kings like Ashoka and Chaterpati Shivaji presented an example of ideal kingdoms. After Independence, from youngest Prime Minister (Rajiv Gandhi) to youngest Member of Parliament (Ahmad Hamdullah Sayeed) youth’s contribution in politics is encouraging but not up-to the mark. There are many reasons for that but this is not the appropriate forum to discuss that reasons. Here, the issue is how much and how differently young politicians had and are contributing to develop our nation and to eradicating diseases like corruption from the Country Following is some of the examples to light upon vision of youth:
1. Starting from Rajiv Gandhi who had shown courage to accept the lacuna in the system and accepted that Corruption is not only tolerated but even regarded as the hallmark of leadership but this is an unfortunate on his part that he himself came under the scanner of corruption and lost his image of being honest leader.
2. Coming to present youth icon Rahul Gandhi who is initiator of democratic system in the youth wing of Congress party, riding on high hopes and expected to be Prime Minister in next few years has also shown his courage to accept the realities like division of India into two parts: Rich Bharat and Poor Bharat and showed his concern to deal with such realities. He is getting such a massive support that under his leadership everyone is expecting to see a ‘New Bharat’ that is Corruption free Bharat which will be a developed nation.
But in reality, the above picture that describes the role of youth in politics is upper layer of our society under the garb of which very few young politicians are participating in countries progress. The above examples just show the concern and vision that young leader of our country carries. This is true our youth is not satisfied with the existing system, they are in the blame game to fix the responsibility of present conditions but this is also true that they are determined to do well for the welfare of the country. With significant amounts of energy, vibrancy, vision and passion, the youth are critical stakeholders in the fight against major issues like corruption. The involvement of youth in the fight against corruption is likely to bring in new and fresh ideas that can replace older and out-of-date policies.
YOUTH AND THE WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION
The place and importance of the Youth in society cannot be overemphasized. This is adequately captured in Nigeria Youth Policy which stated that:
Youth are one of the greatest assets that any nation can have. Not only are they legitimately regarded as the future leaders, they are potentially and actually the greatest investment for a country’s development. They serve as a good measure of the extent to which a country can reproduce as well as sustain itself. The extent of their vitality, responsible conduct, and roles in society is positively correlated with the development of their country.
The youth in Nigeria as in other African countries grapple with the problem of corruption ranging from examination malpractices to fraud and embezzlement just like the adults. Most of the Youth of the 70s and 80s are now holding the realms of power today and engaging in all kinds of corruption. It is therefore frightening what will happen when this generation assumes the leadership saddle. This is why concrete actions must be put in place for wining youth back to the path of puritanism and winning the war against corruption.
The meaning hereby participation of youth to have ‘Corruption Free State’ is an utmost necessary step. The same has even been recognized in India by some political leaders where, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu in his public speech called upon the youth (below 35 years) particularly those who were more interested in politics to wage a long drawn battle against corruption at various levels. He said the state is mired in corruption and only the youth can salvage the situation.
In India, every one emphasized on anti-corruption laws and policies but its actual implementation is only possible if integral building blocks of society: families, school communities, religious groupings, hobby groups, sports associations, resident associations, university groups, ethnic associations, professional associations or in short, youth at large become an active and aware member of social movement for ‘Corruption free State.’
The social movement will unite the high enthusiasm of young people with the professional skills and experience from the older generation to create new levels of charm and productivity for the nation development. Even it will influence more young people as their fellow youth act as ambassadors of good governance, thereby giving credibility to the policies and programmes targeting them. Here, the example of Tata Tea’s advertisement showcasing young students’ fight for corruption, make him a ‘youth icon’ of the country who aware the youth about reasons of corruption. This is just a one example to show the impact of one individual on collogues and fellow friends.
In the same way films like Rang de Basanti revolutionized the thinking of youth of our country. This shows, the concern of our young generation for our country and need to take affirmative steps to make sure youth of the nation becomes powerful and determinant to do needful for the county. For this certain steps need to be taken which should be more than tools and programmes; it requires role models who inspire.
Example of act of powerful youth against corruption can be illustrated as below:
In Bosnia, youth groups have organized a number of successful campaigns against corruption. For example, they are responsible for:
• Organizing a nationwide campaign against corruption;
• Holding seminars for entrepreneurs and youth to meet and develop job opportunities;
• Creating a youth parliament simulation so that young people debate the country’s current affairs.
The youth of Bosnia has not limited themselves to the awareness programmes they founded their own party for far-reaching results. They want to make radical changes to build a less corrupt, more educated society.
And the same need to be done in India. We just need to inspire our youth and then definitely inspired and powerful youth will give us a corruption free nation. We need to fill them him with moralities and integrity. They are future of the nation. Their integrated steps and acts will give us corruption free society. We need to fill the youth with integrated values by adopting following approach:
We should not consider only youth as future of our country. We should give them a chance to be an active participant in the system or to be a key of democratic operation. This simply needs a change from traditional approach to modern approach.
The following division within a youth can play an important role to fight against corruption.
Young Politicians: The role and relation of politics with youth has already been discussed and I can say that it is the best forum to prove commitment and achieve the dream of ‘Corruption Free Nation.’ They as a role model of general public can revolutionize the whole system and fulfill Kalams’ vision-2020. A recent gathering of young Parliamentarians expressed loud and exasperated frustration on the roles of babus (Bureaucrats) in corruption scandals and immunities enjoyed by them in spite of their involvement in such scams. Adarsh Society Scam is glaring example of this situation. The gathering of young M.Ps first time publically criticized the existing system where babu has the best of all the worlds as it is impossible to dismiss them. Such an aggressive approach is a positive sign for anti-corruption fight.
Young Journalists: Press is the fourth pillar of Indian democracy. It is the most powerful tool to handle anti-national activities. A corrupt system only fears from media but unfortunately, media is also becoming a part of corrupt system. In such a scenario, young journalists may play a strategic role alongside youth organizations in promoting good governance. More than communication allies in outreach and improving public awareness of the related issues, they provide unbiased perspectives through sharp investigatory and analytical reporting, aired and published on local, national, and international media outlets (print press, radio, television, virtual press, blogs, and more).
Young Professionals: They are base of corruption free society who will promote morality, fairness, and social values by doing their work efficiently, effectively and honestly.
Young Students: Role of young students to fight against corruption can simply be illustrated by the example of Ecuador where one student decided to act against corruption and started a school campaign. The school reformed its structure making it more accountable to the students by creating school councils and student- teacher boards so students could air their ideas and concerns. The students of the school conducted a community survey and published the results in local papers. Because this campaign received so much attention, the school got the funds to publish an anti-corruption booklet for very young children explaining the danger of corruption through drawings and comics. This campaign spread to schools in other parts of the country and had a lot of impact in the community.
In the end, different International Organizations who are fighting against corruption accepted youth’s participation as an important mechanism for the successes of their campaign. They believe youth as a part of solution of the problem because change in the system requires change from the major part and at present youth represents the major part of the population especially in India.
So, it is not wrong to assume that powerful youth will give us a Corruption free nation, but certain approaches need to be followed to assure committed thinking of the youth for their country.
Youth is a spark which can either burn or lighten the country.
Only positive approach will make sure that Indian youth will lighten the country which is under the dark clouds of bribery. It is the best medicine to procure the disease of corruption. They are not only the leader of the future but also the key factor in the present scenario who will give us a systematic and full solution of the problem.
 Demographic Details, available at
http://www.youthportal.gov.in/statistics/demographicdetails.htm assessed on 16 November 2010 at 11:00 P.M.
 National Youth policy and Strategic Plan of action, available at
www.youth-policy.com/.../Nigeria%20National%20Youth%20Policy%20&%20Plan%20of%20Action.pdf assessed on 17 November 2010 at 10:30 P.M.
 News Service, TDP bid to channelise youth power (The Times of India, 7 October 2008).
 Role of Youth, available at,
info.worldbank.org/etools/library/latestversion.asp?35976 assessed on 17 November 2010 at 10:23 P.M.
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