Youth Participation

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Participation is a fundamental right (UNDP, 2013). Participation is a functional requirement of any system of Government (Birch, 2007). It is vital in modern and formal democracy (Print, 2006b). Kooiman (2000) has stated that no Government can ensure social development in a representative Government because it is unable to connect with people. There has been a hierarchical system that has led to the decline of party politics. Such a democratic system is perceived to be cut-away from everyday struggles of people and thus it does not seem inviting for participation and involvement (Bang, 2002). The benefits of higher participation is that it not only cultivates democratic virtues but also builds the capacities of individuals and gives them equal…show more content…
Hence, the participation process builds capacity of individuals and the community to make their society better and in turn, strengthens the democratic form of governance, which will work for the development of people. The role of youth has always been present and recognised in any development discourse. The youth are not the future citizens of the democratic system, but they are active stakeholders in shaping democracy at a given moment (Mayer and Galappatti, Undated). The youth are not just the future; they are the present and today (Thomspon and Arsalan, 2007). In the present times, the youth have unlimited dreams, aspirations, and opportunities as well as potential to achieve them. Their active participation would lead to fulfilment of their dreams and contribute to the development of society. Youth are harbingers of any change, which is very relevant in democratic transition and consolidation (Rashid and Gao 2012). Given the political participation required in a society, the youth can play an active role in matters of local, developmental activities. After the adolescent period of life, gradually they start to engage with…show more content…
70 per cent of India’s population is below the age of 35 years and consequently, the discussion on local governance and sustainable development requires an understanding of the current and potential role of youth in this context. The minimum age for voting in India is 18 years old. Hence, ‘youth’ is defined in this study as ages 18-35 years. The world currently has a population of almost 2 billion people between ages 10 to 24 years and India has a large number of young people. The youth are looking for shaping their future in the world and to do this, they need to participate actively in governance. In the past, the youth of India have participated in the Freedom Movement with Nationalism. The youth in many countries like India and Bangladesh have been successful in getting Independence through widespread student participation (Hazary, 1988; Rashid and Gao 2012). In countries around the world, the youth have actively participated in crucial events such as freedom struggles, natural and man-made disasters and cultural and sports events. The strength and rigour of youth participation has been demonstrated again and again. An example of this is the Arab Spring, where the youth led protests and demanded for democracy. The protest by the youth in Hong Kong for democracy is another recent
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