[email protected]: No Ideology Politics Here
Politics could pass through a state of flux in the next 30 years
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We are just 30 years away from the centenary of Independence in 2047. According to the 2011 census data, around 41 per cent of India’s population is below the age of 20 and half the population of the country is in the 20-59 age group while 9 per cent is above the age of 60. So, over 50 per cent of today’s youth will be nearing their retiring age in 2047. They have a choice to choose the political set up they want to retire and live with. It is this age group and additionally the rest of the 41 per cent of the population that will determine the future of political parties.
The present government’s initiatives to generate awareness among the youth, empowering them to look for greater opportunities and increased emphasis on digital India is likely to result in a wide support base for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
One of the issues that drew maximum attention during the 2014 election was corruption-free governance. A new narrative was given and the youth lapped it up. As a result, a large section of the non-partisan non-political population gravitated towards the BJP.
This marked a far-reaching change in the way politics will be conducted in future. Ideological fixations and clichéd political debates like secular versus communal took a back seat. Another feature of the 2014 election was the near total eclipse of regional and smaller parties.
In all likelihood, if this trend continues, national politics may witness a metamorphosis. The influence of regional parties thriving on identity politics may remain limited, thereby limiting their influence on national politics. As a result, the dependence of national parties on regional parties may reduce. For example, no central government could take an independent view on the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka without taking into consideration the opinion of the state parties in Tamil Nadu. This situation changed in 2014 when Modi did not need the support of these parties to form a government, thereby effecting the much needed change in our neighbourhood policy.
Yet another major factor that determined the outcome of the 2014 election was the use of technology in political campaigning. There was a time when people used to contest elections to get a complimentary telephone connection. Today, mobiles have become a body part. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be about 30 billion devices hand held or otherwise and possibly billions of other types of sensors dependent on the Wi-Fi and Internet. Whichever party is able to become and also convey that they have become digital friendly will attract the attention, respect and votes of the youth.
All parties, national and regional, will be compelled to use technology in electioneering, devise campaigns to address the needs and to respond to the aspirations of the youth and conduct politics in a transparent and corruption-free mechanism. These are issues that demand performance and leave no scope for polarisation. Therefore, the biggest casualty of such a situation could be the eclipse of ideology from politics.
A deep yearning for empowerment and economic development, the demand for a shift from identity politics to politics of performance and, above all, to govern by consensus and not confrontation will pave the way for effecting changes in all political parties. Politics could pass through a state of flux in the next 30 years, but the result will be a welcome change.
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