India’s tryst with economic reform can be traced to the Budget speech that Manmohan Singh delivered as finance minister in July 1991. It is commonplace to point out the generation that has been born and has come of age since 1991 has experienced an India their predecessors could only fantasise about.
Equally, it is sobering to note this post-1991 generation will vote for the first time in a national election in 2014. In April-May 2009, when the previous Lok Sabha election took place, this generation was just short of its 18th birthday and not yet eligible to vote.
The maturing of “liberalisation’s children”, if one could coin such an expression, needs to be conflated with at least two other trends. First, young, first-time voters tend to be anti-establishment. There’s no hard and fast rule for this. There is enough evidence that young voters have backed incumbent chief ministers in Delhi, Gujarat and Bihar, among other states, in recent years. Read More