Democratic Spirit Shines

Kashmir Magazine

Jammu and Kashmir recently experienced its highest voter turnout in 35 years during the 2024 General Elections. Across the Union Territory’s five Lok Sabha seats, 58.46% of eligible voters cast their ballots—a significant increase compared to previous years. In the Kashmir Valley alone, turnout reached 50.86%, showing a strong belief in the democratic process. The historic participation in the UT was realised by earnest efforts of the election and security officials who had worked tirelessly to empower the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially the youth to participate in the elections. More young people have asserted their faith and embraced democracy in a big way. Another interesting perspective is the electors in the age group of 18-59 years which forms the major part of electors in the UT. The high poll percentage in GE 2024 is reflective of their faith in democracy, which is a positive and heartening development. Efforts to raise awareness through events like adventure sports, cultural rallies, and even an Igloo-themed polling station in Baramulla played a crucial role in boosting voter enthusiasm. These activities not only educated voters but also made them feel empowered to have a say in their future. The high turnout in Jammu and Kashmir sends a positive message about the strength of democracy, both within the UT and internationally. Moving forward, it’s essential to maintain this momentum by ensuring fairness, transparency, and responsiveness to the needs of all voters. The 2024 elections in Jammu and Kashmir mark a significant step forward for democracy in the UT. They demonstrate the people’s commitment to shaping their own governance through active participation and should inspire efforts to further strengthen democratic processes. The recent elections in Srinagar, Baramulla, and Anantnag had a great turnout, which has given the Election Commission confidence to schedule assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir soon. People came out to vote in larger numbers than before, showing their eagerness to participate in democracy. The long lines at polling stations prove their strong desire to express their political views through voting rather than boycotting. This trust in voting should be recognized and appreciated.