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Celebrities urge youth to vote

By: By: Upala KBR, <a href="http://www.mid-day.com/" target="_blank">Mid-Day</a>
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Congress MP Milind Deora's older brother, Mukul, filmmaker Karan Johar and director Tarun Mansukhani are working on a video exhorting India's youth to vote. The video will star Kareena Kapoor, John Abraham, Bipasha Basu, Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Imran Khan, Farhan Akhtar, Karan Johar and Katrina Kaif.

Dostana director Tarun Mansukhani confirms the project and adds, "I am directing the video, Karan is the online producer while Mukul is the producer. The idea for the video came from Mukul and Karan and the biggest motivational factor has been Imran (Khan). He is taking this concept forward.

Imran is a young, conscientious actor who has these thoughts about urging the youth to vote. We do not intend gaining anything out of the video. Instead of blaming each other, we just thought it's a positive way of helping the country."

Tarun adds, "Karan had been very keen on doing something for his country which has given him so much and what's better than to ask the young electorate to vote? Voting is a duty we need to do this. This year almost 5 million 18-year-olds are eligible for votes, but where are these people? All the young stars will be talking to the camera and telling the youth how one vote will make a difference.

They will be honest about their feelings and speak what they want. We intend airing this video 10 days prior to the elections on all channels and media." Mukul Deora says, "The whole thing materialised just five days ago and I couldn't have managed it without Karan's help.

Last week, while chatting, we came up with this idea. Then I sat with Imran and we ideated more on how to motivate young people to vote this year. This will be a very strong and hard-hitting video which won't mince words or say sugary things with a sweet message. The main thing is getting the message across with a punch. There will also be music playing music we all know and love.

Most young people of today don't care about politics so the question was how do we make them vote? Even if 1 per cent of a 100 million voters vote because of the video we get a million new voters. The idea is to inspire the youth and others to step out and vote." Though Mukul has political affiliations because of his brother Milind and dad Murli (both belong to the Congress) he assures us that the video won't have any political connotations.

"I am helping my brother but the video is not about any political message or asking people to vote for any particular party. We want to make a young voter aware of his responsibilities and bring him out of his apathy ."

The script is in Hindi and Mukul has written the dialogues. "Since we had to put it together in such a time, we had B-Town's young stars in the video and it was very sweet for all of them to agree within a moment's notice." Imran Khan says, "Yes I am apart of the video along with the others. I had spoken to Karan about putting together a campaign encouraging young people to register and vote.

He offered to put it together through Dharma because he also felt very strongly that we should do something about the apathy that most young people have regarding voting." Kareena Kapoor says, "I am a responsible citizen and as a youth icon, want to take this as an opportunity to encourage the youth to go out and vote."

Deepika Padukone says, "This year will be the first year that I am voting as I wasn't eligible last year. We should all vote irrespective of the outcome. It's important to make the youth of this country understand that. If as a youth icon I can manage to influence them positively, why not?"

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