The public anger against Congress, mixed with
the cocktail of its governance related anti-incumbency and its pro-corruption
image, pushed the majority of the youth votes to Narendra Modi.
But why Narendra Modi only? Why not other
Because he was the only projected
prime-ministerial figure of pan-India appeal. Because he was the most
tech-savvy politician with huge following on social media platforms - Facebook
and Twitter. Because he had delivered consistently on his promises of
governance and development with a 'brand' of politics that appealed to the
youth - smart cities, big-ticket infrastructure like Bullet trains, end to end
connectivity, employment, checking internal migration for livelihoods. Remember
his speeches in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where he sold, day after day, rally
after rally, the dreams of providing jobs to the youngsters in their own cities/regions.
No other political opposition figure had
these many elements to appeal to the needs and aspirations of the youth, the
largest demographic segment of the country.
Half of over 81 Crore voters in the Lok
Sabha polls were youngsters, below 35 year. Over 31% of the Indians were in the
crucial 18-35 years age-group, the voters, including the first-time voters. 20-30
is the age-group that seeks entry to the job markets.
Their first and foremost priorities are
job, employment and future security.
According to the Census figures, in 2011,
the number of households having unemployed members rose to 28% from 23% in
2001, an all time high for the decadal exercise. Some 110 million or 15% of the
working-age population of 15-60 years were jobseekers. When
seen from the perspective of youngsters, 18% of the youth in the age-group 25-29
were looking for jobs while unemployment rate in the age-group 30-34 years
existed at 6%.
And most of them voted for Narendra Modi we
find when we read into the analysis of the voting patterns of the Lok Sabha
And we don't we have convincing reasons to
say that they were pulled to vote for Modi because of his polarizing appeal.
After all, a famous and often-used proverb
says that one cannot (and cannot be expected to) worship God with an empty
This graphics from a Quartz India article on
youth priorities trending during the Lok Sabha polls only corroborates it.
Image courtesy: Quartz India
They voted Narendra Modi in for his promise
of development and for their future and not for elements of communal politics/politics
of polarization. We should gauge this from the fact that, in spite of all the
efforts, Ram Temple doesn't stir emotions anymore.
The priorities are clearly changing and are
And dominance of issues like religious
conversions or sanctifying the forgettable (yet not to be forgotten, for they
remind us of the dark forces of democracy) ghosts like Godse would make them
feel cheated. Their future is at stake and they need a politics of change to
change their fortunes and cannot allow absurd issues to hijack it.
They won't allow the forces diluting the
development agenda. And if Narendra Modi doesn't deliver on it, and allow the
fringe, communal elements to go unbound, he is not going to make it home in
Uttar Pradesh and Bihar assembly polls as that would be a logical window of
time (around two years to around three years) to assess the performance on delivering
the related poll promises. But we should not be surprised if we see its signs even
in the upcoming Delhi assembly polls.
Narendra Modi needs to feel it, think on
it, realize it, and needs to act on it.