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How the Youth of India played a decisive role in 2024 General Elections


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How the Youth of India played a decisive role in 2024 General Elections

The 4th of June, 2024 will go down in history as India’s most defining elections in the modern era. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is likely to win the elections, but with a disappointing margin of around 60 seats. What is remarkable, however, is the involvement youth of India in the political dialogue this election. As news channels ran non-stop coverage on the results, social media was alive with memes. There’s one that shows how the young themselves are interested in spending the whole day watching the news today, like their fathers. Another likens the neck-and-neck fight between the two blocs as a ‘script’ that unfolds in cricket matches.

Young voters are key factor behind winning seats in elections

But despite their fun take on the results, the participation of young voters was crucial in this year’s election. The elections were the largest in both India and the world, and a record 18 million people (18-19 years) were expected to cast their first vote. Moreover, 197 million aged 20-30 were also first-time voters. No political party would sit quiet and take this immensely influential group of voters casually. The Indian National Developmenta Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) focused on issues like unemployment to attract the young, and saw a considerable portion of their votes in states like Haryana and Rajasthan. India Today’s exit poll survey also predicts that votes of the young could be the tide-turner in at least 97 seats, which is an important margin for both alliances. It is this very group of voters that turned up in huge numbers in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Unlike what the age groups above Gen-Z and millennials think of their political behavior, the youth was seen interacting with the media very intelligently. Samdish Bhatia covers one such local from Bihar, whose opinions on the current political situation had him in awe. Gen-Z voted for social harmony, better work opportunities, and development of the downtrodden. Despite being under 30, the political state of the country has not escaped the youngsters’ attention. A study shows that 64% of this generation is actively involved in political conversations in workplaces, and that 82% of respondents think of these conversations to generate a heated climate.

The people’s voice is loud and clear.

The 2024 elections are a testament to India still retaining itself as a democracy. No matter what the politicians feature in their campaigns, the people will have the last say. For example, a major reason for the INDIA bloc’s spirited performance is the rural vote. Soaring prices and rural unemployment have dissatisifed the rural population, causing it to opt for a change. Farmers have protested thrice in the past term, and have been met with a crackdown. As a result, INDIA bloc gained 77 more rural seats than the 2019 elections.

The results show a healthy participation, where people have exercised the right to choose amongst options. Some people have chosen Narendra Modi as their leader, and there are also some that have lost faith in Smriti Irani as their representative. Two landslide victories do not necessatily have to result in another one.

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India’s youth is aware of the current political situation

With easy access to current events, India’s Gen-Z has a heavy exposure to politics. Young voters are aware of the increasingly communal environment of India, which might be a factor in the numbers for the NDA. The NDA’s loss in Faizabad – that houses Ayodhya, and the Ram Mandir – comes as the biggest shock. Politics on religious lines are not welcome by this year’s voters, and the results are a proof of this. The Indian youth has seen the shift in the stance on the idea of India, and has reacted to this accordingly.

India’s Gen-Z has made itself known to politicians as individuals that have independent thinking. With key opposition members behind bars and a crackdown on dissent, young voters have made change. While the NDA alliance has still turned out as the victor, it will not escape the youth making fun of the comments that Narendra Modi made during his campaign. In its own way, the youth has taken note of the political situation in India, and are coming to terms with a new environment in the country.

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