Y – Youth | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z
The fourth phase of voting has just concluded and the numbers coming in from metropolitan places like Mumbai aren’t much to cheers. Like previous years it is a pretty dismal turnout given the constant push by celebrities to go out there and vote.
India is a young country and by 2020, youth will make up 34% of the country’s population. Since the general elections of 2014, about 45 million Indians have become eligible to vote which forms about 5% of the total voters that would be going to vote in 2019.
Going by the analysis of the last election, youth played a significant part in the current ruling party coming to power. With their social media engineering, the urban and the youth take the center stage for their promotional strategies.
With so many new voters in the fray, issues of unemployment, education and skill development should have been the main topics of discussions. The top five states that have added the maximum number of young voters are Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and UP. Going by how the states voted in 2014 and then in their respective assembly elections – these states may hold the key to the throne with youth playing a crucial role.
To give you a perspective how their vote is important, out of the total seats about 211 seats i.e. 37% of the seats come from the top ten states that have the maximum number of new voters. You can also understand their criticality by the pitches of the PM for them to go out and vote and regularly dropping hints to vote for him.
The irony is that with the unemployment at its highest in the last 45 years and the education budget being regularly cut for the past five years, the real talking point still remains the Hindu-Muslim divide and Ram Mandir even among the youth.
I am yet to see a single debate on the skill development program initiated by the government. A data suggests not even 3% of all the people trained got a credible source of income. This surely is going to increase restless and hence frustration among the youth. The constant roughing up of students and messing up issues related to prominent universities isn’t helping either.
The issue of Kashmir is always kept on the boil using the youth machinery. Whether they pelt stones or pick up arms, there are underlying strategies definitely going wrong at some level otherwise why would so many young people choose this path.
In the cases of lynching, if you closely observe, it is usually the misguided uneducated youth that commits such heinous acts of violence. Even in the lynching of Akhlaq, the prime accused was the son of a BJP leader, who is just 20 years old. All this is propagated on the pretense of hate.
The youth comes with a lot of political uncertainty. It can swing either way or might do a completely different thing like in Kerala where more than one lakh students didn’t fill the religion and caste column in admission forms.
They are often better informed, more educated and tech-savvy than the rest of their family, and they can take a stand that goes against the family’s established political leanings.
The young voters are the most vulnerable too. They can easily be misguided by the populist sentiment and might not have the right rationale behind their thinking. With so much of information bombardment from so many touch points that it is practically impossible for the young tech-savvy voter to be away from the noise.
One thing I find in the youth of today that most of them are ill-informed and not well read and the government isn’t helping either when they are hell-bent on changing historical facts and not releasing current tenures’ performance data.
There are days when I think that this atrocious amount of free data at such cheap prices would turn out to be exactly like what drugs did to an entire generation of Punjab and Haryana. It is the latest addiction and the empty playing grounds and each neck submerged in smartphones are a prime example of it.
Everybody says that ‘Youth is the future’ but I am afraid if things continue like this, then the same youthful energy will take a perilous route that will take the country in a completely negative direction.
To all the first time voters this time, make sure when you vote, keep in mind your future and the future of this country.
For all those who feel data is the new drugs,
For all those who know that there is massive unemployment,
For all those who feel youth is being used for political gains
For all those who still feel that youth is the future…
It’s not a goodbye,
But it’s a GOOD BYE.
Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul
This is the 25th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.
Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League
Please do visit tomorrow for the final post with letter ‘Z’
I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.