Democracy is not just limited to having an elected government but having representatives from all sectors and levels of the society, especially youngsters. Currently, we have a majority of the population below 40, electing a majority of people above 60 to power.
The country has progressed since independence, but the development would have proceeded much faster if we had had some young torchbearers to light the way. India needs young leaders at all levels, who can use their enthusiasm, and energy for the betterment of society.
Rishvanjas Rishi Raghavan
A young political enthusiast from Bengaluru is changing the scenario at his level to formulate today's and tomorrow's politics. Rishvanjas Rishi Raghavan is making sure that the young generation is not disenfranchised or disengaged from political processes, as it's significant to voice public concerns.
He is the Youth Wing Leader at Bengaluru NavaNirmana Party (BNP) and a dynamic leader who took the political plunge at fourteen while contesting as a High School Captain. The BNP is the only city party in the world.
The 22-year-old has completed his BSc (Hons) Economics and Finance from Ashoka University and is pursuing Masters in Public Policy from National Law School, Bengaluru. Rishi went ahead with his student leadership journey to college and won student council elections with record-breaking votes.
The young enthusiast contributed to the Union Budget in July 2019. At 19, Rishi was chosen to attend Lok Sabha, Parliament for the Budget Session, and has been a regular attendee since then.
He was elected as the youngest Governing Council Member of BNP in September 2021. The 22-year-old was also Invited as a panellist on Kannada News Channels to provide inputs on parliamentary bills and policies passed in the Union Parliament.
Interest In Civic Body Works
Rishi doesn't come from a political family. He was interested in the idea of representation and taking responsibility for what was happening in the country.
He spoke to The Logical Indian and shared his ideas on New Age Leadership and the importance of ward-level elections. When asked about his interest in the ward elections, Rishi said that it was the most ignored area in the three tiers of politics, despite being the area that has the maximum impact.
"What you and I need for daily life, we need a good quality of life, irrespective of our social strata. That includes safety, having street lights, waste collections, roads. Tomorrow, if I do not have a water supply or electricity, I won't be able to call the Prime Minister and Chief Minister. It will be the local body that has the role to play. Hence, it has a lot of potential," Rishi says.
Voicing Concern About BBMP Workers
According to the Deccan Herald report, the BBMP decided to consult MPs, MLAs and MLCs before finalising the city's annual budget without an elected council. This was not taken down well by the former councillors, how mayors and members of standing committees have been left out of such crucial meetings.
Reportedly, the civic body is also planning to cut down the size of the budget to ensure fiscal discipline.
The issue was flagged by Rishi, who asked the BBMP to focus on paying the contractors on time so that the work quality does not suffer. He said the corporation owed more than Rs 3,200 crores to the workers and had not spoken on how they will clear their dues.
He asked the civic body to make its accounts and audits from the past years public so that citizens know where the money is being spent. The reports will also help people to analyse the corporation's performance.
Importance of Civic Body In Politics
Rishi spoke about the importance of being in the council and how one can participate in the city's affairs through standing committees. There is a committee in BBMP on education and youth affairs.
"There are nearly 157 BBMP driven schools in the city, which are not in good condition. These schools have gone unnoticed because of the private institutions we have in Bengaluru. I am passionate about it. I am not looking for revolutionising the state's education but to bring a significant change," Rishi said.
Need Of New Age Leadership
Speaking on the importance of having new age leaders, the BNP head said that the change must be adapted according to the citizens' expectations. Today, if we need smart and tech-driven governance, you would have to elect people who understand technology. This is the primary reason for youngsters to get involved in politics.
Advice For Those Not Interested In Politics?
Rishi says it is a personal choice if someone is not interested in politics and wishes to pursue a different career path, but they have to realise that despite non-participation, they are a part of the circle. They are the beneficiaries of the policies and schemes.
"Every action of yours is causing something, but even inaction of yours is causing something or letting something happen," he says.
Through his 'New Age Leadership' initiative, Rishi wants to make sure that youngsters are participating and represented in political institutions, works, decision-making, and elections. He makes sure the people know their rights and have the necessary knowledge and capacity to participate in a meaningful way.