We're really pleased to share that Penguin Random House India will publish The Young and the Restless: Youth and Politics in India by Gurmehar Kaur, in April 2019.
The 2014 Lok Sabha election 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 internet became the place for political outrage, humour, op-eds and blogs carried by youth-run pages and media houses. That was the election year that saw 150 million young voters and the highest number of first-time voters India had ever seen. As India ages, the average age of the population keeps getting younger.
In 2019, India will have the world’s largest youth population with 356 million people between the ages ten and twenty-four. But that is not the surprising and shocking revelation here. The surprise here is that while we will have the largest number of young people in a country, the average age of our parliamentarians is sixty-three.
This book follows the journeys of nine youth leaders, their aspirations for the youth population, their aspirations for themselves, and most importantly their aspirations for the nation. It explores whether their politics only mimics the politics of their older party leaders or if they have the ideas and passions and motivations of the demographic they represent.
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.
‘I don’t know if I’m an activist in the truest sense. Maybe I am, and maybe I am not. The label was plastered on me at a very young age. But here is what I have always been: a storyteller. Stories have the power to change the world, and they have changed mine. In this book are stories that I believe the country of 650 million people under the age of twenty-five should know.’ – Gurmehar Kaur
‘If Small Acts of Freedom was personal, The Young and the Restless will be political. But the two can never be too far apart from each other, as is clear from Kaur’s personal politics. Her commitment to social progress is unquestionable. She is a gifted writer and speaker, has political awareness, and a rare clarity of thought. We are delighted to be publishing her second book next year.’ – Manasi Subramaniam, Senior Commissioning Editor, Penguin Random House India
‘Gurmehar Kaur is a rebel and a star. With The Young and the Restless, she voices an entire generation’s political anxiety – and makes it clear that she’s here to ask the tough questions and be a part of the change.’ – Meru Gokhale, Editor-in-Chief, Literary Publishing, Penguin Random House India.