I wake up in the morning to a beep on my phone. Sleepy eyed I look at it and a huge pop-up stares back at my face. "Vote today" it says. I hurriedly rush to the bathroom, quickly finish my routine chores and sit back on my sofa with a cup of coffee in my hand and my phone in the other. I open the app "Indian Elections - 2014" and go through the candidate list. Each candidate has his background information, educational qualification and almost every detail that Google has about him. All this held within the palm of my hand in a single app. Being a lazy bum, I do not want to travel to a certain location, stand in queue and then cast my vote. Hence, I go to the 'Vote Now' feature of the app and with the click of a button on my phone, I cast my vote. The minute I cast my vote, the app disables itself. That way it ensures that only one vote per person. The app then is put into use for the next elections. Easy right?
Have you all heard of the term called 'Millennials'? I guess most of us can be called millennials. Millennials are the generation Y kids born after 1980. 93% of the social media and social app users are millennials. In 2012, 63% of the smart phone users were millennials. 75% of Facebook users are millennials. More than 50% of the users on Twitter are millennials. Any question? Any suggestion? Any situation? Millennials only look for answers in the social media these days. And it shall continue to be the same for a long long time. Marketing wizards are targeting millennial minds to boost their sales. Because once a gen Y hooks on to something, he makes sure the people around him know about that. Thus engaging a whole mass within the area of interest. Social media has become the go to spot for anything and everything.
57% of Indians are millennials. The Indian youth as we are popularly called. After Arvind Kejriwal took over the powerful seat of Delhi, the whole nation is expecting changes to happen over night. Why, even I am one of them. While passing by a pothole laden street, I curse the government. While I see buses carrying twice the capacity of people it should, I curse the government. While I see a traffic policeman collecting two hundred rupees from a biker without issuing a receipt, I curse the government. I can think of a million instances, where in I have done it. So have many of my millennial buddies. After the evolution of many social apps, voting has only become a pride factor to show off the ink mark on our fingers by posting pictures of it on Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp etc. Our responsibility towards our country has come down to just that. A measly photograph. If you do not want to be a part of 'Choosing the leader' process, then you have no right to curse or get angry at the government. Most of us think that we are only one person and how will one vote make a difference? If everything thinks like that and votes, won't there be a difference? It all lies in the mind.
The 'Aam Aadmi Party' comes with a lot of expectations. Every single day in the news paper I see someone wearing a Gandhi cap and carrying a broom wanting to be a part of the most talked about party. How they want to change the country I don't know. But at least I'm happy that they are wanting to be a part of the change. Our parents and their parents might cast their vote based on the oldest party that they have been following since eons. They might not even know who the current candidate is, yet they would want to cast their vote to that party only. It later becomes a hereditary trend and people just expect their next generation to carry on the same. I wouldn't call it foolishness, I'd call it ignorance. While times have changed, how can people not? When technology has improved, why still stick to the same old process of canvasing and begging for votes.
Indians are inherently lazy people. These are the people who want their daily bread and magazines dropped to their doorstep. Expecting them to research on candidates or walk two miles to cast a vote is clearly not done. Its the instant generation now. People want everything to be done in a wink or in a click. Millennials, as more than half the population of India, can bring out this change. When there are apps like 'How to impress a girl', 'How to bake a cake', 'How to french kiss', why can't there be more useful apps that actually make some sense. It will at least bring out the curiosity in gen Y, if not involve in it fully. A youngster gets the hang of it and soon we will see a whole bunch of millennials following the trend. The only way to get the youth to participate in something these days, is to bring it to them. So let us do that.
Put on your thinking caps India. Create an app that shall house every single detail of the current elections. Primarily, every single detail of the candidates. If they expect the people to choose them as their leader then the people have all the right to know about them. From their childhood, to their education, to their hobbies, to their family life should be put out for the people to see. How educated are our politicians today? Do we know? Do we care? The first thing that comes to all our minds when the word politics is mentioned is 'Under the table money'. Is that all? Reminds me, the criminal background too should be mentioned as part of the candidate profile. People should be able to use their brains and see who can take care of our country better. An educated candidate, or a candidate with a strong backing party. Like I said before, it all lies in the mind.
Gen Y can check out the candidates, have a discussion on them on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter or on social apps like WeChat and Whatsapp. Everything already exists today, all we need is the right integration. The app should be a one time app. Install, check out the candidates and vote. Boom! The app is disabled immediately. All the government has to do now is to collect the data and count. Yes, I agree it might be a tedious process, but I'm sure it is much simpler than the already existing one. You want the youth to vote, you need to entice them with something new and something that is said to be "in" with today's technology. Asking the gen Y to take a step back can be termed as blasphemy. Talk to them in the language they understand and then you can see the results. The curious mind, is always known to do wonders. Seduce the mind, and there you have the most engaging audience ever.
The millennial party has the right to choose a leader and create a nation. Give them the platform and they will show you the results.
This post is written for the 'Indian General Elections 2014 with social mobile apps' contest on Indiblogger in association with WeChat.