Published: 12th February 2021
Want to be A Good Politician? This Delhi-based organisation has just the fellowship for you
Indian School of Democracy has always offered various fellowships and programmes to nurture youngsters. And with A Good Politician, they have surely gone more than a few levels up. This is how...
For a long time now, it has been assumed that the young don't want to get into politics because they don't want to get their hands dirty. But before launching 'A Good Politician', a fellowship for aspiring politicians, the good folk at the Indian School of Democracy (ISD) spoke to over 400 political leaders, conducted 45 focused group discussions including in smaller towns like Raipur and Jabalpur to understand what exactly kept the youth at bay when it comes to entering politics. "There were a few assumptions and the pathways to politics were not clear. They thought it was easier for IAS officers or even celebrities to switch over to politics or just have to be from the right families," says Prakhar Bhartiya who started ISD with Hemakshi Meghani. So to nurture grassroots political leaders, this nine-month experiential programme is being launched for the first time. While the fellowship for 50 participants will begin in August 2021, the application deadline is February 14, so hurry!
After a three-month residential experience in Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh, the participants will be off to spend four to five days in different cities including Mumbai, Latur, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kanyakumari, all the while making acquaintances with political leaders and those who are in the field of politics. From designing surveys and research tools, building low-cost election campaigns, speech and debating skills to planning community projects, a lot will be covered via this fellowship.
Hemakshi Meghani and Prakhar Bhartiya | (Pic: ISD)
And their range of illustrious guest faculty and faculty members are quite impressive and are from across the political spectrum. Some of their past guests have been Anandiben Patel, Governor of Uttar Pradesh; Bunker Roy, Barefoot College; Atishi, AAP and Krishna Allavaru, Joint Secretary, INC. So expect an equally esteemed and diverse faculty this time as well. "Our focus remains on inner transformation with regards to finding the purpose. We also teach hard skills which will help them succeed and lead in politics and ignite a sense of community in them," says Prakhar, who was a Teach For India fellow just like his co-founder. Even smaller basic things like making a two-minute video are taught during this fellowship!
Before A Good Politician fellowship, Delhi-based ISD has conducted She Represents and Democracy Express as well, which we hear have gone quite well. And with this fellowship, they are hoping for the same. "Even after the fellowship is done and dusted we will offer alumni support by connecting the participants to the political network," says Prakhar. Though politics is linked with idealism a lot, the fellowship lends the participants a more practical lens through which they should be viewing the field. "For example, liquor distribution during elections is a reality that can't be ignored. And if you are working with the community, you can't ignore this," he says. So what is the solution? "Within political readiness, there are certain capitals like moral, financial, political and more. One must fight honest elections based on their moral, social and other capitals,” he explains and signs off.
For more on them, check out indianschoolofdemocracy.org