Election 2014 What do Young Indians want?

Anumeha Verma
Published: May 2014

Women empowerment should not just remain a phrase

youth-2In the past two years, India was shaken with some of the most horrific incidents of violence which stoked a heated debate on women empowerment in their wake. Interestingly, apart from youth, women are another set of targeted voters in this General Election. Says Abhishekh Singhvi, “The issue of safety of women needs to be resolved with strong laws and their efficient enforcement.” He adds that the public is feeling unsafe and it is not good for the health of the country.

Safety also seems to be one of the issues that the young women voters are expecting the political leaders to address but more importantly, they want a hassle free redressal mechanism. “Victims of abuse and violence have a hard time even filing complaints. I think there should be a separate cell in every district where women can go and file complaints and get the basic legal aid,” says Shalini Bojamma B.T., a student pursuing post graduation in Business Administration. She also adds that women empowerment cannot be brought about without educating women. “The government should make provisions to ensure that every girl child gets the benefit of education. Education would help women to stand on their own feet and lead a life of dignity,” she says.

Shashwathi Manjunath agrees that women need to be given equal opportunities so that they can find their own place in the world. This MBA student is concerned about the exploitation women have to face from various quarters. “Women should be financially empowered and should be made aware of their rights,” quips this youngster.

Aparna Raghunathan feels that safety measures for working women should be strengthened and the policies for women empowerment cannot be effective until and unless this is done. “The productivity of working women gets affected when their safety is under threat at all the times. They often work late and it should be made mandatory for every organization to make appropriate arrangements to see to it that they are safe,” says this 21 year old.

A Vision on Political Leaders

youth-3The young India is a curious paradoxical mix. On one hand they seem to be a disenchanted lot whose faith in the political institutions have been shaken while on the other hand, they are keen to see leaders emerge who can join in their dream of a new India. Strong morals, ethics, education honesty and trustworthiness are some of the qualities that the young generation is keen to see in their politicians.

Mohammed Fasil wants India to be governed by people who have an urge and passion to become a leader and to serve the society. “The political leaders are vested with a lot of power. They should use their influence and that power to build a strong nation.” The urge to have an economically stable country which can find a place in this world seems to run as a common thread among youngsters. Varshini, a student of Computer Science and Engineering feels that the political set up takes public opinion for granted after elections. “Once elections are over the taxpayers do not even know how their money is being utilized. There needs to be more transparency and it is the duty of the elected representatives to see to it that these funds are used for the public good.” However, Fasil is among those youngsters who feels betrayed by the political system. He is eligible to vote. He does not mind standing in the long queues to exercise his franchise but in a different manner altogether. “I will be casting my vote but will choose the option None of the Above (NOTA). It is a way for the voters to voice their dissatisfaction with the way things are going on in the Indian politics.”

Anudeep wants his political leaders to be committed towards not just the development of the country but also towards revolutionizing the political system. He feels the leaders should work towards restoring the faith of Indian citizens in political institutions. Jainish R Jain, an engineering student feels moral fibre is important but education also matters and no criminal records please. There are youngsters who are disenchanted with leaders hopping one political party to another and changing their take on things at the drop of a hat. Drishti, another engineering student, wants the political leaders to be educated and be more concerned with governance. “They should stop being melodramatic, getting into make-ups and break-ups and should concentrate more on policies that help the country grow.”
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 - Anumeha Verma is at present working with Jain University and believes that strategic communication plays a major role in solving development issues.