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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Youngistan unplugged

Rajeev Mullick, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, January 05, 2012
First Published: 13:58 IST(5/1/2012) | Last Updated: 14:16 IST(5/1/2012)

The new age voters are fed up with old-style politics centred on narrow considerations of caste and community. They root for development, an issue that will determine how they vote.

An interaction with engineering students of the RR Institute of Modern Technology, Lucknow, during HT Campus Adda reflects this mood.

Iti Khare, a student, demands: "The political parties must promise steps to boost development. The new government should invest heavily in infrastructure in order to attract industry and create jobs."

They also animatedly discuss other topics, including corruption, division of the state and minimum academic qualifications for politicians, among others.

Most of them are confident the polling percentage will go up this time. "The youngsters of today are more aware than ever before. They value their vote. And as the elections are taking place in February (when the weather is pleasant), there is every reason to believe that there will be a good turnout," says Kushal Khatwani. 

No reservation, please!
The young voters are against reservation. While they say the government may provide numerous facilities to the poor, only deserving candidates should get jobs. Neha Sharma, another student, says: "It hurts when an undeserving candidate gets a job. There should be no comprise on merit. Or else, development will take a backseat."

"Give jobs to the deserving ones. Why do we need to reserve seats for the weaker sections? The government should try providing the best facilities to them so that they can compete with the masses," suggests Lalita Sharma.
 
Netas must be well-informed
The students say minimum educational qualifications should be prescribed for the netas. "How can a Class 10-failed leader rule over us? This is not acceptable. It should be stopped," demands Saif Khan. He wants the parties to groom leaders before giving them tickets.

RTI, the right tool
The students also say the Right to Information (RTI) is one of the finest weapons to keep a tab on the functioning of ministers and officials. Sonal Srivastava asserts: "RTI has made a big difference. We can keep a tab on the senior officials in various departments."

Young leaders preferred
The students find it easier to relate to young leaders and feel the latter should get more tickets. Punnet Kumar Verma says, "the old leaders should take the back seat and let the youngsters come forward. The seniors may mentor young politicians and help them make the right decisions."


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