New Delhi, Apr 12 : As the festival of democracy takes off, apathy and 'don't care' attitude looks like a common phenomenon in majority of youngsters although a substantial number of them seemed to be very passionate about choosing the right leadership for the country.
Some among the electorate may have strong opinion, but with mostly 'the Josh' has disappeared which was quite visible in 2014, says a senior Denizen. "May be we have had enough of it.....what's the use of a vote?," is the often refrain among a section of city dwellers - but at the same time youngsters say it will be definitely worth a trip to the polling station on May 12 as staying away from voting is like not doing the duty of a citizen. The general feeling in the city is that people are fed up with politicians who most often after assuming power have behaved irresponsibly, insensitive and emerge only a self-seeking lot. Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party rode a wave of anti-corruption sentiment to power in Delhi in February 2015.
Narendra Modi scored a victory over all political parties in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. The outcome was highly encouraging for the saffron party and endorsement of BJP's programmes and policies, but when it comes to implementation there is skepticism. In retrospect, there were several factors which contributed to the BJP's unprecedented win including non-performance of the United Progressive Alliance, 'widespread corruption', price rise and weak economy.
However, there are still some admirers of Prime Minister around and they say they will turn out at the polling station on the D-day. ''Modi ko hi aana chahiye, (I will vote as I feel Prime Minister Modi should return)'' says an autorickshaw driver Ajay, saying that he has already made up his mind not to vote for the AAP, which is in power in Delhi.
Aerial strike made by Indian Air Force in Pakistan after Pulwama terror attack made no difference to his opinion, he says suggesting even prior to Pulwama and Indian actions, he had made up his mind about voting. ''If we do not speak or vote against Left wing evil today, we might be victims tomorrow,'' says 19-year old Gaurang, a student.
But he would not reveal his mind on whether he would vote in favour of the ruling dispensation or otherwise. A youngster Shibani says she will not go to cast her vote and ''waste my time''.
To the suggestion that she can go and press the NOTA button, she said ''Kya fayeda (what's the use)?'' The general perception among this school of thought - young and old included - is all netas are visible only in election season and then they all disappear -- only to come back in the scene for the next round of polls. An aspiring doctor Sanjana, who hails from Delhi, studying in Karnataka said she can't vote. ''My college is in different state, so I can't vote. And also no holiday for us,'' she said perhaps displaying little indifference to the fact that she will not be able to exercise her right. No interest in politics, says business graduate Saloni while an aspiring engineer Shantanu says he will vote.
''I will vote as I believe that the current government is not competent enough to lead our country. It regularly falsifies facts and endorses an ideology which is outdated, regressive and promotes pseudo nationalism,'' he said. Dr Nishant Gupta says voter's apathy is responsible for the 'non-performing' netas. But some also point out - we get the leaders we deserve and perhaps, the neta class deserve the people, they deserve. ''People are also to be blamed for the mess they are in. An election boycott is never the answer. It is rather mischievous and but not participating in the political process, a voter only emerges an enemy of the society,'' he said. In endorsement to these views, Dr Sanjeev Sachdeva says that he will vote, ''because assuming that the good candidates will never win, further reduces their chances of winning.''
One should always vote hoping there are other people who think alike, for whom the country is above a political party, caste or religion, he said emphatically. ''Everybody comes with 'aasman se ooncha' (higher than the skies) promises and the moment elections are over, all is forgotten. I was rolling pans decades back, I am still doing it,'' says Naseer, a panshop owner in West Delhi.
However, some citizens are quite sensitive to the political mood in the country and say, they want to be part of this. This election, they say, is 'direct referendum' on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and voters are hardly looking at the candidates. Therefore, the people are voting for Mr Modi or against him. So turnout is expected to be huge even in Delhi and to a large extent this augurs well for the BJP. But you never know if the anguish against Modi's demonestisation and GST policies are latent and still strong enough so that people may vote against the BJP. (UNI)