Tag Archives: youth



By Kamlesh Tripathi

political party 1 young india

political party

Caution: 65% of Indian population is below 35 years of age and born after 1979. They want high performance delivered by political parties and not the usual rhetoric divide between –Hindu-Muslim-Sikh-Isaai

Indian political space is currently going through a state of filthy transformation as the political space for each party in India is gradually reducing because of the increase in number of political parties. And this is only increasing the competition; and competition is always good they say, as it helps the consumer and brings out the best in the marketer, which in this case is the political party. And this mind-boggling competition is only going to intensify further, because of the literacy rate of India that now stands at 74%.

And, to explain what I want to say, let us compare the current political landscape of India, with that of the erstwhile auto industry of India, and that too before the MNCs walked in. There were then three car manufacturers that used to manufacture Ambassador, Fiat and Standard brand of cars that had defined markets across India where they used to sell a defined volume per annum and go home merrily. There were stray calisthenics about competing and showing aggression in some pockets but by and large these companies had their pockets and markets as vote banks in politics from where they met their targets and were having a ball of a time, as they never spent on product up-gradation, nor research and development and it is a fact that even without that some of these cars had as many as nine lives, just because there was no competition.

In the same fashion when India got Independence there was only Congress as the major political party in India that kept all other teeny-weeny parties at bay. They were in monopoly and that was one of the reasons why development in India took a back seat, because they kept winning election after election without much of a development. And in fact I hate to say but subtle reality is that had British Empire not ruled India; India would have had a late entry to railroad and many other infrastructure projects.

Congress had many inborn political advantages, such as low literacy rate and monopoly, so until 1991 when PV Narsimha Rao became the prime minister they never thought seriously about big reforms because their vote banks were safe in the hands of Muslim, Christian, schedule caste and schedule tribe pockets-and so also rural. The voting percentages those days were very low as compared to the total population and so with even the aggregate of minority, schedule caste, schedule tribe and rural votes they could grab power and so they were having a ball of time.

Jansangh, later on BJP was always considered a party—of, for and by the Upper class Hindus and had stemmed out of the RSS. And since upper caste Hindus were always a divided lot, BJP could never come to power till the nineties at the centre. And this further helped Congress, who kept ruling the country without any big development agenda but by providing lip service and subsidies to the minorities and also by Hindu bashing.


When the multinationals in the auto industry arrived in the nineties, even Indian auto companies improved in quality, new launches, CRM, customer interface and after-sales-service; and so also the markets expanded exponentially. In the same manner with some new political parties entering the fray in eighties and nineties the situation on the ground changed only marginally, as Congress still had the clout but BJP had started breathing formidability. But even with all this politicians of major parties were having a good time.


In the context of politics the MNCs of politics are the new political parties that are gaining grounds in India, thereby increasing competition in the plinth of the Indian political space. One such party at the national level is AAP which has scared BJP quite badly.


When AAP started, political bigwigs of India felt it is just a hangover of Anna movement and it will die down but they finally won Delhi quite formidably. That goes to show people were not happy with the existing political dispensation and were looking for an alternative. Today LG of Delhi and Delhi Police try to disparage AAP at the drop of hat and as much as possible under the garb of rule book as if Indian political always moved as per rule book and this is further helping AAP and exposing the dictatorial mindset of BJP.


Let me put it as pointers:

  • Indian voter is no longer happy with lollipops. They don’t like political arrogance and are clearly looking for talent and not family scions to run India, for the model has failed. Analyse Congress Party’s debacle in the last general elections.
  • You can continue to do caste and minority based politics like the way Congress favours Muslims but this space is getting too crowded as there are other parties like SP and MQM who also favour Muslims so the strategy will have to change and parties will have to deliver big-time to survive. As Muslims and other minorities also want jobs and security. Mind you Congress has already reached a pathetic 44 by not willing to change its strategy.
  • BJP should not remain as a Hindu mascot alone and should work for Indians in India if it wants to serve long term.
  • Parties and governments should desist from entering into privacy of people by quoting some religious idiotism for the public feels the party and the government is not performing and therefore trying to divert attention—a kind of a wag the dog syndrome.
  • Personal touch of leaders will play a big role. Leaders should be approachable and not surrounded by gun toting cops. I should be able to pick up the phone and speak to hitherto arrogant MLA or MP of my area. Currently such politicians are not there but with the burgeoning Indian population and unemployment rate jumping, more youngsters are free to become netas, and mind you they won’t be those unwieldy netas who can’t work without cars, bungalows, and staff. Some trend of this nature is already seen in politicians of AAP party.
  • In times to come political parties will have to move away from political sermons, to service providers role as 65% of your population is below 35 years of age who is not too much interested in your sermons but wants service, as the world has moved towards consumerism.
  • Like the present day auto industry most political parties need to have consumer centres—professionally managed where voters can visit/call/e-mail and lodge their protests.
  • Indian voter has matured and they look for talent and not family run shops.
  • There is need to run political establishments in India in a much more professional and transparent manner, with RTI, transparent accounting system just like large corporations. And, also they will have to perform and cover the nation in a much more professional way which will require a much more talented and professional team. And the party that starts first will get the early bird advantage. Enormous youth power is available for political deliverance in the country. And it will have to be cadre based. Something like RSS—but without religious linkages. And I soon see a great role for Management consultants to enter the political arena in converting political parties into political corporations that run the country. Defence of country from external forces and foreign policies will have to be dealt in special manner.
  • Voting in India should be allowed electronically and even by post for the masses to vote in large numbers and also to stop ballot-cheating as this will improve the variety of politicians.


  • Whosoever comes on a TV screen considers himself as a hero. So stop making heroes of radical leaders of any community. Instead focus on ordinary citizens who are doing great jobs for the country. This should be done across board and not by a particular TV channel to balance TRP ratings


  • Muslims and Christians often criticise BJP to be a Hindu party. If that is the case more Muslims and Christians should ask for membership of this party to tilt the balance, after all at the end of the day BJP is only an Indian political party—so catch the bull by its horns. And in the same manner if Hindus feel Samajwadi party or Congress are pro minority, more Hindus should join this party to tilt the balance and once this happens the agenda of political parties will move from religious and caste polarization to hard core performance and development.

The whole gamut looks difficult and impossible, but I guess the world carries on, only with the difficult and impossible as the easy is only left behind.



CASTE ONE’S LOT -How India marches ahead by going backwards


By kamlesh Tripathi

New Doc 61_1

I love reading columns of Jug Suraiya for the simple reason that he tries to humour-ise issues that tickles the common man of India, and this column is no different. Indians have this habit of getting stuck in their past by either glorifying it or condemning it. But there is a reason to. Most Indians did not have a bright and boastful future to look forward to, so they remained in their past. And that includes the famous story of Indian caste-ism. But India is fast changing now where 60% of Indian population is demographically young, ambitious and upbeat—and at below 35 years of age, where they aspire to be in the global arena where reservations don’t work.

And coming to Jug Suraiya’s point below that the so-called—creamy layer is beginning to benefit disproportionately; I would only like to put forward the great example of the ‘Indian gas subsidy’ which many Indians gave up because they could afford it, without subsidy. And I am more than sure that the creamy-layer of the OBC too has a heart that beats for their non-creamy-layer brethren.

Writes Jug Suraiya,

‘The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has asked the government’s permission to sub-categorise OBCs-other backward classes-into three separate divisions; the merely backward, the even more backward and the most backward.

The reason is that there is a growing apprehension that the so-called ‘creamy layer’ among the OBCs are benefitting disproportionately from the 27% job quota reserved for backward castes at the expense of the most backward. So if all goes according to the NCBCs plan, the country will see a multiplication of OBCs; the backward, the backwarder and the backwardest.’

Read the entire column:

TOI 27.5.15


How India marches ahead by going backwards

By Jug Suraiya

India is a unique country in many ways. And one of the uniquer ways that it is unique is that in order to get ahead it goes backwards, literally.

The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has asked the government’s to sub-categorise OBCs—other backward classes- into three separate divisions; the merely backward, the even more backward and the most backward.

The reason is that there is growing apprehension that the so-called ’creamy layer’ among the OBCs are benefitting disproportionately from the 27% job quota reserved for backward castes at the expense of the most backward. So if all goes according to the NCBCs plan, the country will see a multiplication of OBCs; the backward, the backwarder and the backwardest.

Similarly among dalits there are the regular dalits and then there are the mahadalits, who are supposedly more dalitical than the ordinary dalits. Ever since Mandal, the politics of what might be called competitive backwardness has gained momentum with not only more and more people claiming even greater backwardness.

Backwardness has become a prized commodity, like gold or diamonds, and everyone wants a chunk of it. For instance, the Jat community—which is known for its assertive forwardness in getting its own way in all manner of things- is aggressively pressing its demand to be classified under the OBC rubric. Demands  have also been raised that Muslims and Christians too should be given backward quotas within their respective folds, which is all the more intriguing in that many converted to these faiths in order to escape caste system.

With everyone racing in reverse gear to get backward –and then even more backward- status, India will witness a boom in backwardness, which will become one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Indeed, backwardness has made so much progress that in some places so-called upper castes, like Brahmins, are laying claim to be designated as backward.

If this trend continues, we can pride ourselves on having  devised the world’s only society that is truly back-to-front.

By Jug Suraiya






All dressed up but nowhere to go,

Well qualified, yet no place to serve,

I too had ambitions galore,

I too had rank and ability to explore,

But for me life has now become a big bore.


For jobs have thinned down and business has run aground,

Where industry and merchants are in a helpless frown,

And that’s what throws the youth into a deadly surround,

In between the mighty jaws of the ever fighting crowns.


Where, unemployment is now all around,

From remote villages to the mighty towns,

Like dust floating in open grounds,

And mind agitating beyond a point.


Where 65% is below 35,

And 1% decides the pie,

Things will never change,

Till India thrives.


Where, Job seekers cry,

Yet rulers are always on a high,

And where mothers weep,

Fathers moan,

Country groans,

For their children’s throne.


So, where are those promises of yours?

For, there are no jobs?

That makes us sob. 


And there is no point in pitching,

One against the other,

To create tremors,

In the already ruffled feathers.


Each morning when I leave my home,

I see a ray of hope,

In my aging souls,

That I’ll return,

With some job in my fold.


But sadly it is the same old story,

As I’ve got no glory,

And I have nothing better to tell my aging souls,

Since life is still the same bloody bore.


And, as they look at me,

 I look somewhere else in shame,

Not knowing how to contain,

Both my frustration and my frame.


Is when,

My mother cajoles,

Don’t worry my son,

When states can’t deploy,

And industries can’t employ.


Treat unemployment alone … as your employment,

For, we all thought good days have come,

But only for someone,

Who is not part of the lower rung.


By Kamlesh Tripathi




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(Archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  


(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)


(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)


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Story of an Indian salesman who is lowly qualified but fights his ways through uncertainities to reach the top. A good read for all salesmen. Now available in Amazon.com









Some men are crooks, but most women are holy angels. But nothing is sacrosanct as trends could be changing, especially in Delhi Metro, and that too just for a seat. For on a day when I was travelling from Rajiv-Chowk to Huda-City-Centre, Gurgaon in a crowded metro, I witnessed something quite demeaning.

I had just boarded the over-crowded metro from Rajiv Chowk when a lady appearing in her mid-thirties, more from the rural background came and stood next to the vestibule. Not very far from where I was standing, but very close to the two-seater generally reserved for senior citizens or the differently-abled, near the vestibule. She suddenly squatted on the floor, when people thought she was perhaps unwell. Mind you,Delhi metro otherwise doesn’t allow you to squat on the floor. And after a short while she started nudging the old man on the senior citizens seat, to vacate the seat for her, as she was not feeling well.

The frail looking senior citizen looked at her, somewhat dismayed. And in all sincerity and to help the young lady; he offered his seat by getting up. The lady without losing any time and even without a word of thanks or a grin or even a twitch on her face slipped into the seat by just sliding up like a snake from a squatting position as if she was not able to walk. I surely found this weird. All this happened just around Central Secretariat station. She then just closed her eyes to dose off. And this gave me a feeling as if I was watching some kind of a skit. The old man then moved to where she was squatting and rested himself against the side of the metro while standing.

In the jam-packed morning metro no one had the eagerness to notice anything like this as everyone was too busy thinking about the day ahead: thus planning for it; barring the old man who perhaps was troubled, and me who just by chance happened to witness the proceedings happening in very close proximity.

By now the metro had come out of the underground, and had moved ahead, towards Qutub Minar station, as if to welcome the morning sun in the freezing winters of Delhi. Just then I churned myself a bit, more to comfort myself, as I was brutally sandwiched between passengers, is when I had an eye contact with the old man who seemed quite uncomfortable. But then I thought, being uncomfortable is definitely a lower priority than being unwell. And the woman was still resting, with her eyes closed.

On seeing her, I too decided to shut my eyes for a couple of minutes while standing. Thinking it will give some comfort and will make me feel fresh. Just then the metro announced ‘Chattarpur station’ and started slowing down. With the announcement the lady opened her eyes, she was now wiping her face with her hanky trying to look fresh and even applied some perfume out of a miniature. She then gathered her shawl and coolly started inching towards the exit door by nudging men to make way for her. And by then the metro had stopped at Chhatarpur station. Where, she got off and started running ahead of men, to catch the lift. No one could have said she was unwell. I glanced at the old man, only to realise he was where he was. I then looked at the seat vacated by the lady. It was occupied, but this time, it was an old lady–thankfully a senior citizen.

And, all is not fair in love and war. For, once when I was returning from Huda City centre, Gurgaon to Rajiv Chowk. I was again standing near the vestibule, where, the two senior citizens seat were occupied by two girls, perhaps college going. One out of them appeared to be all by herself and apparently from North-East. The other appeared to be a local with her boy friend; and while she was seated, her boy friend was standing right in front of her, in quite a lovey-dovey mood early in the evening; surely not gelling well with the ambience around.

At MG Road, an elderly looking senior citizen couple got in and walked towards these girls–rightfully for the seat. While the girl from North-East coolly got up and gave the seat to the elderly lady; the boy friend of the other girl told the elderly gentleman ‘she is not well so she won’t get up.’ The poor old man had little choice but to keep standing.

But the boy friend’s lie was more than evident when every now and then, and under some pretext or the other he was groping his girlfriend. Trying to hold her around the shoulders, fondling her lips or even caressing her hair, and the two were making the ambience look sick.

After about twenty minutes they both got off at INA market and disappeared holding hand in hand. That clearly showed she wasn’t sick. The empty seat this time was immediately occupied by another young lady but without a boyfriend; even before the senior lady who was already occupying the seat could pull her senior partner to occupy the vacated seat. So he remained standing again.

And this is what came to my mind. Some men are crooks, but are most ladies angels? Or is it that some men make some ladies crook? Or ladies now want to compete with men in crookedness? That apart, but what is more saddening is, just to grab a seat and that too for a while one can fraudulently declare herself sick and go the extent of snatching the right of a senior citizen. So are most women Angels? Can I say no?





    Literacy, as defined in Census operations, is the ability to read and write with understanding in any language. A person who can merely read but cannot write is not classified as literate. Any formal education or minimum educational standard is not necessarily to be considered literate.

    (UNESCO) has drafted a definition of literacy which is, “the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.”


    The National Literacy Mission defines literacy as “acquiring the skills of reading, writing and arithmetic and the ability to apply them to one’s day-to-day life. The achievement of functional literacy implies (i) self-reliance in 3 R’s-reading, writing and arithmetic, (ii) awareness of the causes of deprivation and the ability to move towards amelioration of their condition by participating in the process of development, (iii) acquiring skills to improve economic status and general well being, and (iv) imbibing values such as national integration, conservation of environment, women’s equality, observance of small family norms.”

    According to the latest report released on 31 March 2011 the literacy rate of India has increased to 74%. This means a decadal growth of around 10 %.


Is the moot point, as literacy only provides general ability to read, write and a sense of better awareness, but jobs, require deeper and varied skills that need to be created. In the recent Times Ascent edition of 27th November, I read; in the just concluded PAN-IIM World Management Conference held at IIM-KOZHIKODE our HRD Minister Smriti Zubin Irani harping on some appreciative facts about India as a routine lullaby.

    That India is one of the world’s largest democracies and according to some studies 57% of our population is under 30. Our average age is expected to be less than China and the US by 2050. This means more workers, or in other words, a demographic dividend. India has a large pool of workforce that is predominantly English-speaking. 4.4 million Graduates join the Indian job market annually, so there is no shortage of skilled workers in our country. So be it.

    But then do we have appropriate jobs for all as she has not spoken about those unpleasant figures of unemployment. ILO indicates sluggishness in the job market over the last two years where jobless rate could be around 3.8% this year which sounds optimistic. On a more historic note the unemployment rate has been hovering around 6-8 % on an average over the last decade or so. So, can one say, each time when literacy levels have gone up unemployment hasn’t come down?


    This necessitates, we should take up skill building on fast track. Which horrifyingly comes up in India at a later stage of our educational system. And considering, the alarming school dropout rate of 40% with more girls facing the brunt, this should start at secondary school level.


    It is worrying to see, important ministers making isolated parroted statements in coveted milieus like IIMs and IITs, where even otherwise everything is hunky dory. And it goes without saying the stark reality continues to remain as it is and nothing much has changed on the ground. So the big question is how will the additional annual workforce of 4.4 million per annum be adjusted in the job market, and what is the road map for creating such jobs each year. Time has come when at least 74% of the literate Indians would want to know end-to-end on how these jobs would be created, before one brags about the English speaking workforce of 4.4 million and the young India. The central point therefore is the job-creators and the workforce creators of India need to meet on one platform to align, which is still missing.

    In any case most IIT and IIM graduates or post graduates won’t remain unemployed, rather would be gainfully employed. But what is more worrying is the lower end of the pyramid that will bear the brunt of unemployment.

    Considering the present unemployment rate. HRD minister would have done well by initiating a dialogue with those states and departments where huge vacancies are lying unfilled, especially teachers and police constables. The low hanging fruits. Which I guess is also the baby of HRD ministry. Needful to mention teacher appointments in some states have been subjected to scams, and appointments cancelled subsequently.


    One of the biggest sources of employment in any country, with India being no exception is through business and industries. Where, according to the World Bank we are still at an agonizing 142 in the ease of doing business out of 189 countries. And time taken for registration of a business is currently at 27 days that needs to be cut down to one day, as in Canada and New Zealand.

    Government intends to go online on approvals, for over 200 state and central permits by April next year which is laudable. Currently 81 state level clearances and another 133 at the central level are being put on line and out of these more than 50 relate to railway ministry, alone. But the big question remains; whether we can set up industries at a pace matching 4.4 million jobs a year, which will only increase by leaps and bounds. The answer as of now is no and that necessitates searching for other alternatives. And so; where is the MEA proposal (Ministry of External Affairs) if we were to export our workforce to various aging countries about which our Prime Minister talks so often? And which new countries have been identified where our young English speaking workforce can go and work safely with proper work permits and visas, in a safe manner. I guess, the two distinguished ladies Sushma Swaraj and Smriti Irani should meet on this agenda and at least identify the countries, and if for some reason it happens to be Germany, Smriti should not think of replacing German by Sanskrit.


    For brand India, literacy to full employment will be a long and arduous walk, considering its size and scale. Where, premier institutions such as IIT and IIM should also brainstorm to show the way out. And we will have to figure out other avenues also, where I guess PM Narendra Modi’s team needs to come together on one platform.


By Kamlesh Tripathi


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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:


Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805


Our publications