Rajneeti with Randeep

“Politics is not a job, it’s a commitment. I am an attorney by profession and if some day politics kicks me out, I can fall back on being one again.”

Mr. Randeep Singh Surjewala, Member of Haryana Legislative Assembly, sat in the Studio Chaape  with the interns and spent an afternoon, talking about politics, party dynamics, Modi and his ‘toffee model’ among many others.

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In a candid interaction, he expanded on how underrated manifestos are, which could otherwise be serious proof of commitment and accountability. “It is not appropriate for 80 year olds to draft manifestos anymore. Besides, about 90% of leaders from almost all parties do not even read manifestos,” he said.

Surjewala expanded on how underrated manifestos are, which could otherwise be serious proof of commitment and accountability. He urged youngsters to engage in dialogue and debate to contribute to the strength of the manifesto over the next few years, revealing that people below the age of 35 had made most amounts of progressive suggestions on the party’s website. “It is not appropriate for 80 year olds to draft manifestos anymore. Besides, about 90% of leaders from almost all parties do not even read manifestos,” he said. He drew upon the analogy of national leader Rahul Gandhi who was unconventional in identifying and conversing with tempowalas, fishermen, and policemen, in glorifying INC’s belief in the concept of versatile and region-specific sub-manifestos. Moving on to larger nuances of democracy, Surjewala posited that India’s democratic set up, due to its large population, was one favouring hegemonies of party leaders.

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“Sometimes personalities positively influence policy-making but they take precedence over party ideology. Sab Dilli jaane ki koshish karte hain (Everyone attempts to establish themselves at Delhi),” he said.

When the interns raised the issue of corruption, Surjewala held that it is so deep rooted in the system that it cannot be entirely stopped. Nevertheless he vouched for an empowered India that will hold politicians accountable and help prevent corruption at the least.

He was genuine in not blatantly asking youngsters to join politics but to experiment with career options and find their calling.

“Politics is not a job, it’s a commitment. I am an attorney by profession and if some day politics kicks me out, I can fall back on being one again. But do not ever depend on politics for your bread and butter. Besides, you can always strive to be a legislator, whether you are a celebrity or a common man,” he said.

by G Anju Rao

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Campaigning with the young gun, Mr Rizwan Arshad

 

It was no ordinary day for the interns of the Political Action Internship as they were busy gearing up for another round of political campaigning and this time for Rizwan Arshad – Congress candidate contesting from Central Bangalore.Mr Arshad shared his vision with the PAI team in a candid talk.

The interns campaigned at Brigade Road – the heart of the city, where Mr Arshad was expected to arrive. His prime focus was to mobilize the youth culture and inculcate the significance of voting in them. He did this by gathering the interns, who were clad in white t-shirts which had an imprint that read “One among us, for us”.

“Though it was a five minute campaign, it was not easy for most of the interns as they were subject to personal criticism from non – supporters. It was an arduous task but worth the effort,” Abhiskek Kamat, Political Action Intern

 

Political Action interns with Rizwan Arshad.

Political Action interns with Rizwan Arshad.

With the election season turning up the heat, Tuesday April 8th 2014, was yet another bright and sunny April morning when politicians had tried their best to leave no stone unturned. The Political Action Interns volunteered to campaign for him on Namma Bengaluru’s metro train service, starting from MG Road. It was a two-way journey lasting over half hour.

“We interns kept it simple with the passengers: meet, greet and promote. The political-white attires managed to grab eyeballs as passengers were approached personally by Rizwan and the campaigners,” Anju Rao, Political Action Intern

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Interns participating in Mr Arshad's political campaign

Interns participating in Mr Arshad’s political campaign

 


 

Blogs by Interns:

For a Younger centre – Rizwan Arshad by Guddugurki Anju Rao

PATRI KI RAAY : RIZWAN ARSHAD ON NAMMA METRO by Guddugurki Anju Rao

A Glimpse of Politiking by Abhishek Kamat

Interns shout, “Vote Madi!!”

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B.PAC and Political Action Interns collaborated over 2 major voter awareness drives in the city. The drives were conducted in National Games Village, Ejipura and at Nagarbhavi. Through these drives interns were expected to motivate citizens to cast their vote during the Lok Sabha Elections, 2014. Although, our interns were subjected to different kinds of reactions, some very hostile, it did not deter their excitement levels and they went on to motivate as many citizens as they could. Through the association with B.PAC, our interns learned more about what goes around during an election.

“It was a great experience interacting with so many residents. It was a responsibility we had to undertake in order to urge people to cast their votes. It was exciting and challenging at the same time,” Uday Jain, Political Action Intern

 

‘Interns meet the MP Candidates’ series

Political Action Interns had attended all three chapters of the Candidates Meet the Citizens series which was conducted by B.PAC. It was an effective forum wherein candidates were expected to answer some of the most critical issues raised by the citizens.

Over the course of these interaction series, our interns gathered a lot of experience in as to how controversies come up due to conflicting party notions, they closely analysed each and every candidate and his/her tactful solutions towards particular problems raised by the citizens.

From interacting with MP candidates across party lines personally to actually witnessing the havoc at Bangalore South’s Candidate-Citizen meet, our interns experienced it all.

Following is the media bulletin which was reported, edited and produced by our PAI Co-ordinators, Ms Shruti Kedia and Mr Yash Sripuram along with our interns Ms G Anju Rao and Mr Varun Nair.

They were also given an opportunity to interact personally with some of the candidates like Nandini Alva, Prof Babu Reddy and C. Narayanaswamy.

Our interns also helped organize the final chapter of the same with B.PAC which gave them the platform to understand the dynamics of conducting a forum like this.

“The Candidates meet the Citizens Drive gave us a platform to interact with our future leaders and top politicians. Overall, the experience was great. I’m sure with more such forums being held, the communication barrier between politicians and citizens can be considerably diminished,” Mahim Kamath, Political Action Intern


Blogs by Interns:

South Bangalore Candidates meet unexpected fury by Guddugurki Anju Rao

What went said: Politicians promise by Guddugurki Anju Rao

Political Encounter by Paresh Banka

Participating in National biggies political rallies

Every aspect of campaigning is extremely crucial to one’s success at the political front. Although the outcome of this political drama is yet unknown, it is very clear that the two leading political daddies- Congress and BJP, have be taking it quite hard with sweeping their followers by their feet.

The Political Action Interns witnessed the rallies of both Mr Rahul Gandhi, Congress Vice President and Mr Narendra Modi, BJP Prime Ministerial candidate.

Rahul Gandhi at National College grounds in Bangalore

Rahul Gandhi at National College Grounds, Bangalore

“We aim to provide superpowers to women, and provide more loans to Self Help Groups,” Mr Gandhi said.

On April 7th 2014, Political Action Interns were sent to witness Rahul Gandhi’s public Rally at National College Grounds in Bangalore. This gave them the privileges of witnessing the Prime Ministerial Candidate bring up various issues such as Women’s safety, youth employment, education etc. as well as getting to know first-hand about the vision he has for the overall development of the country. Over there, they also heard leaders like SM Krishna and Siddaramaiah deliver their speeches.

Narendra Modi addressing a public rally in Bangalore

Narendra Modi addressing a public rally in Bangalore

The nation is angry. It is calling for change and I will bring that change,” Mr Modi said.

The very next day, 8th April, 2014, our interns attended Narendra Modi’s public Rally which was conducted at Bommanahalli in Bangalore. The idea was to present the interns with different Party ideologies and understand how the public is affected by these rallies. Our interns witnessed the grandeur of the NaMo rally and heard the MP candidates speak to the public as well.

“In terms of organisation, Rahul’s dias was placed much higher where everyone could see his confident self whereas, Modi’s was much broader but lower. There was a separate section for men and women in Rahul’s rally whereas this was absent in Modi’s. In the hot sun, there was access to drinking water in Modi’s rally but this was not the case in Rahul’s,” says Ms Neha Agarwal, an intern who attended both the rallies in Bangalore.


Blogs by interns:

All We Have to do is Campaign! by Deepika Burli

It is the BJP after Congress by Neha Agarwal

Political Action Internship – Day 2

Day 2 at the Political Action Internship: Interns were given the responsibility to spread awareness among the residents of Koramangala to exercise their right to vote on 17th April for the Lok Sabha Elections. Organized by the Bangalore Political Action Committee(B.PAC), all interns geared up with posters, flyers and shouted out slogans all the way!

Interacting with residents in the area and gaining their opinion on the Lok Sabha Election 2014 was very insightful for the young interns. The mixed reactions that they received from the citizens helped them understand voter perceptions as well. They were however, faced with quite hostile responses regarding their campaign but on an overall basis were well appreciated for contributing to this cause.

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B.PAC Voter awareness drive – Koramangala and Ejipura.

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Political Action Internship: Day 1

On 29th March, 2014, Political Action Internship kick started with an orientation workshop with its mentor Prof Rajeev Gowda, IIM Bangalore and AICC Media Panelist, talking to the youth about the history of India’s 67 year old democracy. From start to end, the timeline and journey of Indian Politics till this date was quite essential for the young generation to know in order to trace the transformation. (more…)

A visionary extraordinaire, an interaction with Prof Babu Mathew

by Mahim Kamath

Imagine a city, our city of Bengaluru, free from the terrible water, land and garbage mafia, free from all kinds of middlemen, free from corruption! This, in a nutshell is precisely what Prof. Babu Mathew envisions for our beloved city.

Prof. Babu Mathew is a Science Graduate who went on to do his Masters in Law with specialization in Labour Law and Administrative Law, securing First Ranks in University for both the subjects, followed by an M.Phil., from the NLSIU at Bangalore. He has taught law at the University Law College, Bangalore and served as a faculty member of the National Law School for fifteen years. He was also Professor, Registrar and Chair of Juvenile Justice studies and the founder of the Centre for Child and the Law at the Law School. Being a grass-roots social activist who knows the real issues and his immense experience in the practice and teaching of Human Rights, Prof. Mathew decided to jump onto the political bandwagon, with the goal of accomplishing and achieving something that the city has been craving for long- accountable and transparent governance.

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