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Democracy in Nepal: The Role of the Youth Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Dipendra, Nepal Jul 26, 2006
Child & Youth Rights   Opinions
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Democracy in Nepal: The Role of the Youth "Youth are not only a subject for policy development: youth can and must play a key role in the design, elaboration, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the policies that concern them.”

The youth of any country are the soul of that society, the essence that makes the society progress, regress or digress. The relationship between youth and the community is as intrinsic as the spin of the particles that make up the atoms. Without one, the other is meaningless and without the other, the one is meaningless. The role of youth is immense and vitally important in a democracy. Democracy is a system of government, which is of the people, for the people and by the people. The underlying factor here is active participation which means that the youth should be actively participative but at the same time, properly guided and organized. Some of the major identifying aspects of the youth are their vitality, their energy, their contradictions, their conflicts, and their individual and social problems. But none of these factors should be used in isolation to identify the youth. It should also be recognized that the youth are thoughtful and participative and that they also have a clear independent vision of what a State, a Nation, a Country is; of what democracy is; they understand that democracy is a goal and that they are obliged to contribute towards achieving it and if that goal is not achieved it is because they have assumed a passive role with their capacity and strength to the detriment of democracy.

The youth must believe in the importance of key democratic values, such as tolerance for divergent viewpoints, support for the rule of law and principles of justice and equality and learn to analyze and absorb them. They must be willing and able to participate in local and national politics, and must believe that their participation is not only a right but also a responsibility in the democratic framework. The youth should prepare themselves theoretically and practically to live and act in a civic manner, individually and socially in accordance with the norms of democracy. In order for democracy to develop and endure, the youth must take ownership of the system by becoming informed participants. Informed participation occurs only when the youth understand the meaning of citizenship, politics and government and have acquired the skills to voice their concerns and hold the system accountable. Educating youth about the democratic processes and their rights and duties in a democracy is a first and critical step in creating a culture of democracy through the promotion of democratic behavior and values among the young citizens. For this to happen, the youth should advocate and lobby for civic education right from primary through to university level, which addresses the laws of the democratic constitution of Nepal. In addition, the youth should be allowed and encouraged to form democratic youth organizations whose objectives will be civic education and the development of activities that, in one way or another are part of the exercise of democracy. In a truly participatory democracy, it is essential to have youth organizations because not only do they provide young people with democratic representation, they also gather and structure their expertise in the policy areas that concern them. They are spaces where young citizens can experience democracy and serve a very strong educational role, contributing to the shaping of opinions and the development of social attitudes. Therefore, I call for the continued increase in recognition of the youth organizations, for the significance of the role they play and their value, not just for the constituencies they work with, but also for society as a whole. This recognition must move beyond rhetoric to decisive and concerted action, and acknowledge the manifold functions that these organizations play.

Democracy in Nepal has been forged through the dedications and commitments of Nepali’s who have believed in the principles of independence, in citizenship and patriotism, and have contributed with their ideas, their words, their actions and, in the case of many, even with their lives. These should provide ample examples to the youth of Nepal to study, to assimilate and to follow. It should also help them to understand that committed and thoughtful citizens can bring about massive changes such that a nation can be formed whose government obeys the will of the majority of the people. Youth in all sectors –social, economic, political – have to understand what democracy is and for whom, why and how it functions. This is quintessential for the proper functioning of democracy as complete understanding ensures that the youth will understand their roles and responsibilities as well as their rights and duties. This in turn will propagate a participatory approach to democracy by the youth that can ensure peace and sustainable development.

In any country, and especially more so in a nascent re-emerging democracy like Nepal, it is essential to have strong willed and well intentioned adults to carry on democratic practices and exercises in order to sustain and strengthen it. They are a necessity, but additionally to these, we also need an informed, aware, proactive and participative youth group in order to achieve a superior level of democratic excellence. And with the direct participation of the youth who are informed, aware and well guided and directed, a sustainable democracy, with all its facets of Rule of Law, equality, equal representation is not all that impossible.

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Dipendra Tamang is the Director at the Alliance for Peace - Nepal (www.afpnepal.org), a non-partisan , non-profit NGO working to enable and empower the youth of Nepal.

I like ur article.
Krishna Giri | Sep 20th, 2006
"Youth are not only a subject for policy development: youth can and must play a key role in the design, elaboration, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the policies that concern them.” I influenced very much with this cotations. And want to share one another cotations also related to We Youths. "Youth are not only the pillar of the nation for future, also they are the partner of Present."

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