21 Apr 2024  |   05:56am IST

Voting for the first time is a powerful feeling

The first-time voter in the elections is an excited voter, one who thinks before he or she votes. The youth in Goa are doing their homework before making his or her decision as to who they should cast their vote for
Voting for the first time is   a powerful feeling

Ajit John

For 18-year-old Faizan Sayed who is from Verna, these elections are special. It is something he is certainly looking forward to. He will be voting for the first time. He is looking forward to voting for a candidate who will work for the people. He will be casting his vote in South Goa and says he would be discussing with his parents who he should vote for. India’s election, started on Friday with more than 18 million people voting for the first time. Faizan, like many other first time voters in the country, hope to make their vote count. 

The concerns of the youth are different from those of their parents’ generation. Creation of job opportunities, tackling the looming climate crisis are important to the youth. Glan Braganca from Verna who is a first year student at the Fr Agnel institute said it was important for the candidate to help the youth get employment. “It was important that the candidate help poor people. The candidate should have good communication skills and it is important that the candidate motivate the youth to try new things and help them to come up with ideas for new businesses,” he said. When asked if he had anyone in mind, he said he had an idea in his head and he would decide soon as to who he intended to vote for. 

The absence of cynicism was also very apparent. Gaurav Chavan said he would vote for a candidate who would guarantee democracy and would not be corrupt. He said he was still searching for the candidate who would meet his requirements and then vote. He said he would talk to family members too to help him in his decision. Similar sentiments were expressed by Ejwal Fernandes who is based in Verna, who said, “My ideal candidate should make changes in society and importantly be willing to stand by what he or she believed in. The candidate should be willing to provide financial help to those needy people who came to them seeking help.”

There were also people who had not given it a thought as yet. Sayed Zubair a engineering student, was candid when he said he had not thought about any of the candidates in the field. He said he was reading the various newspapers and would decide soon. He said there were many candidates but he would want someone who was willing to work for the constituency. He said it would be beneficial for everyone if the leader they selected was someone who was a hard worker. 

Nash Silveira, a student who was studying for his diploma in hotel management said he was feeling excited about voting for the first time. “I would vote for someone who had a sense of responsibility and did the work on time. I have already decided who I want to vote for,” said Nash.

For the very articulate Joliza Dias it was important for the candidate to think for themselves. She said, “Yes all the candidates are part of a party and the party’s have a position on certain issues which will be articulated by the candidates but the candidate I choose should have their own opinion. A lot of things are happening at the grassroot level. It is important to see what the problems are and sort them out.” She went on to say that climate change was an issue that mattered a lot to her. The unseasonal rains were a symptom of that. As a young voter she said it would certainly affect her. She said it was important for the leader who would be selected to understand this. Globalisation was affecting culture and Goa, she said, was being affected. She said she would discuss these issues and more with her parents but the views of the generations were different. She said their views would be considered but her decision she said would be hers at the end of the day. 

Another young man Sahil Madkaikar from Fatorda said he was excited to be voting for the first time and intended to vote for the right candidate. He said he would vote for the candidate who was looking for the betterment of the country, the state and the locality. He had not decided on who he intended to vote for but he shortlisted a candidate who would get work done and highlight the issues of the State in the Lok Sabha. 

The importance of being independent minded and one with his or her own ideas would be very important for Velroy Gracias, a hotel management student. Before making a decision, talking to the parents was very important for Jayden Rodrigues. A resident of Colva, he said he would decide after speaking to them. Similar sentiments were expressed by Gaurav Chavan who said he would talk to his father before deciding on who to vote for. 

The Indian elections are without a doubt the biggest democratic exercise in the world and it is watched by people all over the world with much interest. These elections will be a great introduction for the first time voter and one hopes it will be a great experience for them and for everyone involved.


Idhar Udhar