Paapu CAN Vote!

The amount of sites that have been popping up that are encouraging the youth and their counterparts to vote has been phenomenal. Jaago Re, Lead India and Vote India are just a few that I personally follow but many fabulous News sites too have great coverage of the upcoming elections: Hindustan Times, India Times and India Today. The previous three have all been put together by the youth which makes them a tad more special in my opinion. Each one has an individual reason to why India should vote and how their single ballot makes a difference. Google "Vote India and over 35 million hits come up. Amazing!

It was beautiful that the "youth rose from the ashes" after the Mumbai Terror Attacks. They gathered together to stand up against how the situation was handled, their claim for safety and stood up realizing they had to make changes. Change. A simple word and idea that had they had forgotten about. This is the time to make that change and help your country move ahead.

It is every citizens innate right to vote and more important that they exercize that right. Rahul Kanwal very interestingly pointed out, "Half of India's population is under 25 and two-thirds under 35. That's 700 million people who could potentially be agents of change." That clearly is should be a wake up call to every citizen in that age bracket (and otherwise): VOTE! If you are in that age frame, you need to do it for your future, if not, vote to secure your children's tomorrow. The youth's vote is perhaps the most important because of multiple reasons. Firstly, the youth are the educated lot who will be the deciding factor for the future of India. Secondly, sadly they are being deemed as "self-obsessed." The youth should not stand for this and in fact, by voting are showing that they are just the opposite. Rising and asking for a change in administration will help the youth gain more credibility and help raise the standards of politicians in India. It is now that the politicians of India need to get younger- in age and ideals. The time of the "oldies" and more older men and women in the Indian society needs to come to its conclusion and this is the perfect time for this youthful change to occur. The biggest democratic country in the world must draw inspiration from Barack Obama and François Fillon; both young leaders of the modern world.

It is a decline in these very standards that has caused a deteriotation in the election of politicians. Murderers, thieves, prisoners, even terrorists have become politicians in the past. How has that been allowed? Corruption is a big factor that is not helping and in fact only adding to the disgrace of the country. Being the biggest democratic (and most secular) country in the world, this is a worrying thought. Afghanistan recently voted in a number of Taleban members into their government, however, this is expected from a country that is in complete political shambles and does not allow its citizens to vote freely. From India, this is rather discomforting. Ultimately, what is the point of celebrating over 50 years of Independence when the no one is utilizing their democratic right correctly, if at all.

However, only the youth can change this insane phenomena. The youth is not simply enclosed to a particular age group. It is not based on a mere number but in fact stands on the equilibrium of modern and traditional ideas. As our perceptions in life and lifestyle changes, so should the expectations of our government. The problem is clear. The involvement of the youth in politics is scarce. But can you blame them? Every time a member of the youth stands up and voices his opinion, he is shut down and told he is "too young" or are told it is their "khelne-khoodne ke din" (days to have fun and frolic). Perhaps if the government would then sit up and listen to what the future of their country wanted, they would see that the youth has views, values, morals, needs, wants and expections.

The first way for them to be recognized it to vote. The country houses over one billion people. India should, in fact, have a record number of citizens turning up to vote in comparison to any country in the world. However, because a major chunk of the educated lot have not voted in the past, the uneducated go ahead and vote for ones that promise them castles in the sky but are unable to pull through. As educated and informed people, it is your job to help the rural folk who innocently vote for politicians who either threaten them, pay them or promise them changes that never actually happen.

I wish I could- and believe me I would do anything to vote in India. However, I do not have that privilege but if you can, you must and you should. By not voting, you deprive your country and someone else casting a ballot. Make your vote count and refuse to be a silent spectator. And if you need any reason or inspiration to vote, check out the sites! They can provide some great reason to vote. Vote India (youth or otherwise) Vote!

As for the government who is calling you- the youth, a "Paapu" for not voting, here's your chance to prove that you ain't no "Paapu" and you can vote.

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