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Group Captain R Vijayakumar, ED, MMA welcomed the participants. Mr Peter Rimmele, Resident Representative to India, KAS delivered the introductory remarks. Ms Priyadharshni Rahul, National President, Next Gen Political Leaders (NGPL) and Advocate, Supreme Court moderated the panel discussion.
Among other things, the following Key Issues were discussed pertaining to young political aspirants:
- Does family legacy matter in politics?
- Can politics be a full-time activity or should one have a profession or business to fall back upon?
- What is the role of social media in boosting a politician’s fortune?
- How important is image building, to succeed in politics?
- Do parties identify the right people and train them?
- How can politicians tackle fake news?
- How relevant are past leaders in today’s context?
- How will Covid-19 impact Indian political scene?
- How can we make parties more democratic?
- Can young politicians take India forward?
Mr Tejasvi Surya dwelt on the influence of family legacy in Indian politics and how it offsets a level playing field and becomes a barrier for young politicians. He stressed the need for a clear and consistent ideology and personal discipline and suggested to insulate one’s profession or business from politics. “Social media can help in amplifying one’s work. But it cannot substitute brick and mortar work on the field and physically reaching out to the people,” he stated. He added that young politicians can learn from all leaders who made an impact on the polity, irrespective of their party affiliation.
Dr V P B Paramasivam said that young entrants to politics can start working from the panchayat level and that they can easily handle challenges better than seniors through personal drive and usage of technology. “Young aspirants to politics should read a lot and be familiar with assembly proceedings,” he advised.
Mr Rangarajan Mohan Kumaramangalam said that young politicians need a combination of economic, social and political capital and should have a high appetite for risk. He felt that politics is a full-time activity and recommended that passive income would help young politicians to fall back upon.
They deliberated various issues including managing the Covid pandemic, state funding of elections, making the parties more democratic and proposals to take India forward. All three of them concurred that young politicians can make a big difference to Indian politics and that they are all charged up to take India forward.
Concluding the discussion, the panelists said that Politics is the job with highest degree of dignity. Generation gap in Indian politics is shrinking, but not enough. Youngsters should catch up and enter active politics rather being passive observers, breaking the barriers, to lead from the village level up to the national level.
Mr Vijayakumar moderated a Q&A session where questions from online viewers were taken up with the panelists, at the end of which he proposed the vote of thanks.