“Congress wants an education system where young people are empowered and equipped to face the future”

“If you don’t talk about the expectations of the youth, you can’t talk about the future of a strong India. We will discuss the problems of the youth, to be able to give them wind under their wing, whether they are members of the party or In the party and the country, the voice of the youth will be heard”, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, leader of the Congress of Punjab and organizer of youth and empowerment coordination panel at Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir which is being held in Udaipur in Rajasthan, said on Friday.

Setting the tone for the panel, Warring recalled that in Chintan Shivir almost 50% of those invited are young people and 21% women. The party will discuss how it can ensure young people get their rights.

He said that at the end of these sessions on May 15, the panel hoped to present an action plan to ensure that more young people join the party.

Part of the committee’s deliberations will focus on the educational system followed across the country.

RS Congress MP and President of Kerala Mahila Congress, Jebi Mather underlined that the Congress is convinced that education decides the future of young people and through them the future of the country.

Describing the uncertainty in the country for children now entering adulthood, Mather said that as a country we have reached a point where we need to reflect on whether education is constructive or destructive; tolerant and secular or intolerant and communitarian.

“Do we want an India where the scientific temperament is respected or where ignorance of science is the basis of education? Do we want an India where communal harmony spreads or a country that spreads hate speech? Congress wants an education system where youth are empowered and equipped to face the future. We want this to be reflected in the national education policy, but the NDA government’s NEP is run with a community agenda. The story is changed in the textbooks and common elements are added,” Mather said.

The MP pointed out that school dropout rates and enrollment rates have declined. Congress established the right to education up to the age of 14, but “we need to discuss how to apply it to higher education. By 2026, 65% of the population would be between the ages of 15 and 64, so the country should have a qualified population to reap the demographic dividend,” Mather said.

She joked that the Modi government’s Skill India scheme was just a public relations exercise.

More than 50% of India’s population is currently under 25 and more than 65% under 35, but their concerns are not being addressed, Congress spokesman Ragini Nayak added. There is virtually no political participation of the country’s youth. The Congress intends to discuss participatory democracy but “if the youth is not part of it, can the democratic system work properly? Nayak asked.

“The challenge for the Congress now is to provide a compelling vision for India which is different from what the Bharatiya Jana Party or any of the regional parties are proposing. A vision that reflects the aspirations of the country’s youth, a vision that is not only political, but encourages them to come out of the periphery to the fore not only of electoral power, but also of other horizons. It’s a challenge, but we believe that with every challenge comes an opportunity,” Nayak said.

The panel said they believe that no young person in the country or their family will want their children walking around with their school leaving certificate in one hand and a sword or lathi in the other. “Congress wants to make sure that young people across the country will have a school leaving certificate in one hand and a letter of nomination in the other,” Nayak reiterated.

The Congress does not want to walk the path of violence and the panel agreed that several young people voted for Modi and the BJP and that many of them fell in love with the restrictive and discriminatory vision of India put forward by the BJP. “We are going to break this hold that BJP has on young people. We will tell them that Congress will work for them and their future. Food grain prices are rising, fuel prices are skyrocketing. Young people will understand this after a while,” Nayak said.

“We want to start with the young people. The political participation of young people in the country is an important issue. We talk about participatory democracy but if the youth is not part of it, can the democratic system work properly?” Nayak added.

Congress President Alka Lamba, who is a member of the Youth and Empowerment Coordinating Panel, said the panel had started discussing raging unemployment among young people. “This is the biggest problem facing young people now. This is a crisis created by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his flawed policies including demonetization and GST,” Lamba stressed.

Surveys have revealed that the unemployment crisis in the country is at its highest after India’s independence. More than half of the 90 million Indians of legal working age have given up looking for work because they have not been able to find suitable jobs.

The Modi government had promised 2 crore jobs a year, Lamba pointed out, so they should have been able to provide at least 16 crore jobs. “Congress introduced the right to education, the right to food, the right to information, and the right to employment through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in rural India. India now needs comprehensive right to work legislation for both urban and rural India,” Lamba added.

Moreover, UP Congress leader Karishma Thakur argued that regardless of family background, India should be able to provide its young people with a stable future. “The BJP is playing with the future of our children,” Thakur said.