The United Nations has positively argued that the youth played an important role in history—having participated, contributed and even served as a catalyst of change in the political and economic fields.
In answer to the call of the UNDP for youth participation, the Bangladesh Parliament Secretariat, along with its other partners, organized a Pilot Youth Parliament in February 2012 to engage the youth in an active public and political life through a strong, effective and high-profile National Youth Parliament. It aimed to educate the youth about parliamentary structure and allow them to influence policy-making through dialogues between the youth and the policy-makers (http://www.parliament.gov.bd/index.php/en/get-involved/child-parliament).
However, a study by Tamanna (2015) showed that despite a transition of Bangladesh from autocracy to democracy due to mass demand for participation, the youth presently has a negative perception towards its country’s politics. Thereby, involvement in politics seems to be carefully avoided. The study found certain factors leading to such phenomenon.
-Alienation from State
-The youth are seemingly isolated from the political arena because their accessibility to political parties, politicians and government actors are lacking. Few find it interesting to discuss politics with family and friends. Some have stated that their negative attitude towards politics are due to its riskiness owing to the polarization of politics into two groups, moreover they believe real democracy appears to be lacking.
-The youth feel discouraged because of the little tangible results that they gain from their participation.
-Mobilization and direct contact
-The youth believed that the politicians should be visible and active among the masses in order to listen and consider their opinions, and consequently respond to them. It is important to establish a direct contact between the people and the politicians.
-Political knowledge is the awareness of the citizens about national issues and the dynamics of relationships in the social structure. It is a prerequisite for effective participation. Some politicians are either uneducated or despite their education simply lack political knowledge. Politics has become risky as it has become a field for people who seek only to fulfill their personal interests. The youth also lack the understanding of the complexities of the political dynamics. Despite the high literacy rate in the country, a gap remains between convention education and political knowledge/education.
Despite the present situation of the youth, they are not actually politically apathetic but rather politically isolated. In fact, many holds patriotic feelings but are unable to fully express.
Tamanna, M. (2015). Political Perception of Youth: Where are we heading to?, IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences (IOSR-JHSS), 65-70.
Youth Parliament. (2013). Retrieved from Bangladesh Parliament: http://www.parliament.gov.bd/index.php/en/get-involved/child-parliament
PDF : Determinants of Rural Youth’s Attitude and Involvement in Bangladesh Politics (International Journal of Humanities and Social Science: 2012)
PDF : Study on Political Perception and Engagement of Young Wo/Men in Bangladesh (Democracy Watch: 2012)