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Monday, December 30, 2013

Youthquake -2014




The country has been sucked into the whirlpool of elections as the year 2013 draws to a close. The recently concluded elections in some states has provided a ‘food for thought’ for those who were skeptical of the youth power, capable of creating a ‘Youthquake’.  The election process for selecting the leaders has undergone a sea change since the time India first went to polls in Oct 1951. India will go to polls the 16th time, in 2014.
Gone are the times of loudhailers, posters and other traditional methods of electioneering at least in the cities. The world has become flat and almost without boundaries when it comes to the flow of information. The power of communications and information technology was witnessed in the recent years with the overthrow of governments in the wake of ‘Arab Spring’. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, saw change of regime.  The issues like repressive governments,  disparities and years of deprivation were fanned with social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, You tube and others. They united the protestors and maintained the pressure on regimes till the dispensation was toppled. A few years back, it would have been impossible to imagine a protest being ignited and kept alive just with the power of internet. One still recollects images of mass killings on Tinanmen Square in Beijing in student uprising in 1989 in an era of no public internet.
India is the biggest democracy having more people than entire USA and Europe. In the United States, young voters aged 18 to 29 make up 21% of the voting population. Over the past several election cycles, youth voting has been on the rise. Last election showed a higher percentage of college-aged voters going to the polls to elect their next president than in any previous election.  In India 65% of the population is less than 35 years old. First time voters in the age group 18-23 years will constitute almost 14% of the entire electorate.



College students have little time to sit in front of a television screen. They now have access to unlimited information via computer and smartphones; being able to get every question answered at a rapid pace. Social media are most useful when they are integrated into other things like getting people out to vote, getting face-to-face contact. Television is an alternative to that.

For college students today, the way to experience elections is: opening up your Facebook page and finding yourself immediately bombarded with election statuses and postings. This means that with just a click of a button, students and young generation can gather all the information they need to be informed about a candidate. They can be as interactive or inactive as they wish. They can enter forums and discussion through social networking sites and voice their opinion freely and immediately. For the forthcoming elections, it will be a daunting task for political consultants to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to constantly changing popular social media sites. If they don’t act fast, they could easily appear “out of touch” with youngsters – and even risk losing their vote. The first step to staying ahead of the curve  is to understand the way in which college students and young voters experienced the past assembly election, whether from the  click of a Twitter update, an Instagram snapshot, the post of a Facebook status, or a scroll through a  blog. While the advent of television brought  the election campaigns ‘live’ in the drawing rooms , the social networking sites have made these interactive  sessions with voters a reality.

India has more than 240 million active internet users way ahead of USA only second to China which has more than 300 million users. They could swing the result of an election significantly .In social media a key rule is that “you don’t trust people you don’t know,” when someone like Amitabh Bachchan  who has a high approval rating, posts on Twitter, there is “a perceived honesty” that will make a voter trust what they have to say.

Social media lures college students to the polls. Individuals stay connected to people they know through social networking sites: there is more trust in postings of friends and family on social networking sites than listening to a two-dimensional figure on the television. To be successful in the next election, political commentators believe strategists will have to identify the delicate line between the proper amount of information and over-saturation – and use that line to their advantage. The new age phenomena of social mobile apps are here to stay and apps like ‘We Chat’, Facebook, Twitter, will make a big impact in the forthcoming elections.

(This post is submitted as a part of Indiblogger, ‘We Chat’ contest "Indian General Elections 2014 with social mobile apps")
PS I. Image kind courtesy Google

      2. Wishing all the readers a very Happy Festive time and a New Year full of joy, merry making and fun.

56 comments:

  1. 2013 has really been a crazy political year. Hopefully 2014 will be a little calmer. Happy new year.

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    1. Welcome to my blog Lady Lilith! We have a bmore crazy year awaiting us! Best wishes for the New Year!

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  2. What an interesting post. You're so right that social media makes all the difference. I'm glad that young voters are on the rise!

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    1. Social media is set to play a bigger role in our lives for sure!

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  3. Jai Ho to youth power. Yes Information Technology has revolutionized the way elections are fought.The AAP style of campaigning - open,honest,transparent- has attracted a much larger number of voters to the ballot box.The way game of politics is played is changing radically.

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    1. It is heartening to see the change in rules of the game, Rama:) Totally agree!

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  4. Yes, I agree, social media is a great way to directly reach out to voters -- young and old. And political parties will do good to engage with voters this way. Good luck for the contest, Rahul!

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    1. Thanks a lot Rachna and yes the world is changing for better:)

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  5. Things have changed a lot since the web era has come.In italy is the same. Happy new year!
    Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger
    Facebook
    Bloglovin'

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    1. So good to learn that across the word the winds of change are being felt, Francesca!

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  6. Good luck for the contest Rahul!
    Let us hope youthquake endows us with a better government-i am sure it will.

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    1. Keeping fingers crossed in the New Year:) Thanks a lot Induji!

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  7. Agree with everything you have said. India is awake, raring to go,to defy all normal gisi pitti politics, bring in good governance and people with brains to lead the country.
    The AAP had already fulfilled its 1st promise, and as time passes we will see others also getting fulfilled. Wish them all the best.
    And wish you all the best too.
    Happy New Year!

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    1. Is it not satisfying to see the changes for better, Rama! Hope more cheer is ushered in the New Year!

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  8. Very interesting and thought provoking post. Power of the youth can be bring a revolution. It is the strength of the youth that in the national capital AAP has been able to form the Government in the state assembly. Hope that in the general election also the power of youth will prevail.

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    1. Thanks Ushaji! The stage is set for bigger changes, hopefully:)

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  9. i agree with everything you wrote, youth has become more aware, may be by reading facebook updates and tweets. when they read it they ought to think about it and form varied opinions ( I wonder, how many people have realistic opinions and how many have influenced ones coz they have heard and read people blabbering about political leaders)
    Good luck with the contest and best wishes for the new year ahead..:)
    Loads of luck and wishes for the coming year..:)
    Regards..:)

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    1. Thanks for such a nice comment and your best wishes, Jemina and I am convinced that hope lies in the youth! Wishing you loads of happiness too! BTW your new profile pic is nice:)

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  10. Social Media, when used tactfully can help project an image of something which was never there in the first place. Such a roller coaster year, hopefully some good should come from it. Happy New Year ;-)

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    1. Well said, Ashwini! The ride is just begun and hope it is a happy one for all of us:) Happy New Year to you too!

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  11. More youthquakes need to come.Let us see what social media will do in the upcoming elections. Good luck and a Happy New Year, Rahul sir.

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    1. True Latha! Dont be surprised for more tremors to rock the politics in the New Year:) Wishing you and your family the very best in the New Year!

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  12. It will be interesting to see how the 2014 elections shape up. Indeed the world is flat. The internet has revolutionized almost every activity!

    I love the title of your post "Youthquake" Best of luck for the contest!

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    1. The way things are happening we are set to see witness interesting events ahead! Thanks a lot, Vidya for your kind wishes and this term Youthquake was coined by an Oman University professor :)

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  13. What a well written and insightful post Rahul. Im glad the youth quake has shaken and stirred thepolitical system. Hopefully things will get better. Happy new year :)

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    1. Thanks a lot, Pallavi for having liked the post! Wish you and your family a very Happy New Year too!

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  14. Hi Rahul,
    Insightful Post.
    Wish You a Very Happy New Year.
    May 2014 be an year of fulfilling blogging for you.
    Regards
    Vikram

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    1. Great to see you here, Vikram and I too wish you and your family very happy times ahead and more literary feats to you in future!

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  15. Thank you for your kind wishes dear Rahul.
    I wish you and your family all the very best for 2014!
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. Thanks Dianne! Wishing you a happy New Year too!

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  16. Wishing you a Fabulous 2014! May it inspire greatness and bring you heaps of success and love, topped with happiness, peace and prosperity.

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    1. Hi Sam , wish you a great New Year and a time of fulfillment of all dreams and happiness too:)

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  17. Absolutely.
    No other country in the world has the youth population as India has.That coupled with access to social media could turn out to be the factor of changing India's future.
    One really hopes,youth comes out and gives a decisive verdict in favour of a strong,non corrupt leader.
    Happy new year

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  18. This is a good sign, I feel. More and more youngsters are getting interested in politics. AAP is giving hope to many people here, in our country esp. for the youngsters. Let us hope for the best!

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  19. I wish you and your family a happy new year!!

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  20. Happy New Year Rahul ji.

    You wrote wonderfully. I especially liked the statistics that you sprinkled over the post. However, I am of the view that the internet is more of an insignificant factor. There are actual issues like the price rise, the corruption, the general degradation in public life, etc., that will take precedence over anything. Having said that, it is true that many people who otherwise would not have got to get in touch with the elections and the 'game' of democracy are getting the chance to do so, all thanks to the internet.

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    1. Happy New Year to you KK! Hope things now start turning around!

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  21. Youthquake it is. Thanks to AAP who have changed the conventional way politics was played so far.
    Happy New Year Rahul.

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    1. Politics hopefully turning to a New leaf in the New Year , Alka:) A happy New Year to you and your family too!

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  22. I like the title Youthquake. AAP sure took us by surprise, hope it works for the common man's benefit.

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    1. Thanks Rachna! Sorry for belated response as was traveling! Sure... things appear to be changing!

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  23. With the emergence of AAP, I sensed a lot of optimism. Despite its many bitter critics, I'm sure they have changed the way we perceive Politics.

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    1. I too have some hopes to see the begining of a new chapter , Purba! Was traveling so delay in responding to u

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  24. Yep I am not sure whether it is good or bad but sometimes it is a nuisance.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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    1. We only hope for things to change for better Asamptha!

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  25. Nice post sir. The thing with impact of social media is that all the information (real / fake) are with the youth of the country. For every "Pappu", there's a "Feku".. This is like a flanking war carried out by the political parties..

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    1. We could not have asked for more to keep the issues on forefront with some new faces drifting from mainstream politics and adding more pep to the situation!Thanks Binu!

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  26. Very right, Sir. We have the means to express ourseleves and make a difference. I wasn't aware that our population exceeds the total of US and Europe.

    Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Saru! Yes the voices and opinions that can make a qualitative difference in life, will hopefully be be heard in future:)

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  27. Hi Rahul, welcome back and hope you've had a wonderful and relaxing vacation!

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    1. Thanks Sam! Indeed a nice break, will write about it:)

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