There are about 430 million young people between the age group 15-34 years in India today.
How India can seize the demographic dividend is a crucial point of reference in contemporary times.
Normally, the ‘youth’ are viewed as an issue to be met with, rather than an asset in creating solutions. Policy, for instance, has normally been for youth and seldom about youth. Employers and the State view the youth mainly for their output – i.e. in their capacity to employ their skills to enhance productivity.The markets, similarly, view them as consumers (as prolific buyers). In this way, young people are systematically dehumanised.They are acknowledged particularly for their utility.
When their aspirations are ignored and questions are left unanswered, passions spark and India’s young rise in revolt.These may swing either way: a 17-year-old migrant boy was angered enough to brutally harm and assault a young girl, rousing a shock in India’s conscience; the same steam in India’s youth responded with thousands of youngsters spilling into the streets, protesting for gender equality till their voices were heard in Parliament.
Today’s youth, namely in the cities, are in a flux – not only in geography, but also culturally and economically. Since the 1990s, tremendous change has taken place over the course of just one generation.The swiftness and complexity of change are impacting social institutions, the family unit, the workplace, government, financial institutions and political equations across states.
Over the last three decades, the Indian youth have struggled through communal discord and terror attacks, lived through catastrophic natural disasters and through political transitions across polar ends. How have they evolved through this? How has this informed their social behaviour and their interaction with social
institutions? What role does identity (nationalism, religion, caste, language, class, etc.) play in their lives and how do they negotiate with globalisation and modernity? How do these rub onto their economic behaviour?
The public space must rise to these questions and embrace the youth as partners in the evolving experiment that is India.
Founded at the intersection of popular youth culture and the pressing need for a more participative democracy,You Speak India (YSI) is a youth-run forum. Its aim is to promote awareness and engagement among young people in India’s public space.
Amid its chief outcomes,YSI caters to the need to cast an informed and educated ballot.
YSI is distanced from, and is not affiliated to, any political party or entity.
Hitherto, public policy and politics have been packaged in very distant, twisted and academic terms. By providing fun and offbeat portals of engagement and by translating points of law, legislation and policy into simplified and easy-to-understand formats,YSI aims to appeal to the young and modern taste.These are principally accomplished
throughYSI’s online publication (www.youspeakindia.org) and a range of unique events, campaigns and engagement platforms.
Youth leadership and initiative are at the bedrock of YSI’s work. Most projects will be met with through groups of youth-run teams.These teams will work under the direction of a core-group (the managing body of YSI).
YSI enjoys frequent mentorship from experts in academia, business, law, activism and public administration.
Providing fun projects for young people to work on and lead,YSI sensitises and builds ownership among young people in the task of creating a vibrant democratic society.
YouSpeakIndia.org: YSI’s debut initiative is unlike most publications today.We host young authors — from high-school, college and young professionals — to research and write narrative pieces.Themes include public policy, politics, society, culture, history, etc. While researching, forming an opinion and attempting to defend it, one develops an informed perspective. In one’s interactions with others, one offers this understanding, functioning, thereby, as an agent of change and knowledge dissemination. Also, those who are unaware of specific issues can read them on the YSI website and develop an understanding.
The website features objective and opinion-based pieces in its PolicyBeat! and YouThink sections, respectively.
Election Center (coming soon), features a consolidated portal, for those who are eligible to vote, to register on the Electoral Rolls and other electoral registrations. All facilities on this tab are consolidated from and routed through the official virtual portals of the Election Commission of India and its state subsidiaries.
What’s Brewin’? features gatherings of young people who, over cups of coffee and refreshments, under an informal atmosphere, discuss important issues of politics and public policy in India.The event will include experts in academia, politics, governance, jurisprudence, the arts, activism, etc., to direct and add insight to the discussion. This initiative is intended to generate better dialogue and awareness over vital developments in the field of politics and public policy in India.
Since large audiences may dissipate wholesome participation in discussions, we have intentionally chosen to keep our gatherings small, not exceeding 70 individuals.