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Either it is in Egypt or in Libya or the protest/revolution that happened just few years back in Nepal, the youth participation was and is higher than any other age group. The participation of youth in the political protest/revolution has been highly increasing by time and so are their concerns in political activities either through political parties or individual interest. But it doesn’t assure that the youth has been equally given place in the policy and decision making levels.
"Youth should be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels." United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon.
The role of youth in every powerful political revolution in Nepal has been remarkable and very appreciable. In the revolution, happened in 2062/63 B.S. in Nepal, which changed our country from democratic to republic, the 80% of total participants in revolution was youth. Even in the past revolution that happened in 2007B.S., 2036B.S. and 2046 B.S. which are the most powerful revolutions in Nepalese political history, the role of youth was very highly remarkable and memorable. Youth powers were highly used even in the 10 years of internal conflict between the government and Maoist.
But while it comes to give place for decision making process or the role and the rights of the youth, the majority of Nepali people/politicians still thinks that youth are not mature enough, they lack good knowledge and they have very weak experience to be in the political decision making. In Nepali society it is believed that elders should lead and youth should just follow them.
Though the major political parties have its own youth wings to have the participation of youth in its activities; they follow their senior’s footstep even in the issues which are not timely and are needed to be changed. Therefore they have been only used for protest. As far as my experience working with youth student politicians for 1 and half years, I have never heard them expressing their own opinions about changes they are hoping for, but rather expressing their mother party’s saying or senior politicians sayings. While students may have the potential to raise their voices in a unique and significant way, this is not always so easy. Often times I find that they are controlled by the “mother party” and used to carry out the wishes of the majority. Change is then not instituted, and the status quo continues.
Even in the situation, when the place for youth to raise voice in the major decision making has not been fixed properly, presence of youth in our national constitution making process has created the new hope in Nepalese Youth. The number of youth involved in politics has been increasing and so does the number of youth in central level positions of political parties. But we also need to be careful about quality education of the students in politics giving enough space and opportunities for their study/qualification to make them qualified to be in decision making. So that we can eliminate the old thinking of the people that youth are not right one for major decision making of the country.
Youth are the agent of change and the greatest power in politics too. Youth have enthusiasm for new change, power to fight against bad systems, timely knowledge for improvements and the voice to change the society, nation and the world. How can we not mention as example-The 2062/63B.S. revolution in Nepal and the revolution that just happened in Egypt, on how youth can play the vital role for the great Change.
The international year of youth 2010/11 can even play the major role by prioritizing the rights of youth in politics and decision making like the things like education, health, employment and other things has been prioritized. Consequently, we youth can have easy access to politics and decision making and we don’t have to be used as only the medium to protest but we would be someone who could have the major rights and strong voice in decision making of all levels of national and global level like Ban Ki-moon had said.