India’s current population as per 2017 revision of the world population prospects is 1,324,171,354. Amazing! Besides this huge number, 50% of the population is below 25, which signals an increase in age in comparison to last 10 years. Fortunately, 60% of India is young.
35 can be considered as young, and up to 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years. Wow, even an average Indian will then be eligible to appear for UPSC-CSE! This increase is a result of the intense love of our parents and is same all over India.
But why are we discussing census?
It is because this number is of paramount importance to political parties. It is the major proportion of voters who help in forming the government, which wants to shape India by gaining power.
Do I sound illogical?
In 2014 General Elections, the Election commission reported that more than 42,000 voters were registered under age of 18-19 (up to January 2014). And the present stats are also before us, multiplied several times than this. There’s a huge group of responsible citizens now.
But, what does that mean?
At 18, an individual becomes eligible to vote in India. And At 18,
• Do they understand politics?
• Do they know the political ideologies?
• Do they grasp the intensity of fame and power it fetches to the one who wins?
• Do they understand how govt policies explicitly affect their lives?
• Do they know that august money is spent in election campaigning?
• Do they understand society?
• Do they understand the politics of caste, creed, and religion?
• Do they differentiate if the politicians really want to work or just want to gain power?
As per my understanding, guys/girls at 18 mostly remain busy in movies, preparing for entrance exams, looking for crush, social media, career tension, teenage stuff and daydreaming or fantasizing about their college life. And that’s not their problem. It is simply the age-effect.
At 18, I wasn’t worried who comes to power. I didn’t know about communism, the left or right ideology. I was least concerned how their policy will affect my country’s future or help in the development of the society.
I remember, after the elections in my constituency were done, I asked one of my friend who was 18 then, “Whom did you vote for?”
“Modi.” was his reply.
I asked, “Why”?
“Everyone else voted, so even I did.”, he said.
Now, when we understand the right-wing ideology, we both loathe his past decision of voting. This is the story I found in my semi-urban locality. Just think about rural India, where manipulation becomes a cakewalk. Everybody votes for the same person, hence becoming vote banks for politicians.
Moreover, in families too, if an 18-year-old wants to know about political strategies plotted by parties, he or she is discouraged. “Go and study hard. What will you do after knowing? This is BADE-LOG stuff?”, comes the argument.
Besides that, our studies too revolve around Science and Commerce. This is to prevent the excessive amount of social science students in the future. And then, we are blamed for lacking interest in politics.
Since the majority of new voters are easily available on “SOCIAL MEDIA”, thus Every party has set up its own online campaigning and they have created an emotional appeal to new-voters by creative memes.
At this age, 18, a person steps out of home to gain world experience. But in India, ironically, he is asked to take part in govt. making. He knows absolutely nothing about it and is indifferent to the results whatsoever, yet he is supposed to vote.
Thus, from my perspective, the RIGHT TO VOTE at an age of 18 must be RE-CONSIDERED by Govt of India. It should be possibly made up to 22 years of age. Else, some immature government will be formed by votes of immature voters (18-21).
What age do you think is appropriate for voting?