Is the youth of India with Modi?
A section of Indian media believes that anyone who enjoyed Pink Floyd's 'The Wall '
A section of Indian media believes that anyone who enjoyed Pink Floyd's "The Wall " with the following lyrics:
We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teacher leave us kids alone …. !
actually hated traditional education , quit school and turned rebels . As an ardent fan of the song and the band Pink Floyd I can say that no matter how much we loved the song and hummed it for years , none from my generation actually quit education .
Going by the same logic , media reports on the youth turning against Prime Minister Modi after a few student protests over CAA can purely be a figment of their imagination .
The media houses that made sweeping statements that " Indian youth is against Modi "after witnessing commotion at a few campuses needs to be alerted to the fact that a few thousand students do not represent the colossus called the Indian youth– a whopping 700 million !
At this juncture, it's also important to recall that Modi govt came back to power second time with brute majority only because of youth votes. Almost 81 million young Indians voted for the first time in the 2019 general elections with an average of 14.9 million first-time voters in each Lok Sabha constituency . And to say that in flat six months the situation reversed dramatically is plain preposterous !
The youth of India resonate to Prime Minister Modi's vision for India . They identify with his belief that it is the youth that has the power to create a nation of future.
Since Modi believed that they can truly transform the country, he invested and continues to invest in youth . He connects to them like no one has. He wins their hearts with emotion and barges into theirs brains with facts, figures and statistics.
Not just inspiring speeches but Modi government acted on four 'E's-- Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Excellence to empower youth . In the last five years, the government set up seven IITs, seven IIMs, one NIT, 14 IIITs, 103 Kendriya Vidyalayas. The number of undergraduate medical seats increased from 50,000 in 2013-14 to 70,000 now. Post-graduate seats went up, too, from 25,000 in 2013 .
A NASSCOM report in January 2018 said 1.5 crore new jobs have been created between 2014-17 in four core sectors: Automotive, IT-BPM, Retail and Textiles. Infrastructure creation has been happening at a breathtaking pace creating more direct and indirect jobs.
Youth being the largest section of job seekers, have benefitted greatly from this rapidly growing economy. Coming back to campus politics …
Let youth be youth
In an interesting study "Changing patterns " by Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS)- Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), which surveyed respondents aged between 15 and 34 years in 19 states of India says that 46% of Indian youth have "no interest at all" in politics and just 18% only have "little interest".
The opposition has pulled reluctant youth in campuses into politics and used them strategically for creating riots -especially when they are vulnerable.
Today's youth is vulnerable, especially in campuses, vulnerability is very high.
A renowned American psychologist Jean Twenge in her research says that millennials and iGens ( born after 1995 ) have poorer emotional health. She found that new media and peer pressure are making this generation more lonely, anxious, and depressed. The online content creates unrealistic expectations (about happiness, body image, and more) creating an "epidemic of anguish,".
Her research says that youth of the current generation , who do not have mentors believe they have less control over how their lives turn out. Instead, they think that the system is already rigged against them! This vulnerability allowed the left liberals to prey on unsuspecting students .
Campus youth - are you future ready?
Modi's India is aiming to become a $5T economy and the country's workforce landscape is also quickly transforming. While many new jobs are being created, old jobs are being eliminated or replaced.
This transition into today's fourth industrial revolution demands that we reassess out talent pool .
The Wheebox National Employability Test (WNET) states that MBA-graduates have taken over the slot of the highest employable cohort with an employability score of 54 per cent. Candidates from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh were more employable than any other states, while Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune stood out as the most employable cities.
Students given to campus riots should pay attention to this data and stay alert to the employability criteria of the new age -domain knowledge, adaptability to the environment, learning agility and positive attitude. Job portals, professional network and social media, but referrals are the topmost channels used for finding the right talent. Protesting students should be aware of these requirements.
PM Modi believes that millennials and iGens should be innovators, leaders, decision-makers for 'future India'. He knows that India has to re-imagine its talent landscape . Step into any Atal Tinkering Lab , any start up incubation centre to know this .
He believes that we have to study the global job market trends and pursue novel approaches to fulfil the skill gaps in the industry and reset the talent demand-supply equilibrium in the country. Hence the country's new focus on gig economy .
India is making a move from older work models to gigs at a rapid pace with a pool of 15 million skilled professionals to suit the global demand of contract-based or freelance jobs. But to leverage this agile talent, it is essential to transform the traditional mindset. Are the campuses ridden with conflict aware of this?
The country needs to have people with the capability to work in isolation and yet in collaboration with others. Critical thinking , working in agile set-ups and the aptitude to work efficiently sans-supervision are some of the major skills that need to be cultivated in the candidates of today for the 'work of tomorrow'. Are the 'vulnerable students 'in volatile campuses ready for this ?
Decades ago , The Assam Movement of 1979–1985 was a movement against illegal immigrants in Assam. The movement, led by All Assam Students Union(AASU) and the 'All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad' (AAGSP), was to compel the Indian government to identify and expel illegal, (mostly Bangladeshi), immigrants and protect and provide constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to the indigenous Assamese people. Will these rioting students of today ever know what to fight for?
Will this small community of youth wake up to national and international realities?
Prime Minister Modi envisions India as a US$ 5 trillion economy and a global economic powerhouse by 2025. He is taking giant strides accompanied by the gigantic power of almost 700 million youth . The few thousands who fell prey to campus politics may well be left behind .
Not unless of course they want to as Modi's vision is for everyone including those who fail to see it. As far as the talented, vibrant colossus called Indian youth, it is very much with PM Modi !
(The writer is BJP leader, president, Futuristic Cities, global thought leader, advisor on smart cities, governance & policy)