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10 Reasons To Believe That “I Am A Politician”

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By Pooja Malhotra:

The political season has arrived and political parties in our country are gearing up to adorn the ‘janta ka neta’ cap again. Soon party manifestos aimed at impressing the aam adami will be announced and election campaigns will begin, when party candidates (with a ‘clean’ public image) will finally pay a visit to their respective constituencies.


Some of us define politics as ‘active engagement with government and the policy making process of the country’. Others call it ‘the ability to influence the decision of a group or organization’ with words like ‘tactful’, ‘shrewd’ or ‘manipulative’ thrown in for good measure! As silent spectators, we try to decipher the relevance of all the various platforms and so-called ‘promises’ of our netas in our lives, but how many of us have ever considered ourselves to be “politicians”?

Unless most of us have been living in seclusion during our lifetime, we have consciously or unconsciously been actively involved in politics in our everyday lives. In my opinion, we are all politicians actively playing our ‘little mind games’ at our work place, with our friends and even within the confines of our own homes.

Here are some reasons that validate my opinion that ‘I am a Politician’:

1. If I’ve ever managed my relationships (at home/workplace/college) well by speaking or behaving in a manner that helps to strengthen the bond and create a better understanding or win-win dynamics, I am a politician.

2. If my sister has been denied permission to go for a vacation/ a late night party with friends, while I’ve been allowed to do the same and I choose to voice my concern & try to convince my parents to allow her as well, I am a politician.

3. If I’ve been instrumental in defusing tension or resolving conflicts that inevitably emerge in a group of people, coming from different backgrounds, different temperaments and agenda, I am a politician.

4. If I’ve underplayed my friend’s academic achievements/career developments in front of my parents and tried to save my skin, I am a politician.

5. If I work towards motivating and inspiring my colleagues with the intention of enhancing everyone’s productivity & creativity, I am a politician.

6. If I work ethically to enhance my reputation or that of my team/company/family by balancing co-operation and competition, I am a politician.

7. If my colleague is instigating my boss against me by highlighting my weaker traits and I get involved to protect my turf, I am a politician.

8. If a friend seeks my advice/opinion on a matter, and I choose to be “tactful” & not tell him/her the “real truth” because I do not wish to offend them, I am a politician.

9. If a friend asks for help and claims to be in ‘genuine trouble’, but I ‘manipulate’ the situation and give ‘genuine reasons’ for not being able to help him/ her, I am a politician.

10. If I’ve been involved in youth activities or a noble cause and tried to convince other people to support my efforts, I am a politician.

During the next few months, the media will be filled with political points made by the various candidates and the political environment of our country will be all charged up. One might consider, viewing ‘our netas’ only as “fellow politicians” who are merely announced candidates of political parties… viewing ourselves as “politicians”, whether or not we consider ourselves to be “one of them”.

And now that I can admit and acknowledge that I am a politician, I wonder why I can’t consider being more actively involved in the electoral process, to be an active ‘politician’ and help create a win-win dynamics in our country?

As Letty Cottin, rightly puts it in Family and Politics, “If the family were a boat, it would be a canoe that makes no progress unless everyone paddles”. Well, I pledge to paddle!

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  1. Social Scribblers

    Well written… I guess that makes most of today’s youth politician !!

    1. sg02

      and its a good thing to go by.. atleast for a start.. for some hope for this nation? 🙂
      pooja mahlotra, by your yardstick, i too am a politician.. and i too pledge… 🙂

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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