India is truly a land of contrasts. Some of the most progressive & influential engineers, doctors and creators hold Indian passports. On the other hand, you have statesmen suggesting cow urine cures COVID.
In a country as diverse & jam-packed with people with varied cultures and interests, it must be confusing for even (well-intentioned) politicians to prioritise public demand.
As per Morgan Stanley Research, there are over 400 million millennials in India, accounting for one-third of the country's population and half of the Indian workforce. Quite obviously, this is a honeypot for political parties, as this group shapes opinions and perspectives on key matters within most families.
But there's something unique about the collective psyche of millennials that the political leadership must realise.
We're better informed than our parents, better equipped to combat misinformation and generally have greater clarity on things that matter to us. We may not be at your rallies, we may not be the loudest voices, but we're watching you.
If you're an aspiring politician in India reading this, stop showing up at our doorsteps every election season with folded hands. If you want to garner favours from us, here's a starter checklist from my generation. Now get to work.
#1. Hold up the country's constitution - in theory, and in spirit. People smarter, and more progressive than you wrote it.
#2. Complimentary 'private school standard' primary and secondary education for all
#3. Reservation in education exclusively for economically backward classes. No reservation in employment.
#4. Drop the unemployment rate to less than 5%. Clean up public sector hiring, drop the corporate tax for brands promising to hire more.
#5. Regain the country's attention economy with progressive policies on tech, data privacy & digital innovation. Get in touch with the Center for Humane Technology.
#6. A world-class public healthcare system, or an obligatory heavily subsided health insurance for every citizen
#7. Less talkey-talk (at rallies), more solvey-solve (issues)
#8. Read about India, so you don't spurt inane garbage and embarrass our country globally.
#9. Repeat after me - if your regime is not strong enough to take a joke, you don't have a regime.
#10. You're allowed to make mistakes. But you're not sanctioned to 'wing it'.
Remember, you've signed up to be a public 'servant', a service provider to the people of India. The elusive feeling that you're in control is completely misled - we voted you in, we'll vote you out. Over time, all the fluff of propaganda will fall off, and history will remember you for what you're worth, for the work you did serving your people.
The clock's ticking. The choice is yours.