How many times have you seen a friend sharing their opinion about a political issue on social media? Pretty often, right? As Indian millennials, despite what others might believe, we’re not just a generation of Snapchats and selfies.
With people below 25 making up half the population of the country, India is ready to lead the world with young guns at its beck and call. But to achieve this, we need to do more than just talking about socio-political issues. We need to get actively involved!
But Why Do Millennials Matter?
Of course we matter, we’re next in line. Indian millennials have raided social media with their opinions. They have changed the way news is reported. And when needed, they have come out on streets to raise their voice. Who can forget the Nirbhaya rape protests and what it led to?
“The present young lot is quite intelligent and active. They think about issues and want to solve them. It is not just about roti, kapda and makaan for them anymore,” 24-year-old journalist, Richa Sharma, says.
A Voice of Our Own
When Facebook decided to launch it’s ‘free for all’ Internet.org campaign in India, it probably thought cozying up to the ministers was enough. But youth comics’ group All India Bakchod became a pain for them and showed Facebook what young India is made of.
Stand-up comedy troupe East India Comedy has also produced some thought-provoking videos on important issues. Videos, after all, resonate with our tech-savvy generation.
Speaking of important issues, India might be far behind US when it comes to satirical news but popular actor-comedian Vir Das tried to address this through his show, Potcast.
Saloni Saini, a 26-year-old teacher in Delhi, said, “The young generation has found innovative ways of raising their voice. They are doing comedy, making videos, organising protests. It is hard for the government to ignore them.”
And it doesn’t stop at that. There are student groups that have launched movements in their universities too. It was the youth that made ‘not in my name’ protests successful and it was also the youth who made protests like ‘India against corruption’ a massive affair.
A young cartoonist was recently arrested in Tamil Nadu for drawing a cartoon that criticised the CM. Is this even for real? But this is the best quality of our generation – we do not back down and we continue to fight in our own unique ways.
(Young) India Shining
Young men like Hardik Patel (25) and Jignesh Mevani (34) are now becoming the face of their communities and influencing the election campaigns of major parties. Young women like Mallika Dua and Kangana Ranaut are challenging sexism and patriarchy in different industries.
In fact, millennials have such influence and relevance that none of the Prime Minister’s speeches are complete without the mention of the youth.
Internet and technology’s spread is also a boost to the frustrated young Indians. They are ready to take risks and change the course of politics. It is the youth who can transform Indian politics and shift the focus from archaic issues like casteism to more important issues like the development of rural India.
So now, let’s take matters into our own hands and fearlessly change the face of Indian politics. Because we can.
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Namit is a journalist and adventure sports enthusiast. He divides his time in reading about interesting issues and later writing about them. In his free time, he is most expected to escape to the mountains in search of solitude.