Youth politics through Youth For Swaraj seeks to engage the youth not just in their existential issues of education, employment and livelihood, but also in the larger issues of our time. We believe that youth politics cannot be limited to colleges & universities but beyond and also against the crisis of our times. Therefore we do not shun politics. For us politics is not a career or profession, but the ‘yugdharam’ of our times. We are conscious of the crying need for alternative politics and the pivotal role that the youth can play in this historic task. From working on Drought hit areas, campaigning in farmer’s movement, voicing the marginalized to protesting university issues, gender discrimination and fighting the ideological battle for new leadership, Youth For Swaraj does all.
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Youth for Swaraj in association with Jai Kisan Aandolan launched Summer Internship Programme in the last week of April to sensitize urban youth about the ongoing rural distress. Within 9 days of opening the application, Y4S received more than 635 applications and after telephonic interviews of the candidates, they sent eleven batches to different parts of India.
Y4S selected around 200 students but only 69 students turned out for the final program.
The purpose of SwarajShala is to identify young leaders and to help them understand the dynamics of alternative and grass root politics. It acts as a hub for critical evaluation of burning socio-political issues through peer learning, self exploration, theatre and discussion.
The participants are encouraged to volunteer in various movements and protests organized by Swaraj Abhiyan. Three national camps and six state level camps were organized in 2016-19. The national camps were organized at Manesar, Gurugram and Sambhaavnaa Institute, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh. State level camps were held at ACE, Ambala, Haryana; Bulandsahar, Uttar Pradesh and Gandhi Ashram, New Delhi.
Drought Duty was a unique attempt at bridging the increasing gap between rural and urban India and an effort to engage the young students with ongoing crisis of farmers and villagers. The campaign saw young students taking time out for a week-long internship in drought affected villages of India and to get a first hand experience of the problems being faced by a at least quarter of country’s population.
It was an initiative of Swaraj Abhiyan in collaboration with National Alliance for People’s Movement, Ekta Parishad and Jal Biradari, coordinated by Jai Kisan Andolan and Youth for Swaraj (Y4S) of Swaraj Abhiyan. The campaign saw active and enthusiastic participation of youth from across the country. Stretched across six weeks and spread in six states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Drought Duty saw an overwhelming response from over 500 youth nationwide, at a short notice for coming forward and helping their fellow Indians is an assurance that the urban and rural divide can be dissolved.
Swaraj Internship is designed to provide the youth with an opportunity for personal transformation through self-discovery and enabling them to contribute to the causes surrounding them.
Youth For Swaraj (Y4S) is striving for alternative politics in various ways. One of those ways is to expose corruption in exams through political discourse and movement. This team has pursued the campaigns for students of various fields. Standing for corruption in DSSSB exam, CSAT exam, G.B.Pant Engg College infrastructure etc. They had been an important part of #OccupyUGC movement. National Convention of ‘Shiksha Swaraj’ has focused on the need of educational reforms. Y4S stands firm against ‘privatization’ of educational institutions and fund cuts in scholarships programs. Y4S demands ‘education’ to be an important and significant part of our national budget. Currently they are trying to unite all victims of exam corruption like SSC, MPSC, BPSC and other state exams. Y4S are providing them a common platform for addressing their issue in an organized way. They want to establish the real issues of ‘unemployment’ and ‘education’ in our national agenda.
Under the guidance of Professor Anand Kumar, a Shiksha Swaraj Youth Convention was held at the Mavlankar Hall, Constitution Club in New Delhi on November 3, 2015. The Convention discussed problems afflicting education in our Nation, along with different ways forward to counter this regrettable state of the education system in the country. The Convention was attended by Prof. Anand Kumar, Yogendra Yadav, Ajit Jha, Prashant Bhushan, Patiala MP Dr. Dharamvira Gandhi, Timarpur MLA Pankaj Pushkar, DUTA President Prof. Nandita Narain, Prof. Chaman Lal and Anupam, along with students and youth representatives from various parts of the country.
The convention concluded at 5:00pm after which all participants marched to UGC in solidarity of “Occupy UGC” movement. It was then announced that Yogendra Yadav would sit on protest for the night outside the UGC office.
The Convention was interspersed by a musical performance by Raghu Ram of the band Indian Ocean.
Y4S has adopted a resolve to bring about Cultural Revolution – a platform to challenge the status quo and create new narratives to safeguard our fundamental values and ethos. We have a team of enthusiastic young men and women who design and perform Nukkad Natak, Flash Mob, Music Club, Movie Club etc. The team is guided by renowned theatre and cinema artists, script writers who periodically help them to understand the art of creative medium.
The team has been an integral part of our campaigns and helped us convey the generic problems and probable solutions thereto. Some of the most noteworthy performances of the team are-
- Nukkad Natak against “Land Acquisition Bill” : The team travelled with Yogendra Yadav on a 10-days Tractor March in protest against the “Land Acquisition Bill” . The government was then forced to revoke the bill in light of our strong criticism and people’s resistance.
- Performances during Samvedna Yatra: The young theatre group travelled with activists of Jai Kisan Andolan through drought struck states and performed for the rural India showcasing apathy of Government to the state of distressed farmers.
- “Kaale Dhan par Halla Bol” : Nukkad team staged a performance at Jantar Mantar in a well attended protest rally that questioned the seriousness of government in its propounded fight against Black Money.
Manthan is the study circle of Y4S where young minds meet to build an understanding of contemporary issues through discussion and debate. It provides a platform where ideas are nurtured to instill a free yet focussed thought process. In the polarised times we live in, extreme points of view have ceased to converse with each other, as a result of which, our politics and thought processes have hit a dead end on most of the matters. There’s an urgent need to open up that space for dialogue without any hurry to label anyone according to existing categories. In order to imagine something new, Y4S urged to get out of our obsession to box each other down in narrow categories; Manthan is the first steps in that direction.
Manthan has been organised in various places including colleges and universities covering varied issues.