Vibhum Srivastava, 20, an undergraduate in Uttar Pradesh and a first time voter
Last year was the first time when I actually got to seen an EVM and the electoral process during Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. I am excited about the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as this will be the first time I shall cast my vote for Parliament.
Ever since I got my election ID made, I see myself as an active participant in choosing our own destiny by lending our support for a party or policy. I am a member of various social media groups and keep abreast with political developments. I debate and take part in several political discussion on my Facebook account and on Twitter. I respect valid arguments of all kind and keep my sanity while placing my views on these forum.
I consider myself an aware youth with respectable knowledge about political parties, leaders, policies, etc. Even though I am still studying, I have my views on jobs, infrastructure, road connectivity, safety, women empowerment etc. These are the issues that I believe concern first-time voters like me.
I am proud of our country’s growing ranking and image on global platform. This feeling of pride and recognition is what makes me look towards our current leadership with respect. My choice for the next prime minister is definitely Narendra Modi. I cannot see a better option at least till the time I get to cast my vote again (after five years).
The reason is: ever since I have started following the political course of our country, I have seen only two leaders – Manmohan Singh and Modi. I find Modi a far more energetic, interactive and effective leader of the two. Critics say it is about his media management but I counter that projection of your image is also a key factor for a leader. As Nehru said, a government not only be doing the right things but also must be seen as doing the right things.
When I look around myself, I see the change is taking place gradually. For example, I often hear my uncle (a government employee) murmuring that ever since Modi came to power, he has reach office on time, work more etc. But even he is a Modi supporter.
I faced little difficulty due to GST or rising petrol prices as I am still dependent on my father. However, I think, these issues are not permanent. When the dust settles down, they will eventually be of some benefit for us in the long run.
Rahul Gandhi is hopeless; he will take at least 10-15 years to have the aura of Modi. My views are not based on the memes and jokes circulating on the social media – that is BJP media cell’s job – but what few speeches of his I have seen and heard. He lacks depth. In spite of being younger than Modi, he does not connect with the youth today.
In my view, there should be a live debate between political leaders running for a particular post, like they have in many western countries and also in some of our universities, on the eve of election. This will give the voter a clear chance to make up his mind, especially the young voter, and the country will give a decisive mandate.