Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How they define youths in Uttar Pradesh

The impending Uttar Pradesh State Assembly elections have livened up the otherwise monotonous bureau room of newspaper around Delhi. When you have election in a state where there is a presence of  political heavy weights like Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Varun Gandhi, Digvijay Singh and him-who-cannot-be-named then one can be assured of interesting times ahead.

Every political party in Uttar Pradesh is trying to prove to the other that they are really promoting the Youths by way of giving them more representation.

While doing a story on this very issue I came across some very exciting narrations and intriguing individuals.

A Member of Parliament, involved in the selection of candidates very proudly told me that his party has given tickets to seventy odd youths for the upcoming UP state election.

I was impressed . After all seventy is a seize-able number when you consider that the total seat in the state assembly in 403. Logically my next question was that was the profile of these young candidates.

The reply that I got was something that I had never expected.

“We have given tickets to more than 50 candidates who are around 40 years of age. If you take 50 as the upper age, then we have more than 70 candidates who are contesting the elections on our party ticket.

The party in question was Samajwadi party, who for some inexplicable reason believes that a Fourty year person is a young candidate. I didn’t question him as to what was his criteria for selecting these 'young' candidates for I was not sure whether I would be able to comprehend his reply.

Moving ahead, I spoke to a young member of parliament of a national party from Uttar Pradesh on the same issue and he came out as someone who was more in touch with the reality.

He told me that the talk of youth being given more representation is just a lip service. “ Abhee bhee wohee 75-80 saal ke bujurg ticket distribution kar rahe hain,” he rued. 

When I asked him about a recent statement of a senior leader of his party in which he had said that they were focusing on the youth, the parliamentarian replied that the said leader was in a way saying the truth as his 35 year old son was being given the party ticket.

I too could do nothing but nod my head in agreement. After all being a son of a politician doesn’t rob your opportunity to claim of being a youth.

This poet-parliamentarian though was quick to admit that this is the last time that they ‘Oldies‘ will be running the show for he has been assured by the party president that when the next  assembly elections comes, he will be over seeing the whole election process.

As we ended our conversation, I thought of telling him that the ‘next’ election is  still more than five years away. But then I realized that politics strives on hope and who was I to raise a question mark on his hopes.

This was not the end, as a more classic case of how the word ‘Youth’ is being misused in Uttar Pradesh was in store for me.

If you remember some days back a person was beaten by one of our honourable Union Ministers at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh in Phulphur after he displayed black flags to him-who-cannot-be-named.

This guy Abhishek Yadav who is a student of Allahabad University is not more than 24 years old. He told me that he too was a contender for an assembly ticket from one of the assembly constituencies of Phulpur parliamentary seat in Allahabad but was denied because a more ‘mature’ candidate was available ( Neither he clarified nor I asked him that how can a 24 year old possibly and legally contest election. But then maybe in UP anything is possible).

I couldn’t help but notice the dejection and sarcasm in his voice as he said that his party has done a good job for they have given opportunity to the ‘youth’.

Though he didn’t say it explicitly but he made it very clear that he was not happy with his party’s definition of youth which is someone who has seen 40 years of life and is still young.

Every party be it the Congress,BJP or the SP has its own criteria for deciding who a youth is. For some it is someone who is more than Fourty years old and for some it is someone who is a political inheritor. 

Leaders are not born but made; but strangely the situation in our country has always been the opposite.

For all of us.

1 comment:

richard said...

i like this post most please friends must read this post. thanx alot friends.....


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