By Sreya Quazi
Edited by Sameer Abdullah and Adeeb Chowdhury
When we think of politics or politicians nowadays, all we think of is corruption, crimes and how hypocrisy is involved. The question is why. Why has politics become a subject young people don’t want to be involved in? It is clear that with the world’s current events, voting has become an option for the youth because of the candidates. The current young generation has become more aware of the deficits of the modern world leaders, and social media has offered a platform for more and more kids to be more politically informed—and willing to make a change.
When you don’t vote, it is one vote towards the other party. Becoming 18 and having rights to vote is a huge responsibility, and all this time, you wanted nothing to do with politics. How will you know whom to vote for?
We call our politicians corrupt yet we don’t do anything to prepare the youth to become good leaders in the future. A massive portion of creating a leader is generating awareness, yet parents don’t like to talk to children about politics. Kids are often assumed to be “uninformed”, “ignorant”, or simply incapable of becoming politically aware. How will they what is right or wrong? A useful tip is explaining to young adults why some things in politics are right or wrong.
Besides just at home, schools should be teaching the youth to be responsible leaders of the future. That way, when they rule the country, they will know a thing or two. Electives like student council helps young adults learn how to raise funds, take responsibility, multi task and assign jobs. Model UNs are a huge thing right now in Bangladesh, spiking in popularity a few years ago and offering an excellent opportunity for self-development and thought-provoking discussion. I encourage everyone to try it at least once. You can learn so much from just a three day session. These small events may seem petty and useless now—some may claim that you can’t learn much from just three short days of debate—but someday they will help you do big things.
In 2015, the Independent Newspaper of United Kingdom did a research paper on how to encourage young people to be involved. In 2010, only 44% of the 18-24 year old voted. Research shows over the years that a huge amount of young adults don’t vote and stay away from the polls. However, steps are being taken to improve such situations. “Initiatives include Smartphone apps, vlogging and social media campaigns aiming to revolutionize how young people think about politics,” writes Alexandra Sims from Independent. Jazza John, digital manager at Bite the Ballot, a not-for-profit movement encouraging young people to vote, said: “The youth vote makes up over five million people. If all of these people went out to vote it could make for a real change. It is a fallacy that young people aren’t bothered about politics. They care about lots of different issues such as the NHS, tuition fees and immigration, but often politics seems like a closed game.” There are numerous other campaigns going around encouraging the young adults. Some are:
- National Union of Students (NUS)
- Rock Enrol!
- Electoral Commission
- Bite the Ballot
- Youth Counts! Democracy Challenge
We see here that initiatives are being taken. Our role is to learn and participate. If there ever is an MUN near you, go try it out. Listen to elders when they speak of politics. Listen to the news and keep up with the world. In the end, we are the ones who will be left in the world. We are the future. May we know great leaders, may we raise them, and may we be them.
About the Author
Journalist of the Democracy and Political Rights department
Sreya is a senior at William Carey Academy. She takes interest in basketball, drama, creative writing and reading.