India is one of the few countries in the world with roughly 2/3 of youth population under 35 years of age. The young Indian voters are extremely smart and informed and they state that they do an extensive research on a candidate before casting their vote. 2019 General Elections will also see many first time voters too and they are all of the opinion that voting should be compulsory. While some still remain skeptical of the legitimacy and value of the voting process, there are many who have time and again upheld their belief in the electoral process and continue to do so.
We spoke to a few youngsters from the city of Nagpur and we could sense that there has been a general increase in the political awareness, not just on the surface level but these guys and girls have a good understanding of socio-political aspects. Since, most of the youngsters live in areas with internet access, they are able to understand and engage with political issues through social media and other online forums.
What echoes with the youth today is- employment is their primary concern, followed by economic equality and corruption. Amit, 22, who is studying engineering in a college in Nagpur, says that, “jobs and unemployment is my biggest concern as of today”. He wants the new government to focus on job creation and address the issue of growing unemployment. He signs out by saying, “my vote will go to the party that will sincerely promise to change the current job situation.” Mihika, 23, graduate from University of Nagpur, is of the opinion that, “restoring economic equality should be on the new government’s primary agenda for sure. We have seen years and years of economic disparity in India and it’s about time that the new government takes adequate measures to lessen this gap.” Dibank, 23, student of dentistry, says that “corruption has been the biggest issue that has clouded our nation since times immemorial. Our present PM has an unblemished image and there is a lot to learn from him. Not only should the youth of this nation take inspiration from him but also other political leaders as well. Corruption is on an all-time low and I hope it stays that way.”
Atul, 24, budding entrepreneur from Nagpur says, that, “the government should formulate courses with skill training as its focus. What the youth expects from today’s new age government is that they should not only lure the youth for votes but also address their elementary issues. The youth would welcome more financial aid from the government in terms of disbursing loans for start-ups. This way there will be lesser brain-drain and India would be a home to all those young entrepreneurs, who would’ve otherwise headed to Bay Area or Palo Alto like olden days.”
The narrative for 2019 is already set and the youth is super excited for the General Elections. The youngsters are hopeful that the leaders will keep their promises not only to entice the voters for their votes (this time around)but also deliver what they’ve been endorsing- and that is hope and aspirations for every single citizen of this nation.