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The Young and the Restless: Youth and Politics in India

Nominated | Book Awards 2020 | English Non-fiction

The Young and the Restless: Youth and Politics in India

Author: Gurmehar Kaur
Publisher: Penguin Random House India

Award Category: English Non-fiction
About the Book: 

The 2014 Lok Sabha elections saw the involvement of India's youth like never before. They were debating inside classrooms, sitting for dharnas on the street, having conversations in offices and on social media. The election in 2014 saw 150 million young voters---and the highest number of first-time voters in India.

And yet, the average age of our parliamentarians is sixty-three. Our leaders are almost four decades older than the average twenty-five-year-old.

In The Young and the Restless, Gurmehar Kaur, student activist and author of Small Acts of Freedom, follows the journeys of eight youth leaders, their aspirations for the country's youth, their aspirations for themselves and, most importantly, their aspirations for the nation. She explores whether their politics only mimics that of the older party leaders or if they have the ideas, passion and motivation of the demographic they represent.


About the Author: 

Gurmehar Kaur is the author of Small Acts of Freedom, a deeply personal family history published by Penguin Random House India in 2018. She is a social activist and an ambassador for Postcards for Peace, a non-profit charitable organization. Kaur cofounded Citizens for Public Leadership (CPL), an independent nonpartisan movement focused on advocating for progressive public policy in India. CPL is an apolitical non-profit with the sole objective of strengthening the capacity of Indian youth to take up leadership challenges in the public sphere. In 2017, Kaur was listed by TIME magazine as a 'Next Generation Leader', a global listing of ten young men and women making a difference in the world. She graduates from Lady Shri Ram College in 2019 and looks forward to a career in social reform, public policy and law.


Review: 

In The Young and the Restless, the intrepid Gurmehar Kaur gives us an original and balanced glimpse into the minds of a unique group of young leaders, the politics that drives them and their vision for an India where young citizens can become an engine of change. Through her engagements with eight young leaders, interspersed with her own distinctive experiences, Gurmehar weaves together a compelling narrative and makes an impressive case for why India’s youth must reclaim their voice within the country’s politics. A majority of Indians is under twenty-five, and it is time for them to shape our nation’s destiny. Gurmehar shows us how.
Shashi Tharoor

An absolutely excellent new book by a person who makes us proud. Brave Gurmehar, may you go from strength to strength.
Prannoy Roy

Gurmehar is both clear-eyed and compassionate in this book that brings a fresh, irreverent and youthful perspective to contemporary politics. She asks questions that older journalists have become too jaded to ask. And she does it all in her fiercely individualistic and charismatic style. A must-read for young people everywhere.
Barkha Dutta

Gurmehar is both clear-eyed and compassionate in this book that brings a fresh, irreverent and youthful perspective to contemporary politics. She asks questions that older journalists have become too jaded to ask. And she does it all in her fiercely individualistic and charismatic style. A must-read for young people everywhere.
Nidhi Razdan

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