The Bold Voice of J&K

First time voters of world’s largest democracy

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Omkar Dattatray

It is really a great privilege that the first time voters of the world’s largest democracy are exercising their right to vote to chose the government of their choice .It is a proud moment that the first timers are making use of their powerful weapon of ballot to bring a desired change in the politico-social life of the country .it is a matter of great delight and joy that the first time voters are exercising their democratic right and privilege to chose their representatives who will govern the country in accordance with the aspirations of the people .To exercise the right of vote is not an ordinary thing for the first timers but this democratic right of voting has an extra-ordinary implication and importance for these voters .In India all the people having attained the age of 18 years has been given the right to vote and this gives a sense of belonging to the adults for the democracy .All eligible adults who are the first time voters should voluntarily and compulsory exercise their right to vote and become participants in making the democratic government. The right to vote is not only a right but is a duty as well and thus all the eligible people should vote the candidates of their choice and thus become a part of the silent revolution of making and framing a government as per their aspirations .It is the responsibility of the government and the ECI to encourage and educate the people especially the first timers so that they will participate in voting and cast their vote in accordance with their conscience .It is the duty of the people including the first timers that they should not waste even a single vote as a single vote is very valuable and it makes a difference and can make or mar a government .It is in the fitness of things to note that sportspersons serve the nation through their dedication ,perseverance and teamwork .It is both a privilege and a responsibility to wear the national colors ,whether at home or abroad .But as sportspersons ,and young Indian’s ,a part of the world’s most vibrant democracy ,there is another privilege we aspire to-that of voting .Elections are the bedrock of democracy ,granting citizens the vital privilege to elect their representatives .However ,this right is not passive .It is a duty ,especially incumbent upon the youth ,to actively engage in the electoral process .Historically young people have spearheaded societal change ,and their involvement in elections is crucial .Strengthening democracy requires the active participation of youth at every stage ,from voter registration to grassroots campaigning .The first time voters bring fresh perspectives and champion ideals such as transparency and inclusivity .The energy and tech-savvy nature of a young voter inject dynamism into the electoral landscape ,fostering accessibility and responsiveness to citizens needs. Youth play a pivotal role in holding elected officials accountable ,utilizing social media to amplify voices and advocate for issues that resonate with the public thereby safeguarding democracy ‘s integrity and vitality. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi ,”The future depends on what you do today. ”As the wheels of democracy turn once again ,gearing up for the ongoing elections of 2024 ,it is imperative to underscore the pivotal role that youth play in shaping the destiny of the nation .In his monthly radio programme ”Mann ki Baat,’ ‘Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the importance of youth participation in the electoral process ,highlighting the Election Commissions ”Mera Phela vote Desh ke Liye” campaign aimed at first time voters .He lauded India’s youth for their vigor and enthusiasm ,urging them to actively engage in voting as it directly impacts the nation’s future. Urging first -time voters to participate in record numbers ,he stressed their crucial role in shaping the destiny of the nation.PM Modi called upon influencers across various sectors to join the campaign and motivate young voters ,recognizing their influential role in driving societal change .Amidst the electoral fervor ,he urged the youth to not only participate in political activities but also stay informed about ongoing discussions and debates .The ECI is spearheading ”Mera Phela Vote Desh Ke Liye” aimed at fostering universal enlightened participation of youth in elections .Union minister Anurag Thakur launched the campaign anthem ,symbolizing the nation’s commitment to encourage young voters to exercise their democratic right .The anthem ,a part of voter awareness initiative ,embodies the spirit of PM Modi’s call for greater youth participation in the electoral process .Youth across the country are embracing this anthem as a clarion call to encourage their young friends to pledge to vote .The initiative is also witnessing Higher Education Institutions -HEI’s conducting comprehensive voter awareness activities nationwide and stressing the value of voting for a representative democracy .Whereas HEI’s are hosting physical events ,online competitions are also being organized on the MyGov platform ,including blog writing, podcasts ,debates .and more to encourage creativity in content creation .Workshops ,seminars ,flash mobs ,and voter pledge drives are further engaging and educating students on the electoral process ,with NSS volunteers and institution clubs actively participating in the campaign .Responding to Prime ministers appeal ,influencers from across various platforms ,including Instagram ,youTube ,and entertainment industry are actively supporting the campaign ,motivating the first time voters .Prominent names from across all corners of the country ,who have made a mark in spheres like sports ,entertainment ,business and industry ,have come together to spread the message far and wide. This people’s movement underscores the collective power of voices of the youth and the importance of their active participation in shaping the country’s democratic landscape .Let the enthusiasm of the youth pave the way for a brighter and more inclusive future this Lok Sabha election 2024.As the Lok Sabha of 2024 is currently going on ,a wave of excitement and responsibility is across the nation ,especially among the first -time voters .
The power to bring about revolution and shape the future of India lies in the hands of these young and dynamic individuals .Also, casting a vote is not just a duty but an important step towards strengthening democracy .Take the note of all the tips below if you are first time voter-1-Ensure you are registered on the electoral roll well before the elections .Check your eligibility and registration status on the Election Commission of India website.2-Get an insight into the voting process including polling station location ,voter ID requirement and how to cast your vote.3-verify information from multiple credible sources before forming any opinion.4-Be open to different viewpoints and discuss politics with friends ,family and community members respectfully.5-Be cautious of misinformation spread near polling booths .
Trust only official ECI communication and polling booth officials .In short the right to vote of the first times will shape the future destiny of the largest democracy of the world and therefore the first timers should compulsorily exercise their democratic right to vote and be partners in the democratic revolution of the country.
(The author is a columnist,social and KP activist).

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