Hyderabad: “The urban voter of today is disengaged and cannot connect with politics” said Mr Rajeev M., a political analyst, while speaking at a conference that dealt with the psyche of the urban voter and why voter turnout was so less despite urbanisation and the presence of educated people.
The event was conducted by the Institute of Engineers and the Foundation for Futuristic Cities. The varying opinions concentrated on why, despite having an explosion of political opinion online, young urbanites do not consider it their duty to vote.
Mr Sriram Karri, author of Mad Nation, said “Not voting is a right as well. It makes a statement to the political parties and while some term it as a conspiracy by certain political parties, it actually sends out a message that we are not interested in your kind of politics.”
Youngsters who attended the event said that both, the process of obtaining a voter ID as well as the voting, were tedious and should be digitised.
This was refuted by Ms Karuna Gopal, president of Futuristic Cities, who stated that it was a one-time exercise in five years and that lack of time could not be an excuse.
Suggestions such as digitisation of voting, speaking about urban needs as well in manifestos, and providing transport for people to travel to their hometowns to vote were discussed.
Mr Harish S., a participant, said, “We are largely concerned about the word ‘I’ and that is where democracy fails. We should try to ensure that we keep a track of our responsibilities.”
Mr T.R.K. Rao, a retired RBI official, said, “Voting is a duty. I have seen many politicians nursing their constituencies and working for the people. We cannot label all politicians as goons.”
The discussion reinforced the fact that a true representative government would come along only if the urban voters voted like their rural counterparts. It also emphasised that if urban voters did not want to vote for parties with no direction or for those who indulged in blame games, it would be a loss of a vote that could keep these parties at bay....