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What are the issues that concern India’s young voters? And do they feel strongly enough about these to cast their vote?

  • Published 23.04.19, 12:24 PM
  • Updated 23.04.19, 12:24 PM
  • 4 mins read
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Do young people understand the importance of voting? Let's find out...

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Md Daniyal Ansari (in picture)

Age: 21 years

College: Aligarh Muslim University

My vote is my opinion on what I want for my country and, more importantly, what I do not want for my country. Looking at the herd mentality prevalent in India right now, silence is essentially the same as contributing to our downfall. About 20 per cent of our country’s population is between 19 and 25 years of age. Such big numbers can affect any election. Furthermore, the youth get affected directly by majority of government policies on education, employment and so on. It makes us look at such policies with a critical view. I think the youth will vote for progress and security of the general public. We have seen two different governments in the last decade. We have seen what can happen with either of the two biggest political parties being in power. The most important thing would be to weigh the good against the bad of the last five years.

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Shreya Gupta (in picture)

Age: 20 years

College: iLEAD, Calcutta

A student is one whose future depends largely on the ruling party, the job opportunities that it creates, the foreign alliances it makes and the progressive programmes it brings in. Holding that perspective, I believe that voting for the Lok Sabha elections is important and I will vote for better governance, better candidature and a better situation in the country.

According to the Election Commission of India, 8.4 crore first-time voters will be casting their votes this year. This means that we, the young voters, will have a say in the final verdict and we need to choose wisely. We should keep the bigger picture in mind; we are not just voting for the face of a party, we are actually electing our representatives at the grassroots level. Just like all previous elections, the demands of the youth stay the same. We want proper education, job opportunities, a better growth rate and less terrorism. However, another major concern this year is the increasing communalism in politics.

Fair rights for every religion, no fight over mandir-masjid and actual development is what young voters are looking forward to. A good leader is one who leads by example. Anyone who has a criminal record or is looking to increase his or her bank balance cannot be my leader. The person who promises good governance at a national level by improving the most basic ground realities in terms of developing the country will be my leader and get my vote.

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Shubham Hemani (in picture)

Age: 21 years

College: Bhawanipur Education Society College, Calcutta

Voting is our constitutional right. I consider it very important because the entire country’s socio-political situation for the next five years depends on it. It is time for young people to not only go and vote but also consider politics as a career. The most important issue under discussion this year is communal disharmony. Also, as a young person I feel it is time to revamp the entire education system; this will have a multiplier effect on the economy for generations to come. If I don’t do my bit and cast my vote in the elections, I have no right to comment on the way the country’s future is shaped.

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Mobashir Hussaini (in picture)

Age: 19 years

College: iLEAD, Calcutta

I will be voting because I believe that this country needs voters with rational minds. Voting is a great responsibility. This generation is more acutely aware of the discrimination and problems faced by people of this diverse country — be it the monetary gap, the gender issues or the LGBTQ rights. We, youngsters, are actually open to identifying problems and talking about them. So the people we choose with this mindset may actually make a difference. Young voters who are filled with communalism and casteism will vote along religious and caste lines; those who are sensible will vote on issues such as unemployment, education, healthcare.

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Gaurav Gandhi (in picture)

Age: 21 years

College: St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta

It is the fundamental right of every citizen to vote. Young voters can make an enormous difference. They are the ones who are the least biased, relative to other age groups. We see problems differently. We are generally not blind bhakts. We want to see India benefitting and we do not care which party wins.

Unemployment, farm distress, economic slowdown, adverse effects of demonetisation, GST, border security, sustainable energy conservation and minimum income guarantee are few of the issues driving these elections.

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Dhruvi Sinha (in picture)

Age: 20 years

College: Patna University

I have heard elders say that one vote won’t make a difference. I don’t think it is true. But I will get to know only when I step out to vote. I want to make sure other young people vote too. But many of us are very vague about facts and opinions. We are not aware of the situation around us and tend to get influenced by social media.

Rather than vote for a cause, young people will be affected by social media, which has got people believing in fake news. And they would be voting on the basis of what is in the memes, not what is on the news.

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Neil Patel (in picture)

Age: 21 years

College: St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta

I think it is very important that each of us votes. I am about to enter the world of business and I believe that government policies are crucial to industries. The leaders we elect today are going to formulate those very policies, which makes it (voting) an even more alarming concern than just electing a leader. We are actually electing our future. It is a fact that young voters impact elections and are the ones who can make a difference. A growing concern for everyone in this country is the lack of jobs, with the current unemployment rate being the highest in the last 45 years.

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Shobhit Agarwal (in picture)

Age: 20 years

College: St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta

We, the young people today, know more about problems in our society than our preceding generations. Just like it is important to take exams to get from one class to another, voting is important to determine the future course of our lives. People are often passive about voting because of an underlying assumption that a choice won’t make a difference but it’s this passivity that fails to bring about a change. Bringing about change isn’t an easy process but the least it demands is everyone’s participation.