India Insight

Parents to get top marks for voting in UP

February 20, 2012

Students at a Lucknow college will earn extra credit if they can get their mom and dad to vote in the Uttar Pradesh state elections this month.

Getting those 10 extra marks is no easy task. A girl student at Christ Church college said she would have to work hard to push her “lazy” mother to go out on polling day but it would be worth it.

School officials insist this is no bribe, only an incentive to ensure students learn the value of their vote. At a parent-teacher conference immediately after the election, the ink-stained fingers of voting parents will show which students have succeeded in the task.

Elections in India typically see just half of the eligible voters on government lists turn up on polling day. But Uttar Pradesh has sprung a surprise this year, with around 60 percent voter turnout in the initial phases of the election, which is staggered over four weeks.

Analysts are saying young voters in the politically crucial state, which is bigger than Brazil by population, are hankering for change and coming to vote in larger numbers.

Though a higher voter turnout in Uttar Pradesh is good news for Indian democracy, it’s still not a nationwide phenomenon. Civic polls in Mumbai last week saw a voter turnout of just 46 percent, which officials said was in line with previous years, and recent local elections in other cities such as New Delhi and Chennai have shown a similar trend.

‘Come and vote’ appeals from Bollywood celebrities and media campaigns haven’t helped. To counter voter apathy, some suggest that voting should be made compulsory, as it is in Australia. Is that a practical option for India? Share your views.

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One comment so far | RSS Comments RSS

Yes the attempt tried by this government is good for the democracy

Posted by SanjeevKumar | Report as abusive
 

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