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The Indian general elections -First off, please VOTE, Second,  Vote for a change

The Indian general elections -First off, please VOTE, Second, Vote for a change

I got my new voter id card (I had an old one issued in 2005 as well) yesterday. The process is quick and painless but the queue isn’t. I had to make my way through a long serpantine queue for almost 3 hours – thankfully, the saving grace was the sun had set and this made it bearable to stand in the cool of the summer night.

On a side note, what makes this election special from a Voting economic perspective?

1. There are more than 80% of Indians who are in the young 18+ category (eligible for voting) which is also why India is classified as a young country by pure demographics.

2. This category especially the young Indian is asking for a change. Out of this, 80% of 1.2 billion populace of India (~800 mil) is a young restless populace. Out of this, if we assume a voter turnout of 50% given the visibility the elections of 2009 have generated thus far, we are assuming about 400 mil people to come out and cast their vote before the ballot).

3. Coming to this 400 mil, about 80% of them belong to the poor, middle and upper middle class category to who economic policies and political changes impact at the micro level – I am not saying the rich are excluded but I choose to not to factor them in as we all know the long standing political nexus between politicians and our country’s rich – again, to avoid controversies, I will desist from naming them or what quantifies the ‘rich’ in this country. This means 300 mil approx. We are now talking of about 150 mil of this 300 mil (50%) who belong to the educated upper middle class category who are smart enough to look at the right options before casting their vote. The million $ question is now – is this 150 mil sufficient critical mass to bring a change to this country long plagued by corruption and political upheavals and flipping sides as they (politcians) are used to be doing? By the way, this 150 mil is still larger than Germany’s population of 80-odd mil and half of USA’s population (~300 mil)!

4. I think yes – IF the numbers above do turn up to cast their franchise.

5. From a pureplay economic standpoint, India is still an economy that is screaming forward at over 5% GDP growth second only to China while the average of the rest of the world is around less than 1% GDP growth. Growth has stagnated in North America, Europe, Japan. Cutting across party lines, India has done well in successive Governments (without naming them) in their own way from a pure economic perspective. The “Hindu rate of growth” has been overturned – thankfully. We owe this to our 1991 economic reforms insituted by none other than our respected Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. India has come a long way since then but the road ahead is about a million times longer than what we have achieved so far. We can do so much more. Just take one aspect. Infrastructure. India is pathetic when it comes to this entity. Look at Malaysia. They are our South East Asian neighbour. Look at the progress of their development. Look at Singapore. You don’t even have to go that far – simply look at China. A lot of people I speak to tell me about how they see China as at least 10 years ahead of India in pure development infrastructure. And this is only 1 aspect. There are multitude of other factors when they beat us lock stock and barrel. India shining? Truly not on all aspects but we have done well on some very few. We need to do the remaining 80% right as well.

India has been very influenced with the proximity to the US general elections with Barack Obama’s victory! The concept of “We want change” is firmly ingrained in the minds of the young populace of the Indian voter. The ‘Rang de Basanti’ effect has not died down. If anything, the Bombay blasts last year have increased our solidarity to stand firm during trying times and this will only firm the resolve of the young Indian voter.

Clearly, the mandate is screaming loudly – WE WANT CHANGE. We want an end to all these political gimmicks and the sea of flip-flops we are used to seeing. We want to see a stable Government at the center without 1-party waiting to pull the carpet from under another.  We want to see young leaders lead from the front. We want to see a reflection of the Indian demographics in our parliament houses.

It is interesting to see how much each party has tried to utilize the cyber channel as a means of marketing their party’s achievements and their nominee’s promotion – this is increasingly because even they fear that the “change is round the corner” and the young restive voter is just waiting for that big moment when they cast their vote in favor of not “politicans (they are all the same)” but for “hope, eternal change, a stable Government, and a better future!”

Without partisan bias, I will desist from naming any party, I am hopeful of casting my ballot in favor of the right objective.

Are you?

PLEASE VOTE.

To all those politicians out there:

We know all of you are the same. Some are better, some are worse, but when we average it out, it comes out to the same corrupt structure.

We are voting with a new hope. We are voting with some aspiration that some aspect of the US general election and the victory of Barack Obama has rubbed off on you for you to be shaken out of your reverie. We are NOT crazy to stand for hours together in the hot summer to gain access to a voter id card. The next time you screw up, we will (as a country) come after you and then there is no hiding place.

STOP INTERNAL BICKERING, DROP MULTI PARTY APPROACH TO FILLING THE NUMBERS ON YOUR DEMOCRACTIC CHAIR, GIVE IMPORTANCE TO THE YOUNG POLITICIANS WHO HAVE PROMISE, GO FOR THE BEST AND EMULATE THEM IN TERMS OF WHERE WE AND YOU LAG, DROP CORRUPTION ELSE WE PROMISE YOU, WE WILL CHASE YOU OUT OF POWER and lastly,

DO SOMETHING THAT YOUR FUTURE GENERATIONS WOULD BE PROUD OF AS A COUNTRY – NOT FOR YOUR PARTY OR YOUR STATE OR YOUR PERSONAL ASSETS.

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Written by Naveen Athresh

April 9, 2009 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. And the young politicians you choose shouldn’t be there just because of family legacy. We need someone who made it by their own, a Captain Gopinath or an R K Misra

    Prem

    April 16, 2009 at 8:33 pm


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