Friday, January 16, 2009

Jaago Re!

I have just returned from a discovery of India train trip called Jagriti Yatra. Meeting people of high passion and integrity whereever we went. One such young man we met in Bangalore is Jasmine Shah--the brain behind famous TATA Tea Jaago Re Campaign. Jasmine is just 27, is an IIT pass-out and is working with full dedication for a key cause (asking people, especially the young Indians to vote) that he believes will tranform the democratic scenario in India. Like many of us young people, Jasmine too felt very disturbed by the state of our politics. Blaming politicians and the system has become a favorite pass-time among our people. The young Indians, especially the urban youth, have grown up to be apathetic towards our political system. Jasmine believed that if we have any right to blame the system, we must first perform our duty of casting a vote. He also wondered why in a country which has nearly 60% of its population below the age of 30 we do not have a more younger representation in our political leadership? It was one article in India Today that triggered Jasmine to launch his Jaago Re Campaign. The article talked about how the outcome of a local election in Bihar was turned around to a positive one by the sheer power of youth vote. Jasmine wanted this to happen at national level--simply by encouraging young voters to go out and vote. His Jaago Re campaign was thus born and no wonder the TATA's were there to support such a noble cause.

Jasmine hopes to have a minimum of 1 million voter registrations done by the upcoming assembly polls. An urban Indian can now register himself for voting on The website breaks several myths regarding our electoral process. Kudos to Jasmine and his team! Jaago Re Indian Youth!

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