I recently read that the minimum age for voting in India was 21. It was only in 1988, when we amended our constitution to lower the Voting Age from 21 to 18. Since then, I’ve been wondering. Is there a link between the minimum age of voting and its impact on political standards?
Most people will agree that we had a very high standard of political leadership before the 90’s. Since 90’s, the quality of politics has suffered immensely. Thought there are much more significant reasons behind this change, which include many socio-economic factors (globalization, capitalism). However the aspect of ‘rise of youth’ can not be ruled out.
The age between 18 and 24 is the time when a boy matures and becomes a man. The question of responsibility does not arise at such age. Is lower voting age, therefore resulting in erosion in the values of our society?
The worrisome trend of little political awareness among the youth is universal. In-fact, low aged intellectual voters are mainly conservatives and are driven by unscientific provocative rhetorics. The charm of Indian democracy lies in the co-existence of left-liberals, right-conservatives and the centrists, among many other forces. Is the unaware, immature youth disturbing this balance?