A campaign to lower the
age of candidacy
of MPs and MLAs

67 crore people in India are below the age of 30—a youth population twice the size of the entire population of the United States. With one of the largest youth demographics in the world, India faces a unique challenge: the stagnation of its political bodies due to heavy barriers to political candidacy.With no scientific or constitutional basis for making the nation’s age of candidacy as high as it is, we pose the question: Why 25?

Voting President or VP PM/CM Loksabha Rajyasabha Panchayat Municipal Corporations Giving the UPSC Marriage Paying Taxes Military Age of Consent Drinking Driving Firearm Possession Donate Organs 35 25 20 30 18 35 25 30 21 21 21 18 21 16.5 18 18 18 21 18 Age of Candidacy Voting President or VP PM/CM/ LokSabha RajyaSabha Municipal Corporations Giving the UPSC Marriage Paying taxes Panchayat Military Age of Consent Drinking Driving Firearm Possession Donate Organs 35 25 20 30 18 35 25 30 21 21 21 18 21 16.5 18 18 18 21 18 AGE OF CANDIDACY


With no scientific or constitutional basis for making the nation’s age of candidacy as high as it is, we pose the question: Why 25?




THE INDIAN POPULATION
IS YOUNG. IT’S REPRESENTATIVES
AREN’T.

There exists a stark gap between the median age of India’s population, and that of its political representatives.

60 20 0 40 Median Age Population Vs Lok Sabha Population Lok Sabha 57 28.4

While more than half of the country’s population is below the age of 30, none of their political representatives hail from the same age bracket.

65% 35% Aged below 30 Aged above 30

Youth Population

Aged above 30 Aged below 30 100% 0%

Representation in Lok Sabha


While India’s youth continues to drive the nation’s economic growth, they are given no representation in its economic decision making.

65% 34% Aged below 30 Aged above 30

Youth Economy

Aged above 30 Aged below 30 100% 0%

Members of Parliament

India ranks 122 out of 181 countries on the Youth Development Index. This is indicative of the lack of concern for the youth’s education, employment, health, equality and inclusion, peace and security, and political and civic participation.

Youth Development Index. Singapore 1st India 122nd 181 Countries

Even when other nations have older populations, they enable the participation of younger members in their political processes.

Canada Avg. Age of Population 37 18 Age of Candidacy USA Avg. Age of Population 38 18 or 21 Age of Candidacy UK Avg. Age of Population 40 Age of Candidacy 18 France Avg. Age of Population 42 Age of Candidacy 18 Switzerland Avg. Age of Population 43 Age of Candidacy 18

The Plan

LOWERING THE AGE OF CANDIDACY IS A DEMOCRATIC IMPERATIVE.

HERE’S HOW WE’RE GOING TO DO IT.

1 .

Public Campaign

Through interactive workshops, engaging teach-ins, and active mobilisation in schools, college campuses, corporates, as well as grassroots bodies in India, we shall work with our campaign partners as well as India’s civic society to build momentum for a constitutional amendment.

2 .

Petition

We need to show those in power that the call to reduce the age of candidacy is a loud one—with a goal of 2.5 million signatures, we want to present the Why25 petition to key stakeholders who can turn our voices into real change.

3 .

Lobbying

We aim to work with politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers, and public representatives across the political spectrum. The need to make Indian politics more accessible for the youth is a bipartisan concern, and we shall actively coalesce a variety of individuals and institutions to ensure that this constitutional amendment has the backing of the masses.

FAQ's

Young people's exclusion from the nation's political processes results in political inertia. Here are just some of the problems that arise as a result of the lack of young people’s representation in the parliament:

Progressive concerns are sidelined. Young people's chief concerns greatly overlap with urgent policy reforms, such as education, the economy, technology, and environmentalism. The absence of their voices prevents immediate issues from being holistically discussed by those made to bear their greatest consequences.

Politics is deeply mystified. When a demographic this significant in number is excluded from institutional politics, there is a lack of investment in the subject as an everyday practice.

Politics is seen as futile. When the only political channels available to the youth are those of extra-institutional means (such as protests), political decision-making is perceived as an ineffective solution for major issues.

Accountability is limited. When those who hold key offices in politics do not consider young people as a distinct and vital political demographic, the democratic contract is fractured—the youth electorate is consistently disenfranchised.

A lack of trust grows between young people and political institutions. Young people do not see themselves, their aspirations, demands, concerns, and identities reflected in their elected representatives, causing them to disengage from political practices. The absence of a participative polity result in political decisions that do not reflect the pulse of the nation as a whole.

Take it from the UNDP’s Good Practice Guide on Enhancing Youth Political Participation: “With limited opportunities and exposure to meaningfully participate in inclusive decision-making processes, young men and women feel excluded and marginalised in their societies and communities. The need for participatory structures and greater trust between youth and institutions and for greater capacity development is also stressed.”

Yes! Sharing the petition across your social platforms and personal networks would prove to be instrumental to growing consensus for our goal. You can do this using our templates, or through expressing your own cause behind joining this movement.

You can also become part of our public campaign through inviting us to host a workshop at your school, college, or institution of employment—simply fill this form and we’ll get back to you within 3 days.

We would love to have you join the team to expand our ongoing initiatives and drive forward the national movement for youth rights and representation. You can read about YIF’s projects on our website, and apply using this form.

A DEVELOPMENT THIS MASSIVE
ISN’T POSSIBLE
WITHOUT YOUR VOICES.

Sign the Why25 Petition today—and join the  30383  voices who believe that it is high time we bridge the gap between the nation and its political representatives.

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