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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Edition 8: Politics as Career


Cityblog has asked many children about their career choices. We did not get any response from any of the respondents that they want to become a political leader or activist. We tried to find out reasons by talking to students and young politician like Ranjit Shirole who contested Loksabha and Vidhansabha elections from Pune. Some interesting insight was brought to the forth.
Politics play a very important role in our daily lives. Our education, jobs, lifestyle, taxes are all influenced by political decisions. The youth has been exhorted by President APJ Abdul Kalam to take up politics as a career in large numbers and have been urging the citizens to proactively cast their votes to select candidates who has proven performance, with honesty as the focus.
India is a country with about 51 per cent of its population below 25 years. Youth power is said to be taking over. And with this fact, tens of millions of these Indians are expected to contribute in India's Parliamentary system. The role of youth is important in Indian politics. But this is not true, that by simply casting their votes the youth are participating in the politics of the country.
The participation of the Indian youth in politics is extremely important, but its involvement needs to be in the right direction. We know that if a person is going to enter into politics then he must be educated and should possess the knowledge of the Indian politics. Along with education he should also have a strong men power so that he can assure his safety from the other politicians.
In fact in Indian politics, it has been seen that the wards of the politicians have an easy go. In cases of Priya Dutt and Sanjay Dutt, who are the children of famous actor turned politician Sunil Dutt; Jyotir Aditya Scindhia, son of Madhav Rao Scindhia. Many others are engaged in making their career in film industry, but who knows that they could even join politics after their acting career like Ritesh Deshmukh, Chirag Paswan, Pankaj Kesri.
Even the most famous comedian of his time Shekhar Suman who has contested the 2009 Lok Sabha Election as a Congress candidate from Patna Sahib was defeated by another actor turned politician Shatrughan Sinha. After the LS election, Shekhar is now doing a TV show named “TEDHI BAAT SHEKHAR KE SAATH". So the main thing is that the names which are ecoing in politics are of well known personalities or of the wards of famous politicians.
When you ask the youth of India about politics and there's an answer straight on your face. Who wants to join politics? The youth in India do not look forward to politics as an option for their career. We know that politicians in India have said this many time on rallies, that "Children are the future of our nation"; but the correct sense of this cliché is "Their children are the future of this nation".
When students can opt for differnt kinds of career available in India, then why don't the youth see politics as a career option? The fact is that, on account of globalisation and international trade there are diverse careers available for them. A former student of DU says that, "People see politics as a dirty game. I had a lot of interest in politics, but slowly I understood that once we see the real picture, it becomes dirtier. I have done my graduation in Political Science, but in politics you don't need a degree but you need a strong back in politics. And there are also no proper criteria for the selection of a politicians. There must be a written examination for the politicians to get into the power on the basis of their knowledge not on the basis of their background in politics".
According to a media report, with 65 per cent of India's voters being under the age of 35 (included one hundred million first-time voters), the young made up a sizeable chunk of the electorate and the Indian electorate of 2009 was the youngest since 1952. So does that mean that the youth has arrived in Indian politics and the country is set to witness a drastic change?
We talked to young politician Ranjit Shirole from Pune, as to why Politics is
still a forbidden career for most of children. “Children speak out mostly
What their parents have to say on their career” says Ranjit. “Many children hear from their parents, families and surroundings that politics and politician are dirty words associated with crime and corruption. Thus many stay away from this career option.”
As a solution, Ranjit says “One should have an outlook that he wants to enter politics to do service and not for corruption and muscle power. That sounds bit moralistic and ideal but one should have a different perspective. Career is means of livelihood for everyone. Same things can be made transparent about politics. Politics broadens one's outlook towards specific needs of society. Politics also expands sphere of network and avenues of collaboration. Being in system also makes you aware of rules and laws involved. This leads to awareness and insight about many 'legal' opportunities for one to earn livelihood and growth. And when I mean opportunities they are not corruption or crime. They are meaningful, legal and they catering to real needs of society”. This is a very new refreshing angle
He further divides politics into organizational and electoral. “Organizational politics help an individual gain backing and support to follow individual interest. There are many spheres which one can make impact just being part of an organization. Example Students, environment, traffic, media, labor issues, business cells. Based on ones interest, one can take up some work. That's another way for good people to be part of process. All parties want good people to work.” He adds
As per Ranjit Electoral politics needs one to be financially stable, established to explore. But then there are some innovative ways to mark that handicap like public and corporate participation.
When asked about his own experience, he said from childhood he was interested in active politics his being fifth generation in politics. But his siblings, cousin who share same background chose other career option. It's about individual passion.
What are prerequisites for becoming a good politician; he says Education, Information, IT skills, knowledge of law and excellent inter-personal, communication skills are must for new age politician. And one should be hardworking and resourceful.
He also feels need for some more stringent guidelines of education for politicians, disallowing convicted criminals, and upper age limit for politicians as suggestions to improve system.

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