Youth can ill-afford to ignore politics: Nallakannu

ADDRESSING ISSUES: National executive council member of the Communist Party of India R. Nallakannu speaking at the AICUF Day celebration at Tiruchi on Saturday. PHOTO: R. M. RAJARATHINAM.  

Special Correspondent

All India Catholic University Federation Day celebration

TIRUCHI: Political democracy, without social and economic equality, will become meaningless and the country's youth should exercise their franchise to ensure that Constitutional guarantees are implemented by rulers, said R. Nallakannu, national executive council member of the Communist Party of India.

Nearly 65 per cent of the country's population was in the age group of 18 to 35 and they had a major role in deciding the political future of the country. Youth could not remain indifferent to politics as it impacted every sphere of life right from basic amenities, education and employment.

It is regrettable that only the country's poor and low-income groups exercised their franchise, while the middle and upper class segments, secure in their comforts, displayed a marked indifference towards elections. The younger generation could ill-afford to insulate themselves from politics, Mr.Nallakkannu said, speaking on the `Role of Youth in Election 06' at the All India Catholic University Federation Day celebration here on Saturday.

A big question mark hangs over whether the main tenets of socialism, secularism and sovereignty enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution have been realised. Social and economic inequalities remain in the country rendering political democracy hollow. This has resulted in elections being viewed as a political tamasha by certain sections of the society.

Money-power has come to play a major role in elections and turned politics into business since those who had spent heavily to get elected would naturally look forward to recovering the investment. Similarly, religious beliefs were being made into political agenda posing a grave threat to the country's secular fabric.

Lack of political will and public awareness was often the reason behind the failure of many a welfare scheme, Mr.Nallakannu said. He also urged the youth to evaluate the performance of the governments based on their pre-election manifesto before exercising their franchise.

The Rector of St. Joseph's College, Rev.Lazar, the principal, Rev.Rajarathinam, the State Advisor of AICUF, Rev.Singarayar, and others spoke.

A panel discussion on `youth manifesto' was also organised with local political leaders.