With National Voters’ Day to be celebrated on Wednesday, several programmes for voter enrolment and awareness are lined up. But the election commission's (EC's) efforts to enthuse youngsters to become part of the electoral process seem to have left a large section of the youth cold.
Leave alone getting their voter ID cards, many have not even bothered to register themselves on the election rolls, as they do not intend to vote. Says college student Rishabh frankly, “I am not concerned with any government or election commission. My parents vote, but I don't.” This is not Rishabh's story alone.
While some youngsters do not want to make the effort of filling out forms and standing in voter queues, others are cynical about governance itself. Whatever their reasons, their lack of involvement bodes ill for the future of Indian democracy. DAV PG College student Ankita, 20, says, “First, I am not interested in politics. Second, why would I take unnecessary pain of getting a voter ID card when I won't vote? It hardly matters who wins or loses. No government will benefit me, I am pretty sure of this.”
On their part, the EC and district authorities are leaving no stone unturned to get the youth to exercise their franchise. But in Dehradun at least, the response has been discouraging so far even though district magistrate XXX had even made use of social networking websites, like Facebook to spread the message.
All is not lost, however. There are more than 10.5 lakh registered voters in Dehradun district, including general voters and servicemen. And according to chief election officer Radha Raturi, around 100,000 of them are first time voters.