KATHMANDU: Politics is a determining factor for the overall development of a nation which may be one reason that thousands of people are seeking their future in politics. Today’s younger generation too seem interested in the politics of the country. Whether it is through student politics or being directly involved in mainstream politics, the youngsters are struggling to make their name in politics with a dream to change the future of the country for its betterment.
And they are working with their plans and strategies despite the barriers they have to face in every steps.
When talking about youth politicians, mostly the images of students active in the political activities of colleges come to one’s mind. Of course, most of them are into student politics — participating in elections of students union, working for the welfare of students and even protesting the wrong decisions of political parties.
In this process some have become central committee members, while some have made it even to the post of president.
Dwarika Neupane is one of such youth — he is the Central Committee Member of All Nepal National Free Students Union (AANFSU) at Nepal Commerce Campus.
Neupane, who is into student politics since a decade, found a huge gap between the haves and have-nots in the country. As such Neupane joined AANFSU with an aim to eliminate this gap because he believes that politics is the pathfinder for social change in the country which aims to sideline all the social evils and helps in the development of the country.
Ranjeet Karn, who is also into student politics for more than a decade, has already become the Central President of Nepal Students Union. Karn is into politics because he feels no one can remain aloof from the politics. “Good politics is a medium to change the country in terms of the development as each and every sector is under the influence of politics,” he feels.
Karn and Neupane are just a few examples of many such politically conscious youth in every college of the nation with promising dreams for the betterment not only of the students but of the whole nation.
Paving way for mainstream politics
Several popular politicians like Shankhar Pokharel and Gagan Thapa among others had started their career in politics during their college life. And while talking about these youth leaders of today, working for students is their one objective — but many of them take it as a gateway to mainstream politics.
“I don’t want any specific position as such in the mainstream politics but I want to be a leader who would be remembered by all people because of my good deeds even after my death,” shares Ranju Gyawali, Central Committee Member of AANFSU, Baneshwor Campus.
Gyawali feels there are several youngsters entering into college politics so they could enter into mainstream politics. “We can take part in different political activities organised by the political parties and can then be in contact with several politicians. It is a platform for us to show our skills of public speaking and convincing people. This way, we can enter into mainstream politics through college politics”, Gyawali expresses.
Gyawali would have been pursuing other careers like Journalism had she not been in the college politics. But politics in the college has been beneficial to her as “it taught me how one should make themselves ready for changing situations and obstacles that come in every step of life along with
letting me understand about politics.”
As per Neupane, college politics helps “students in socialising and involving in creative work. It also aids in creating good politicians in the mainstream as student politicians have already acquired knowledge and skills required to be one of the politicians in the mainstream politics”.
Though student politics and mainstream politics are quite different, it is not a Herculean task to enter into mainstream politics for students according to Karn.
“The experience and knowledge about politics help us in entering into mainstream politics. But we need to wait as it takes some time — we become member, president of the students’ union, then we are eligible for the post of central president of the union and after that we can go for mainstream politics,” he argues.
Whether you are young or old, one must have detailed knowledge about various areas — geography, science and technology, culture, foreign affairs and others — for being a successful politician.
But besides these qualities, age factor has always remained a crucial topic of discussion. The older
generation of politicians are quite sceptical about providing leadership authority to the younger generation.
Gyawali, who had witnessed the 2006 revolution of the country, joined politics to make a contribution and bring about a change in the nation. But after being in the student politics, she realised a great gap between senior and junior political leaders.
“The level of thinking and mindset of old and young generation is different,” shares Gyawali who opines that this generation gap is the one factor that is hindering the overall development of the nation. “The level of thinking and way of working is different — they think in traditional way and do not welcome new ideologies. Nor can they use new technologies efficiently. But to bring about a positive change in any sector, we should be able to move with the time and only the youth are doing it. Therefore youth leadership is today’s need”, she claims.
But Neupane is of the opinion that “age doesn’t matter in mainstream politics. If a politician has good qualities to serve the nation, their age does not make any difference. What all one needs is experience and leadership quality”.
So, what qualities should a politician possess irrespective of his/ her age?
“A politician should be concerned about the nation. His/her speech and activities must be equal. A thing said must be done. Besides, politicians should have a source of income so that they do not get involved in corrupt things for generating income,” Karn explains.
Neupane adds, “Charismatic nature along with vision oriented, altruistic and being responsible are the qualities most expected from a politician.”
For Gyawali the best quality of a politician is honesty.
And these young politicians are working to learn good traits of politicians so that they could become efficient leaders in the future.
Youth’s message to youth
On the one hand there are these aspiring youngsters struggling to make a future of the country through political involvement, while on the other there are others who regard politics as a dirty game.
But these three student leaders request all the youth to at least be updated about the political condition of the country. They also urge the youth to contribute for the advancement of the country because development of a country doesn’t solely depend on politicians, citizens too have their role to play.
And Neupane suggests, “Youngsters should get involved into politics as they must know what is happening in the country because this will have an impact in their life too.”
All these young politicians said that youngsters must know about the political condition of the country and should contribute from their own side for the advancement of the country.