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Indian Politics From The Perspective Of A Common Person

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What does a common person understand about politics in a country where people call it ‘secular’? As a common person, I know very little about politics. I do know that India has many political parties – and among these parties, the leading players are Congress and the BJP. Another thing I do know is that India is a nation with various political ideas and ideologies.  On a larger scale, these are the most common ideas most people have about politics in our country. There are a few more ideas I have about politics in India – and I will be talking about these ideas in this article.

It is a human tendency to think differently from each other, but don’t we also have mutual interests and an understanding to reach a common goal? Every time when I try to acquire knowledge on the politics and analyse it, I end my quest in disappointment. All I can conclude with is that the actions of the leading political party (or the sarkar) often do not match with what different political leaders say. I am still in a dilemma regarding whether to give my vote in selecting a leader for my nation.

To the best of my knowledge, many of our political leaders do not have educational degrees. And in my opinion, this should not be much of a topic of issue because there’s the possibility that a person might be really educated or knowledgeable despite possessing no certificates or degrees. I don’t think an educated person needs a degree to prove their knowledge or intellect. On the other hand, it’s equally possible that a ‘well-qualified’ man may not be ‘well-educated’.

So, in my opinion, it is okay if they do not have the ‘qualification’ or the ‘degrees’, but education is really important. However, many a time, the behavior of our chosen politicians really makes me question myself: are they the representatives of this country? In my understanding, political representatives should be the most well-behaved of all authority figures. But when I see them indulging in illegitimate behavior, disrespectful talks, greedy debates, never-ending arguments and criticising the work of other parties rather than talking about their own agenda and work, it makes me think whether they are illiterate as well as unqualified to be serving the nation.

Another ‘political fact’ that I am aware of is corruption. In fact, I often hear about it while talking about politics. Let’s understand this point from the perspective of a businessperson. What aim will any businessperson have for their company? It’s simple – to make their company the best in the market in the shortest time possible. If the business grows better, they will think of expanding in different states of the country. They will think about importing or exporting – taking the business to foreign shores or bringing something new to the country to benefit as their new business. This is then likely to turn into an ambition of making it to the ‘top 10’ lists in the world.

What more? Everything has been achieved. But it’s here that they can be corrupted when they try to make their brand the best in the world, or while trying to balance the quality and affordability of their luxurious products.

Despite being tainted by the tags of ‘illiteracy’ and ‘corruption’, what makes politicians so popular in india? (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Now, coming back to the issue of political leaders being corrupted – where do they want to go by being corrupted? They are elected as leaders to make the nation a better place to live in. Of course, they have the rights to make money or living a good, comfortable, luxurious life (which often comes ‘for free’ for man of them). Then, why does their greed have no end?  Again, what do they want to achieve by being corrupted?

Practically, functionally and logically, if we talk about leaders, they can be elected several times because of their ‘good works’ in making the nation a progressive space. Maybe ministry seats may be prone to the vagaries of promotions or demotions based on the productivity levels of the occupants. But whatever position they may be assigned or achieve, a politician, at the end of the day, is held accountable by the nation. Now, it isn’t the case either that by ruling India for a decade,  the BJP or any other political party will go on to govern other nations in the world. Then, why is there so much greed, unnecessary political strategies, ideologies and lust? Makes no sense, right?

Another major issue here concerns whether India really is a secular nation, as our politicians like to repeat so often. In India, votes are cast elect the leader of the nation every five years. Narendra Modi, for example, was elected as the nation’s PM irrespective of caste, creed, culture or gender or any other discriminating criteria. Then, why do we still see political parties talk about people as  Hindu, Muslim or according to other such divisions to seek their support? When the PM exists ‘for’ the nation, why does the debate of communalism arise repeatedly?

I may not understand Indian politics in-depth, but I am sure many of you have the same ideas and thoughts about politics as I do!

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Featured image used for representative purposes only.

Featured image source: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
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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.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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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.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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