If I Were To Join A Political Party, These Are Principles I Would Advocate

The Satyashrama Sutra

The need for balanced, responsible, and informed politics, and policies, which do not take political binaries as an end in itself, is felt more than ever today.

To this end, I recently formulated the idea Satyashrama, (literally ‘Refuge in Truth‘) and a more socio-political manifestation, in the concept of Satyavad.

For the purposes of practicalities and implementation, I felt that there was a need for formulating specific action points, and directions, to realise this formulation in society. To this end, I have compiled a manifesto, of sorts, of agenda points, in what I call the Satyashrama Sutra.

Not only will this be the basis for my association with any political party if I join one, but I wish to actively work on these points in the days moving forward.


The expansion for each is given below.

I. Universalism And Internationalism

We will stand for universalism and internationalism.

We shall stand for universalism, both spiritual and secular, in the human experience, and strive to seek and stand for Satya (Truth), both relative and absolute.

At a practical level, we shall promote internationalism that will encompass both international cooperations, as well as respect for the national sovereignty of countries.

II. Basic Amenities For All

We will stand for accessible and affordable, if not free, basic amenities for all.

This will be particularly in education, healthcare, community housing, transportation, energy, and universal basic income, in the form of local currency convertible to a regular currency, based on the priorities of local administrative councils and communities.

III. Dharmocracy

We will stand for political, economic and spiritual democracy for, by and of all.

Political democracy would entail a representative democracy model, with direct democracy employed for major decisions. In the exercise of direct democracy, independent experts shall be employed for informing citizens.

Economic democracy would mean greater role and participation of citizens in the public and private sector, with profit sharing, and cooperatives being key cornerstones of this. Protectionism for local businesses and initiatives will be established. We would also like to promote international monetary cooperation and reduction of financial inequalities between countries, using organisations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

For spiritual democracy, secularism will be practised with dialogue between faiths and communities encouraged, with the spirit of inclusivity and acceptance.

IV. Decentralisation And Federalism

We will stand for decentralised structures of administration and policy-making.

Decentralisation will entail the primacy of local Councils and federal structures in the democracy. These units will have the primary role in political and economic policies for the people constituting the administrative units.

V. Taxation And Wages

We will stand for progressive taxation and a respectable living wage for all.

Progressive taxation is one of the key ways to reduce economic inequalities in society and to maintain a more egalitarian society. Taxes such as Corporate Tax and Inheritance Tax can be imposed as decided upon by the local Councils. Also, personal taxation on income tax for individuals below the poverty thresh-hold must be removed completely.

When it comes to wages, the national government/authorities and local councils must decide on the wage-bracket, (with a minimum and maximum wage), for each kind of occupation, with additional benchmarking levels being incentivised and awarded on completion, by wage-perks on a minimum amount, (that is decided by the council economic boards, based on the price of basic necessities and amenities besides those universally assured). Workers must be valued and recognised for their unique contributions, and society benefits from every worker’s productivity.

VI. Separation Of Powers

We will stand for the separation of executive, legislative and judiciary powers, and complete decoupling of religion and politics.

The separation of executive, legislative and judiciary powers are required for the country not to be subjected to undue political, legal or administrative pressures from any individual(s) or organisation(s). We will also stand for a secular model, that decouples religion and politics, and yet, actively builds on the universal values espoused by major religious and spiritual traditions.

VII. Accountability And Lowering Corruption

We will stand for accountability by political and economic leaders, and lowering corruption in society.

Accountability is important in a functioning democracy. As part of this, we would like to establish a publically-available, monthly progress report, and a quarterly interaction session with constituents by their leaders. We would also like to root out corruption of any kind in the system, by an independent ombudsman and a group of adjudicators, with powers to prosecute public servants if found guilty of corruption.

VIII. Regulated Free Market

We will stand for a regulated free market and directing the liberty of the one towards the progress of the many.

We would like to stand for the cooperative model of business and enterprise, building on the promise of economic democracy and profit-sharing, so that the workers and stakeholders have greater say in the functioning and profit of the enterprises.

We envision most businesses, particularly those producing essential requirements of subsistence, such as housing and agro-sectors, as operated as cooperatives. Businesses that are too small for cooperative management and that produce non-essential goods can be run as private enterprises, while very large-scale industries and key/strategic industries can be run as public utilities, with a primarily no-profit, no-loss basis.

Though the specific implementation can be varied, the principle of joint ownership by the people of businesses and enterprises is something the Satyashrama model would definitely have, along with leaving space and freedom for individuals to express their liberty and freedom.

IX. Demilitarisation And Environmentalism

We would like to stand for greater demilitarisation and environmentalism, with an eye towards world peace and climate justice.

We would like to stand for demilitarising the world, with a balanced approach that does not violate the balance of deterrents and proceeds, with international cooperation at the heart of the operation.

We would like to stand for environmentalism, and stronger policies for climate justice, and to address the issue of climate change. This would involve strict regulations on industries, more considerate international caps on carbon emissions based on the economic status of nations, incentivisation of best practices that promote a greener tomorrow, and an added push towards renewable sources of energy.

X. Ānṛśaṃsya and Ahimsa

We will stand for the twin pillars of Ānṛśaṃsya and Ahimsa.

The ancient concept of Ahimsa or non-violence and non-injury was made popular by Mahatma Gandhi in the twentieth century. While we recognise its importance and support it entirely, practicalities and realities highlight how it may not work always. Therefore, we would like to stand for the principle of Ānṛśaṃsya or non-cruelty. Even though some situations, such as a war on terror or a ‘just war’ as a last resort, after all diplomatic channels, and initiatives have been unsuccessful, or capital punishment for a heinous crime, may entail restricted violence, the general principle to be followed is one of not being cruel and trying at every point to resolve conflict and move towards peace and Ahimsa.

These are the ten key points of interest and relevance that the Satyashrama Sutra and Satyavad Movement stand for. In the days moving forward, I would like to work on these for a sustainable and peaceful tomorrow.


Similar Posts

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 Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’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