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“For Power And Money”: With This Attitude, Will Transferring Political Reins To The Youth Be A Real Solution?

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By Shivangi Dadhich:

It was so interesting to hear Meenakshi, a 33-year-old currently working with young people saying, how boring and monotonous life would become if there wasn’t an age interval of 18-25. It would be equal to not living but only imagining about-a great amount of first time experiences, energy, risk, freshness, vulnerability, vigour and spirit. Though these distinct traits of youth could be boon as well as bane for the society, isn’t it?

Also in an enriching discussion with Mr. Jaibodh Pandey, a 52-year-old foreign language teacher, it was very appealing to see how realities have been changing over time. During the era of independence, aspiration of people falling in this age bracket was so different from what it is now. 1940’s was the time for everyone to achieve that one goal of making India an independent nation, and nowadays each one has got all their energies focused on individual growth and gain.

politics for money

Likewise the understanding and association of young people with governance and politics is also not the same anymore, it is a very different ball game altogether now. It would be half true to say youth does not involve in politics at all. There are different buckets that exist in the system today varying on the basis of interests, drive, situations, and backgrounds.

Amitesh, a 32-year-old film maker feels, one has to have desperate circumstances in order to feel the need of being in politics; parallels can be drawn with Naxalism wherein the urge to fight comes from a very personal space. In the same pace, Pragya, a 20-year-old aspiring CA says, today’s youth is occupied in enriching their job profiles/career and hence there is no time for getting involved in politics.

It wouldn’t be correct to generalize that urban youth is either ignorant or indifferent towards Politics. Rohitash, a graduate from Hans Raj College, DU sees himself as a known politician 5 years from now. The interesting fact here is the driving force behind this involvement…which he says is the excitement of having power and lots of money.

It’s funny to see how there is a vicious circle that goes about in the system. It is felt that we can’t change things unless we have the power, and history reveals that absolute power corrupts absolutely, so where is that gap? And going forward, where is that lever?

By now we must’ve understood that the argument is not only about whether youth should be given that space/opportunity of getting involved in politics or not (as this won’t solve the purpose, individual interests would continue to prevail) but it’s about how to build that ownership, and social bent of mind-set so that they start participating actively from current positions in order to achieve the bigger intent of win-win solutions. The difference can only be brought when the focus shifts from grabbing position and perks for personal interests to the holistic progress (overall development).

In this context, Ashish, 23-year-old suggested and implied the fact that there needs to be enough open forums wherein discussions, asking questions and challenging stories are the very basis. This will help unravel the truth and create understanding about systems not merely at the surface level but somewhere closer to reality. It’s high time we start looking beyond the information which media splashes.

Also, when I came across Noam Chomsky’s quote-“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within the spectrum”, I strongly felt that there is a need to do something even bigger and deeper.

The 5th space-which facilitate young people to expand beyond the typical 4 spaces of career-education, family, friends and leisure by exploring a journey from self to society and back… calls for a need.
Need to develop the buy-in towards social and political system through education,
Need to reflect and ask questions not just at the level of society but also at self,
Need to participate proactively and consciously, rather than waiting for the 5 years tenure to end,
Need to leave behind the individualistic approach and look at the invisible interdependence,

In a nutshell, need to restructure the social DNA, as 5th space makes the other 4 really count.

Pericles rightly quoted “Just because you do not take interest in politics, does not mean politics won’t take interest in you”. So, let’s not allow our ignorance to become someone else’s power.

You must be to comment.
  1. __________

    Very Insightful & good to know all are not ignorant to discuss the cess pool called indian politics & to clean it one needs to get hands dirty n be aware…

  2. Ridhi Murari

    Brilliantly portrayed psyche of politics, it indeed will be a herculean task to reform the system without being affected by its harshness.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

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.

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Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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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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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

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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