City’s youth find corruption, terror biggest issues | delhi | Hindustan Times
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City’s youth find corruption, terror biggest issues

Delhi’s youth are angry and scared. An Internet survey says young voters in the Capital are most worried about corruption and internal security. Avishek G Dastidar reports.

delhi Updated: Apr 26, 2009 00:31 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

Delhi’s youth are angry and scared. An Internet survey says young voters in the Capital are most worried about corruption and internal security.

The survey, part of the popular ‘Jaago Re’ online campaign, asked the respondents to list their top three concerns from a list of 24 issues. Corruption, the common man's pet peeve, topped the list across the seven parliamentary constituencies, and terrorism and internal security came next, ahead of even such pressing predicaments like unemployment and economic slowdown.

The questionnaire for the survey was sent to 42,000 people of Delhi who had registered themselves with Jaago Re website to vote. “The average age of the respondents is 29 years. Half of them are first-time voters, and it is a good mix of students and professionals,” said Jasmine Shah, campaign manager of Janaagraha, the NGO powering Jaago Re.

Guneet Bhatia (20), student of Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology who is a first-time voter from New Delhi constituency, said terrorism could not be a temporary priority. “Economic growth can also happen with private initiatives but for security against terrorists and bomb blasts, we are solely dependent on the government. So, it has to be an election issue,” she said.

Dipankar Gupta, political analyst at Jawaharlal Nehru University, feels politicians actually want terrorism to be a major issue so that they can get away by not solving real, tangible problems. “Politicians are good at creating the scare, which overshadows other needs, may be as a post 26/11 effect,” he said.

The third issue was different in different constituencies. While global warming figured as an issue among the respondents of the elite New Delhi constituency, Chandni Chowk, rural belts of South, West and Northeast wanted public transport. In Northwest, a reserved seat, and East, dominated by a migrant population, unemployment emerged as the third most important concern.

“The promise was to make Rohini the new South Delhi with offices of top companies, higher education institutions and booming markets. Whatever happened to the plans?,” said Himanshu Sharma, 26, a finance consultant voting from Northwest Delhi.

No one is, however, raising an eyebrow on corruption being the most pressing concern. “We know the government authorities are knee-deep in corruption and that politicians misuse public money and power,” said Pradeep Paul, a management graduate and voter from West Delhi.