Many are busy with their schedules; those willing to vote don’t know their candidates

A chat with the students of some of the city’s medical college showed they were too busy to look beyond their everyday life and bother about elections in the State. Some students said they did not belong to the region and were not interested or could not vote in the upcoming elections.

A student of the Kasturba Medical College said she would vote provided her work did not keep her away. She said, “I think so, if I am not on night shift.” She said she did not know “exactly” who the candidates were. She said that her classmates were not interested in talking about elections as they are on night shift and catching up on sleep during the day. “They are all busy in their own schedules. They are all NRIs and North Indians, and they don’t do all these things (take an interest in elections),” she said.

Edmond, student, Father Muller Medical College (FMMC), said, “I would certainly vote but the politics that Mangalore is surrounded with needs to rise beyond religion”. He said politics in the region should grow to a level of maturity where good people and good governance is brought in by “an enlightened and powerful citizenry”.

Deepak, from the same college, said he did not know who the candidates were and that since he belongs to Kerala, he cannot vote in the Karnataka elections.

Melanie Pinto, student at the same college, said, “I don’t have a voter’s identity card. I am an NRI and I have come to India for studies. I had applied last year for a voter’s identity card when the officials had come to our hostel. But till now, I haven’t heard from them. I don’t know who the candidates are.”

Varsha, student at FMMC, said, “Yes, I will vote.” However, she said she did not know as yet who the candidates were.

‘They don’t have much stake’

A factor for students’ disinterest with the polls, according to teachers in medical colleges, was that many students did not belong to the area and therefore felt they had no stakes in the State’s elections.

Subrahmanya Shetty, Assistant Professor, Department of Orthodontics, Yenepoya Dental College, said most of the students at the institution where he worked, were from Kerala and North India and very few students were from Mangalore. He said students might be interested in national politics but not in State politics. Postgraduate students were more likely to be interested in politics than undergraduate students, he said.

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