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Syeda Naghma Abidi

INDIAN YOUTH AND ELECTORAL POLITICS: AN EMERGING ENGAGEMENT
Edited by Sanjay Kumar
Sage Publications, Delhi, 2014, pp. 185, Rs. 450.00

VOLUME XXXVIII NUMBER 5 May 2014

Indian Youth and Electoral Politics: An Emerging Engagement edited by Sanjay Kumar takes up critical questions that have dominated the larger political canvas since 2009. In the election year, it has come at an opportune time to build an understanding among readers and help them critically examine the idea that has been floated since the 2009 Lok Sabha election. It is since the Lok Sabha election when the conversation around the existence of youth constituency began circulating within the political circle.   Sanjay brings in different contributors to add to the diverse lens to look at youth electoral politics engagement. What is of value for readers is that all six authors have been engaged in the study which allows space for conversation richer for readers. Sanjay himself has been deeply engaged with youth and electoral politics and this engagement is clearly reflected in his writing. Vibha Attri in the article titled ‘Awareness on Political Issues’ looks at the level of political awareness among youth. Statistical evidence shows that a third of the sample is politically unaware and majority of the aware youth lie in the category of moderate awareness. Political awareness refers to how aware the young voters are about politics and other political activities which have occurred in the country in the recent past. The questions explore whether age as a factor influences political awareness. Differences in terms of gender and socio-demographic variable exist and are brought in by Vibha to highlight the role that social network plays in building political awareness by providing opportunities for political dialogues.   Kinjal Sampat and Jyoti Mishra in ‘Interest in Politics and Political Participation’ go a step further by establishing a relationship between interest and participation and make an effort to identify a pattern if available within the sample reached out to in the study. They refer to the framework introduced by Almond and Verba (1963) to examine the level of political participation with respect to the interest indicated by the youth. The level of political participation is varied as well and this is clearly articulated by the authors. The highlight of this chapter is that the authors give information on the broader background so that the statistical information can be interpreted within a specific context. They highlight the evidence that has come forth to the idea that there is an increased interest in politics among youth. It is here that the lack of homogeneity in the ...


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