Friday, January 3, 2014

"If it has to be for you, it should be by you!"

Its the era of digital revolution. The world has traveled from the pigeon to post card , from All India Radio to Ipods and tablets and from telegram to twitter. There is no need to write pages on how digitization influenced every one's life.It is the era of tablets and smart phones. Every one wants to finish a task easily by  flicking the index finger on their smart phones. The number of people using smart phones and apps is rising as days pass by. People may not be aware of AAP but evey one is aware of an app :) 
Click on the image for a better view
It is not an exaggeration if I say that some of our youngsters are  laid back. They prefer being couch potatoes and staying blissfully unaware of what is happening around them, playing games on the same smart mobiles rather than thinking of the productive ways of using it. Politics is a bigger thing , many especially those who are working in I.T. are not even aware of a fellow colleague's name. We are so entangled in the social web that we don't have time to actually socialize and think of smaller and bigger issues in front of us.

 I am guilty myself as I don't think much about the importance of Voter id, voting and how a huge difference can be brought if all the youngsters can vote! I voted twice till now after I turned 18 (the eligible age to vote). Reasons are many like not being in the city during that time, having exams, so on so forth. I first sensed the importance of social mobile apps and social network during Nirbhaya's case. The candle light marches and fight for the justice continued with anger, fervor and seriousness with the help of the social mobile apps. I got many smses and also messages on FB.  Many groups were formed during that time. People fought for justice endlessly. Many foot in mouth statements uttered by the brigade who live in fools paradise were also criticized and they were put to shame with the help of social media and its easy accessibility on mobiles, tablets, ipods and anything which is smart enough to help us get in touch with the big Bad(good) world outside!

Whenever I think of social mobile apps, the only app which comes to my memory is the facebook app. It is the widely used app to spread opinions , angst , share the views from anywhere anytime ,to change something and also to not change something. Facebook is the messiah to many. Needless to say it revolutionized life. Second comes twitter. For those short sweet or may be sour, bitter and hot statements twitter can be used. I never felt like using it a lot as the 140 characters limit my expression but I keep seeing the tweets. Twitter helps many politicians to stay close  to people and influence them. Check this to see the twitter profile of Aam Aadmi Party. How ever twitter is not efficiently used by all the politicians in India. I wish that the leaders who actually want to involve the young people in their movements and let them know their ideas and ideologies should use twitter. Below is the snapshot of world famous politicians from the U.S.A. using twitter for power including Barrack Obama
Check here for more. Image source : here
Few politicians like Narendra Modi took twitter's support to involve youth but many still are not aware of it ! I came across an interesting article which gives the six reasons why Indian politicians should tweet Use of social network apps definitely helps to know peoples' pulse. It makes them feel that they know their leader thoroughly and personally. After Facebook and Twitter, I feel other social mobile apps which we can use to involve and influence youth are the chat apps like Whats'app , we chat and also you tube and Google+. How ever one should use the social media marketing effectively to get great results. Too many apps some times spoil the broth :)
A boy helping a politician
Click on the image for better view :)
To the question how I will influence India's youth to vote in General elections 2014? the answers are many and they are not so simple and easy. While many of the youngsters and also elders are hungry for the change- (the recent win of AAP goes to prove this) few are still reluctant to change. Those few are too lazy to think on serious matters like politics , corruption, power , leadership and whys and whats of it! No need to dig in to the matters deeply but it is highly important for the youth to  equip themselves with current affairs and happenings across the country.

Given below is a sample conversation which many adolescents keep having !This is my own chat thread. Names are changed for convenience. Due to education, jobs , marriage and various other reasons all the friends stay away and can get in touch once in a while only with the help of social mobile apps like Gtalk, Whats app or we chat.

On one fine evening Leela pinged us to inform a good news on WeChat.

I got a notification as I was wrapping up the work at office.  Leela broadcasted a message to the group.

Leela: "Hello all. I have a great news to share."

Rakesh , Jeena and Siva immediately replied while few others were dormant.

Rakesh: "What ? What?"

Jeena: "Spill the beans babe. Is it marriage on cards?"

I yawned thinking, when will Jeena come out of the marriage matrix.

Leela: "Hell.  No. Who will get married so fast? I am going to the U.S. of the A. man. A long term onsite opportunity. I finally got VISA."

Me: "Wow Leela. That's indeed a great news. We should celebrate. When are you going to join?"

Leela : "Thanks for the wishes. September 2014. Why?"

Me: "Oh. Great. If its sep 2014 you will still be able to vote in April-May 2014 for Indian General Elections."

Every one typed at a time.

"What ? Are you serious?"
"Have you lost it?"
"You kidding buddy :P ?"

Leela : "I thought you wanted to plan a trip or some thing Afshan. So funny you are. Nothing can happen to this country. No one can change it. That's why I am going to the U.S.A. lady. The freedom one experiences in that country is matchless to any other country." pinged Leela in our group chat window.

One minute every one was calm. I typed.

Me: "Every country has its pluses and minuses Leela. It doesn't mean there shouldn't be a miniscule effort from our side to make it better."

Leela : " Uffo. Ye lo. Rang de basanti ki Madhavan aagai. Now don't lecture me O.K.?"

Me: "I am not lecturing yaar. I am just trying to educate and motivate you and trying to let you know the importance of the votes. We don't play a role in selecting our constitution and we blame it. Its not done. Do your duty. At least try and then blame. That is my policy."

Leela : "So , what do you want me to do madam?"

Me: "Know your right. Use your power. The voting power. I don't want you to be a social activist or a politician but I just want you to vote. I think that much you can do. The nation is changing. At least I can see the border of the horizon. Can you guys see that?"

As no one typed I sensed two possibilities. Either every one is listening with rapt attention or they must be ignoring me.

Leela : "So you say that just by my vote I can change the nation :P ?"

Me: "What if ten other people think just like you Leela? I am saying about the possibility of change. Change is inevitable if you want it. Like Gandhiji said why don't you try being the change you want to see? We appreciate the cleanliness of the U.S. roads but we dirty our own roads. We appreciate the freedom there but we don't speak a word when some one opposes some one's freedom here."

I went on

Me: "Many organizations have been formed to involve the public in general and specially the  youth via social media and social mobile apps Leela. Just check this out- "iforIndia' . They have a facebook page too where you can voice your opinions on political leaders and the constituency. Check it out. There are many members in it."
Image source : "here"

Leela : "O.K."

Me: "Also all of you, if you are not a part of Change.Org do register now and see how many are struggling for a change there. You can do it from mobile as well. It just takes a minute."

Leela : "hmm"
Jeena : "Fine."
Rakesh: "O.K."

Me : "There are many such organizations which are trying their best to reach out to huge number of people. If you don't use a smart phone you can still access them from your laptops and desktops."

Rakesh : "Good to know all this Afshan but do you think our votes and involvement will bring a good time in the country!"

Me: "It will definitely bring. Like its said in the image I shared above. You can expect a change for sure and fight for it confidently only  if you are involved. Every one does day dreaming Rakesh."

Leela, Jeena , Rakesh , Siva: "OK Afshan. After talking to you we all feel that we should really give it a try. Thanks for this."

Me : "I am so glad to hear it. Not only this I am planning to start a FB page just for friends where you can be part of it too, share your opinions , gain knowledge and know others thoughts and decide firmly as to whom you should elect and why. 18 doesn't mean you are of marriageable age. It means you are a major and you reached the vote-able age!"

"Aye Captain!" Every one replied in unision.

Me: "And this time you can use the NOTA option (None of the above) which is also known as "against all" or a "scratch" vote. If there are majority NOTA votes variety of decisions will be taken . You can read it all at NOTA. Read about the NOTA usage this year here."

Leela : "By the way. Why don't you think of forming a party. You are so passionate and I feel you sure will be a ray of hope to the nation."

Me: "Ya. But I singly can't . People like you , me and many other youngsters can surely bring a change if they join hands :) "

Siva : "I feel like dedicating a song to you from YUVA. Here you go and I promise to use my voting right :) "

I was happy that day. I am sure they will definitely use their voting right in the coming elections. I will for sure spend time to remind them. To motivate and inspire few friends from closed circles I will follow the below steps

Image source : here
  • Create a facebook page or  group to increase the awareness among friends and others.
  • Send them reminders for the last date of registration of voter ids (which as of now is over) and remind them to vote on the election day and let them all know about the elections schedule.
  • Broadcast messages using chat apps like WeChat and request them to not forget their right to vote. Send inspirational forwards which can increase the awareness
  • Simply use every opportunity available on the mobile to inform , inspire and encourage as meeting in person is tough in the day to day rush :) 
  • Last but not the least I will try to voice my thoughts and opinions using twitter and the hash tag . Do check my tweets @afshu18
  • Now if you have really read my post do acknowledge it and share your views rather than just blindingly #votingforme on Indivine. India needs votes and not me :) I am content if my post has slightly created awareness! 
Thanks for reading this.

PS: The cartoons above are made with the help of and bitstrips

This post is part of a contest by Indiblogger in association with WeChat - Indian General Elections 2014 with Social Mobile Apps #VoteForIndia


  1. I think more people will vote if Indians abolish parliamentary style and introduce presidential style democracy. In a presidential style democracy, the party headquarters DOES NOT issue tickets to people for contesting.. The people will elect who will contest the election on behalf of any party (through primary). The President will be elected directly by the people.

    At present, in parliamentary style, each party headquarters select their relatives, friends, and people who give money to contest the elections. That is one the reason for voter apathy.

    1. Hi SG

      Thanks for dropping by. You have a point there but firstly the THOUGHT to vote has to come to a person but ya like U I too feel Presidential style is a much better way !

      Still in parliamentary style also people can show their power to some extent . The latest AAP victory goes to prove this.
      Have to see whats in store for India !

  2. Seriously, Apps are coming in as a storm!!! Now thanks to twitter, we are socially informed..right from the horse's mouth!!
    Good luck with the contest!

    1. ya its like we can revolutionize the world with a smart ph in one hand and tablet in another :)
      Thanks for reading @Redhanded

  3. Loved the post. a very good use of images. Wonderfully thought and written Afshan. Creativity at its best. All the best Afshan :)

    1. Thanks for ur time here Saurabh !
      am glad u loved it :)

  4. Very nice post, how the technology can be utilized to motivate the youth is well articulated .All the best!

  5. That is so inspiring Afshan !! Its high time people understand the importance of voting and their right to do so.
    Keep on with your good work of involving people around you.
    Let me know when you start your own party ;)

    1. ya I also felt inspired to vote once I finished writing this. If this post is inspirational My work is done :)
      Thanks Uma for ur time :)
      Keep reading

  6. Indian politics is going through a transition and social networking played an important role for change in Delhi elections..Aap played massively and it made a huge difference,though I'm tempted to argue that a huge chunk of rural people, aam admit are not tech savvy. Pertinent points raised.

    1. Thanks for ur time here. That is actually an important point as all dont hav access to smart phones. Rural people may not even have a net connection but only hope is atleast youngsters who r tech savvy may get motivated !
      Thanks for reading


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Thanks for your time :)

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