Everyone in India thinks that the youth is a very powerful, decisive, changing agent for a super power India to emerge! And with 2/3rds of Indians below the age of 35 the young certainly look a promising large number to make some powerful changes if they decide to.
At the risk of sounding naïve and simplistic I’m not sure we can conclude that young Indians have a unique and independent political preferences and views – my own sense is they are out of depth and out of sorts with the world of politics and that they’d rather not dirty their hands or brave hardships to change the status quo in the country.
They are happy to sit on the sidelines and continue to be apathetic and indifferent to the political governance in the country but are opinionated and trigger happy with words and points of views which continue to spew forth, without a break.
I guess much stress does get put on the youth of our country because the youth are supposed to be the carriers of change and transformation. If the past 3 phases of polling were to be taken into account then this myth feeds on a perception that the youth does not confirm to any of these beliefs including the angst of 26/11 which seemed to have overtly galvanized them into action but now seems long forgotten!
The youth seem less politically active than ever despite so many “voting driven” communication campaigns – with John Abraham, Aamir Khan and so many other large Bollywood stars. Obviously there are more active priorities and anxieties in life they seem to be consumed by a) how to earn money furiously quick b) how to prepare for a professional career c) how to circumvent controversies and not stick out with any point of view!
If I were to draw inferences from all the tv debates and real life instances I have seen thus far, then there is no systematic difference between the manner in which the young and the not-so-young vote. In opinions, there is simply nothing like a generational jump in Indian politics that can form a dividing line between an emerging point of view and an old generation thinking!.
The young support democracy in much the same way as the old do.
The young are about as traditional and conservative as the old. Even on questions like inter-caste marriage, live in relations, son preference over daughter - the opinions of the young are not actually very different from the rest of the population.