Belong to the age or you belong nowhere. Of late, India’s political circle has been doing just that to attract youth vote in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. With 35 million youths turning 18, politicians have begun turning to innovative ways of winning their votes, utilizing campaigns across various platforms. No wonder, 35 million beeps on the electronic voting machines can make a big difference.
One key strategy has been an initiative to strengthen presence online. A move undoubtedly inspired by the successful Obama online campaign and a realization that Indian urban youth are very much connected. Both political parties and candidates have therefore not only launched official websites but also ventured into blogs and other social networks like Facebook and Orkut.
But how impressed are the youth? As a part of our series on the hugely important youth vote, Mint tried to ascertain the success of these measures by asking a few representatives of the target group for their verdict. Featuring Rajneil Kamath, Manisha Vasudev and Monika Kalyani from the YP Foundation, this audio discussion looks at youth perceptions of “politics 2.0”.
They discuss what impact if any these online campaigns have had on them, what they feel could be done further and if they feel such measures have succeeded in generating more interest in the upcoming elections.