This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by vikrant nirala. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

How To Resolve Conflict Between Power Politics And Democratic Politics

More from vikrant nirala

When the word politics comes to our mind, the first thing that arises is nothing but a struggle for power among political parties, political personalities, pressure groups, interest groups, etc. From this perception of politics, it seems to be an activity which can be carried out only by political parties, political personalities, and other interested groups. This perception not only misleads the definition of politics but also distorts the public accountability of political parties and reduces the importance of masses in politics, leaving politics in the hands of a few powerful people who use it to get power and try to stay in that same power.

Does politics only revolve around power? And, does politics only confine to political parties, political personalities, and interest groups?  If yes, then, why does Indian constitution enshrine the principles of liberal democracy, rule of law, fundamental rights, socio-economic and political justice, etc.? The principle of liberal democracy ensures free, fair and competitive elections with the active participation of citizens through providing right to vote, right to equality, freedom of speech & expression, right to access information etc., this mechanism ensures public accountability over the manifestation and propaganda of political parties through constantly participating  in debates, discussions and arguments. The principle of rule of law ensures that the state must be ruled according to law and every one is equal before the law and no one can go beyond the law, this principle ensures limitation of the power of ruling party and prevents arbitrary decision and discrimination. The principle of justice ensures emancipation of depriving people on their social, economic and political life, this principle imposes responsibility on ruling party for the public good. The principle of liberal democracy not only provides a mechanism for the formation of government but also provides proper function and power for ruling party through which they rule for the importance of national and public interests and provides a meaningful platform for  public participation in the decision making. These principles ensure ruling parties rule with wisdom rather than passion and instinct for the commitment of national and public interests. It is sure that politics is not only a struggle for power and confines only to political parties and personalities because if it so, then no role of people, no limitation of power, no responsibilities for national and public interest, no public accountability will be there. Actually, politics is more than the struggle for power, politics is playing multi-functional activities, politics as the function of the machinery of govt., where legitimate authority exercises its power and makes the collective decision on behalf of the nation and community. Politics as the public activity, where a collective decision is binding upon all groups of people and service is done for public good. Politics as a social activity, where it resolves the conflicts of differing opinions, rival goals, and interests through compromise, conciliation and allocation of resources, wealth and income for the purpose to set up tranquility, peace and harmony. In all activities of politics; people, ruling party, opposition political parties, interested groups, pressures groups, bureaucrats are all work together and influence to each other for achieving the national and public goals.

However, in reality, the word of politics use in ordinary life as a dirty in a sense that it is nothing but a means to achieve power at any cost and considered as an activity of powerful who are the main actors to play politics where ordinary citizens have no capacity to involve in it. so, the real question is that why does politics seem as a activity of powerful, political parties, political personalities, pressure groups even Indian constitution ensure politics as a means to achieving national and public good through providing free and fair election, fundamental rights, justice, limitation of power (through separation and decentralisation of power), welfare goals, public accountability, and function and power of govt with check and balances with independent judiciary.

Why does politics seem to revolve around power politics for political parties, political personalities, and other powerful groups?

As we already discuss politics is not only struggle for power but more than that, where all people, groups, institutions, government, political parties worked together and perform some activity for achieving national and public gaols. It means politics is the activity of people performed within the territory for achieving something. Politics is not come out alone rather than it is shaped by various factors like other activities, these factors are individual behaviour, social structure, economics, ideologies, culture, morality, and history. So, whatever the nature of politics is there it is definitely shaped by these factors either naturally or artificially. Naturally in the sense that politics is automatic shaped without intervention rather experienced e.g. Indian constitution reflect the nature of Indian politics that it should be a republic, socialist, democratic, liberal, secular, nationalist, and welfare based. This nature of politics according to the constitution was shaped due to historical experienced, cultural diversity, social structures, liberal-socialist-democratic ideologies, and individual behaviours (such as Mahatma Gandhi, B.R Ambedkar, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and other nationalist leaders). Artificially in the sense that politics is shaped by intervention through creating an artificial image of history, morality, individual, culture, social structure and economics for the purpose to achieving power and to stay in that power. However artificial is more effective than natural because it is regulated in practice which is generally experienced during elections in the form of political manifestations, political propaganda, political speeches, debates in media, social media, newspaper etc. This agenda-setting of political parties, political personalities, interested groups convert politics into power politics by controlling the people’s thought and consciousness and creating fake interests for them. Through which politics totally seem to be a struggle for power and confine to powerful.

There are following strategies which are adopted by political parties and political leaders for creating an artificial image of politics in the present prevailing socio-economic and legal condition, these are:

  1. Creating an artificial image of a political leader:

The demand of good leader in politics is more important because his/her image influenced people’s behaviour and motivate them for cooperation on behalf of national and public good by qualities of patriotism, good education, integrity, honesty, political professionalism, charisma, intelligence, responsibility, strength of character, service to the people and bravery. These qualities of good leaders show in their attitude, work, speeches, interaction, and debates.  However, In present politics of India, there are many agencies work for creating the artificial image of political leader not only they engage to create artificial image of political leader as a good leader but also creating social, economic and ideological image of political leader, for the purpose to give more benefit to political party in election. E.g. In the social image, it represents that leader belong in Hindu religion, SC or OBC or General category, speak Hindi language, worship god or goddess, these social images attract emotionally most of these groups of people who generally belong in these categories. In the ideological image, it represents that leader is extreme Hindu, an extreme nationalist, extremely moral, extreme anti-Pakistan etc, these images attract emotionally most of these group of people who generally keep these ideologies. In the economic image, it represents that leader come from very poor family, lived in harsh condition, performed poor occupation etc, these images attract emotionally most of these group of people who are poor or deprived or discriminated. In the present context of Indian politics, agencies especially political IT cell, press media, mass media, social media, party members, are totally engaged to appreciate the qualities or identities or achievements of a political leader rather than to focus on national & public policies and national & public interests. This extreme focus on the political leader at the national and local level might lead to making a political leader a charismatic leader, who is considered beyond the legal-rational system and take whatever action without any accountability and responsibility. This will damage the basic essence of the Indian constitution which ensure rule of law, liberal democracy, public accountability, political freedom of citizens and socio-economic and political justice and reduce the Indian politics into political personality.

  1. Creating artificial legitimacy through ideological control:

Every political party and political personalities persistently use and claim national and collective public good in their political manifestation during the election for the manipulation of people to seeking government power. If politics revolve totally around the political leader and political party then politics will be shaped definitely by ideologies of political leader and political party. They, after coming in power, persistently spread their ideologies in every aspect of human and societal existence (history, culture, education, art, economic etc) behind the name of national and public good. This ideological control in every aspect of human existence is used for maintaining power and build the artificial legitimacy of their action without any accountability. The means through which they achieved ideological control over human existence from convert education into ideological indoctrination, convert mass media into political propaganda machine, censored unreliable beliefs, defame political opposition and dissents, disgrace the image of prominent nationalist leaders, suppress all rivals intellectuals, doctrines and belief, allow only source of information which come from the agent of power such as governments and business-backed think tank, divert national and public issue ( e.g. economic growth, inequality, health, education,  poverty, empowerment, corruption, employment, socio-economic inclusion etc) into irrational issues (e.g. temple, god and goddess, religion, cow, caste, Pakistan, Jinnah, Nehru, nationalism, patriotism etc )  and advertise these irrational issues in such a manner by which these issues considered as moral issues of society. In the present context of Indian politics, politics has been shaped by ideologies of political personality and political party. Those who have supported these ideologies and loyal to the political personality and party are considered as nationalist and those who criticise any action of political leader and against the ideologies of the party are subjected to atrocities, suppression and most of them have got the stigma of anti-national. This ideological manipulation and hegemony not only damage the essence of Indian liberal democracy but also help to make a political leader a charismatic leader who is considered as the saviour of people as well as the nation. This ideological hegemony not only killed the principle of liberal tolerance which is the basic principle of liberal democracy which ensure and proclaim equal freedom to all citizens but also establish repressive tolerance where rational and intellectual people tolerate govt. action frightfully. This demonstrates that people are submitted their freedom literally into the hand of a political leader and make a political leader a charismatic leader who is immune from criticism and public accountability.

  1. Creating artificial fake interest in the name of national and public good:

Majority of Indian population are poor, illiterate, unhealthy, homeless, elderly, less educated young etc. These people are not capable and eligible to raise their real interest in comparison to interest groups (such as mass media, IT cells members, political leader, political intellectuals etc)  that represent the well-informed, the prosperous, and the articulate stand a better chance of shaping the political agenda and block the expression and participation of others. The real political agenda of present Indian politics to manipulate people behaviour by the creation of fake needs or interests. Fake interest is the creation of an illusionary image of public interest or real interest in pursuance of self-interest of the political leader or party. Issues like person politics, nationalism, patriotism, Pakistan, Ram temple, cow Mata, Nehru, Jinnah, Bhagat Singh, Bharat Mata, election achievements,  hated speeches based on caste and religion, Indian army in politics, lollipop promises etc, are these issues persistently insisted by political leader and party in their propaganda and interest groups such as mass media, IT cells and political debaters advertise these propaganda at local and national level in such a manner by which majority of people considered these issues as their real interest and only same political leader and party can save country and people from hostile oppositions and Pakistan. These fake interests actually control people’s thought and consciousness and create false consciousness. Political consciousness is a basic element for the use of political freedom otherwise the meaning of freedom is nothing if people don’t use it for their self-realization, self-development, self-empowerment and social and national progress. Fake interests create a false consciousness which automatic curtail democratic freedom without use of state’s hard power and literally we can say that people’s freedom is submitted in the hand of political leader and give him a charismatic status, who is beyond from public accountability.

  1. Creating identity politics in the prevailing socio-economic condition of society:

Indian elective mechanism is based on the first past the post system in which those political parties that get majority vote would be eligible to form the government. So, it is our false belief that political party purely express the collective or public interest in their political propaganda. So, whatever they claim a national and collective interest in their political propaganda, But, in reality, they create identity politics for getting majority support for their party in the election. Identity politics is that politics, where socio-economic cleavages of society become important for the politics and politicians to give them political identities, these identities called identity politics. E.g. caste-religion-ethnicity based politics, gender-based politics, region-based politics, socio-economic status based politics etc. So, the political party represent the interests of those sectional groups or give preferences to those sectional groups by which they come in power rather than they represent the collective interest of the whole majority.

This sectional based politics destroying the whole purpose of Indian liberal democracy due to following reasons, these are:-

  1. Liberal democracy ensures social solidarity, altruism, and tranquillity through providing the right to vote, equal freedom and equal opportunity to all citizens through which all groups of people come into the mainstream of socio-economic and political development of the country. However sectional based politics further intensify social and economic cleavages and help to enhance hatred, conflict, violence, and hostility against each other within society which would lead to great hurdle for the growth and development of the nation.
  2. Liberal democracy ensures rule must be based on wisdom rather than instinct and passion, it means whatever political party come in power they must be ruled wisely on behalf of national and public good, for which liberal democracy provide free, fair and competitive election for public accountability, right to freedom for debate, discussion, and argument and independence judiciary for protection of constitution. However, if representatives are elected on sectional based (caste-religion-ethnicity-poor-rich based) rather than policies based than can it be expected that they will rule wisely rather than passion? Absolutely no, because they always will be influenced or pressurized by these groups and whatever the wisdom they have, will gradually change into passion and instinct on behalf of these groups.
  3. Liberal democracy ensures people participation in decision making process for the purpose of accountability, transparency, responsiveness, and national and public good, for which, liberal democracy provides the right to equal freedom of speech and expression include right to access information, freedom of association and right to press, right to vote, independent judiciary, limitation of power etc. However, if ruling political party come in power on sectional based politics then decision making will be influenced by these sectional groups and make decision biased on favor of interest groups which automatic create power structure in politics and enhance corruption, inequality and bad governance.

These are some strategies are deeply performed by interest groups for power seeking in existing political system and rooted them in such a way through which politics seem to be a struggle for power and revolve around political parties, political personalities, and interest groups.

Suggestions and conclusion

These power politics strategies are not only engaged in to destroy the basic essence of our constitution but also destroy the importance of people in politics. Our constitution is the origin of the long struggle of independence which is in danger today due to power politics. Indian constitutional makers delivered constitution to us for its commitment and protection. We have to sole responsibility to protect the constitution and its principles from this power politics. Constitution provides principles from which the Indian nation is created, so, if the constitution and its principles are in danger then it will danger for whole nation include everyone. So, whether they are ordinary citizens, bureaucrats, civil servants, judges, students, journalists, intellectuals, politicians, and everyone have a responsibility to protect the constitution and its principles.

There are following initiatives might be taken for curtailing the power politics in the existed political system, these are:-

  1. There is need to make media accountable under a proper mechanism of supreme court because media consider as the fourth pillar of democracy and constitution provide special freedom to media for the purpose that it has to provide factual information with analysis to the fellow citizens. This public accountability will not only make media more responsible but also disseminate factual information with a reliable source.
  1. There is a need to set up vigilance on political speeches, political propaganda, and manifestations under the protection of supreme court with the collaboration of election commission and social democratic NGO’s and ensure that no caste-religion-ethnicity based contents are used during the election. This vigilance at local, district, state and national level will help to curtail identity politics.
  1. There is need to set up proper mechanism for the protection of the right to freedom of citizens under the guidance of the Supreme Court with the collaboration of civil servants and it must  ensure that right to freedom cannot be curtailed or censored until court or commission is not permitted and also ensure that civil servant must take urgent action against violators who try to curtail or threat to curtail of freedom. This mechanism will not only allow dissents to speak freely but also reduce intolerance from the society.
  1.  There is need to disseminate awareness about real interests of people. E.g. employment, good education, health, electricity, infrastructure, communication, poverty reduction, good environment, nutrition food, corruption, socio-economic and political inclusion, climate change, economic growth with human and sustainable development etc are some real interests of people as well as the nation. Awareness can be disseminated through the collaboration of civil servants, NGO’s, youth, teachers, students, and other social workers at all level (from block level to national level) and it must be ensured that real interests must be the part of every debate, discussion, and argument at all level. This awareness will not only raise the political consciousness of people but also make politicians accountable toward people.

These are some suggestions but not all, this article is incomplete without your valuable suggestions.


You must be to comment.

More from vikrant nirala

Similar Posts

By Tanvi sharma

By Prabhanu Kumar Das

By Ajmal Ali Khan PhD MCj

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Read more about his campaign.

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.”

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.

Read more about her campaign.

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.

Read more about her campaign. 

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.

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.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

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.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below