India is a country with a population of approximately 130 crores. The number of voters and especially first time voters play a major role in the largest democracy of the world. In 2014, the number of eligible voters stood at 81.45 crore of which about 2.31 crore were first time voters. The might of these numbers lie in the vote they cast and represent.
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More than 50% of India’s population is below the age of 25, and more than 65% below 35. The power young people hold in India’s democracy cannot be undermined or ignored. Yet for certain reasons voter turnout for young & first time voters has not been impressive. There may be a number of reasons why young voter turnout is such but let us look at some of the reasons why young people should go out and vote and vote for the right party.
The 16th Lok Sabha analysis shows that only 13% of our MP’s are in the age bracket of 25-40. The number of young Indians is much higher than their representation in parliament. If we are unable to elect our own representatives to the parliament, we cannot ensure that our voice is being heard. We cannot ensure that the problems which matter to us are being actioned upon.
- Nation Building
Youth played a major role in the Indian independence revolution which has shaped our current democracy over the decades. The youth have always contributed towards nation building in several different ways and spheres. While a violent revolution is no longer necessary, a passive revolution is required to prevent the country to fall into the clutches of autocracy. This revolution begins with you casting your vote and electing the right party.
- Participatory Politics
A large number of youth feel they are disconnected with politics. The first step of connecting with politics is voting. The right to vote not only gives you the power to exercise your choice but also engages a citizen with their role in day to day politics. Every aspect of our life is linked to politics and hence it is all the more necessary that we be a part of it.
- Your Vote Matters
One may always wonder if their individual vote matters in a democracy. The answer will always be a yes. Every single vote which is cast adds to the essence of a democracy and every vote which is abstained leaves room for lesser voices being heard and represented.
From Right to Vote to the Right Vote
Equally important is casting your vote to the right candidate and the party. While electing your representative, you need to ensure that the party understands your needs as well as the needs of the other people. Democracy does not aim to fulfil the needs of one individual but fulfils the needs of all people. Hence it is important that whichever community you belong to – religious, LGBTQIA+, women, student, youth, minorities etc. – you need keep in mind to choose the party that listens to all, apart from addressing your own individual concerns. Congress has always been the people’s party and we shall always continue to serve the nation and maintain its diversity unlike the current regime which aims to project one and only one identity to India.