Vote of Confidence:Profiles of Young Politicians
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170 pages

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Through personal interviews, constituency visits, and interactions with their environment, Aashti Bhartia weaves a picture of India’s young Members of Parliament – their belief in the Indian democracy as well as their hopes and aspirations for the future. From Meenakshi Natarajan’s fiery days in student politics to Sachin Pilot’s quiet confidence at his colourful rallies. These are the stories of the much-written-about, as well as the rarely-spoken about leaders of the new generation.
The young politicians profiled in the book are: Sachin Pilot, Ghanshyam Anuragi, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Meenakshi Natarajan, Ajoy Kumar, Ashok Tanwar, Manick Tagore, Janardhana Swamy, Jitin Prasada, Jayant Chaudhary, Nilesh Rane, Milind Deora, Sidhant Mohapatra, Kalikesh Deo, Deepender Hooda, and Anurag Thakur.



Publié par
Date de parution 18 octobre 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9789351940418
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


of Confidence
AASHTI BHARTIA is a story-teller who stumbled upon political writing. She was educated at Columbia University in History and Anthropology. Her thesis on chaotic deportations in post-9/11 America, Reading Kafka in an Immigration Court: The Trial of Sulaiman Oladokun , was published by the Duke University Press. She has previously written for the Indian Express and Elle magazine.

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of Confidence
Aashti Bhartia

Photo Credits:
Ravi Batra: Pages 18, 34, 48, 62, 76, 90, 120, 134, 158, 170, 186, 198 The Hindu: Page 90 Getty Images: Page 144 Ashwinee Kumar Pati: Page 170 Janardhana Swamy: Page 104
Lotus Collection
© Aashti Bhartia 2012
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the publisher.
First published in India in 2012
The Lotus Collection An imprint of Roli Books Pvt. Ltd M-75, Greater Kailash II Market, New Delhi 110 048 Phone: ++91 (011) 40682000 Fax: ++91 (011) 2921 7185 E-mail: Website: Also at Bangalore, Chennai & Mumbai
Cover: Eisha Chopra Layout: Sanjeev Mathpal Production: Shaji Sahadevan
ISBN: 978-81-7436-879-9

The Man Who Became Chief Minister
Akhilesh Yadav
The Man Without A Smile
Sachin Pilot
The Man from the Badlands
Ghanshyam Anuragi
The Exacting Minister
Jyotiraditya Scindia
The Foot Soldier
Meenakshi Natarajan
The Police Man
Ajoy Kumar
The Rahul Clique
Ashok Tanwar/Manick Tagore
The Maverick
Janardhana Swamy
The Performer
Jitin Prasada
The Little Fish In The Big Sea
Jayant Chaudhary
The Observer
Nilesh Rane
The Man With The Blues
Milind Deora
The Prince And The Actor
Sidhant Mohapatra/Kalikesh Deo
The Good Son
Deepender Hooda
The Man In A Hurry
Anurag Thakur

I had written a long piece on Amar Singh in August 2009 and put it up on a blog. Amar Singh was very sick at that time. The General Elections had finished a few months earlier and the Samajwadi Party (SP) had fallen in Uttar Pradesh to twenty-three seats, from thirty-five in 2004. Amar Singh was brooding over the results. His hatred for Azam Khan and his fondness for Jaya Prada misguided him, he admitted. ‘It became an ego fight.’ Singh spent the election making sure Azam Khan, his own SP candidate, lost. He also lost sight of the larger election, Singh said in regret, and seven or eight other seats, which the Samajwadi Party could have won, suffered.
It was a rare admission for a politician to make. At the time, Singh’s house looked empty but he hadn’t been ousted from the SP as yet.
During the interview, Amar Singh said, the Congress had used him like a ‘contraceptive’ in the Nuclear Deal and flushed him out after a ‘political ejaculation.’ Later, in a reflective mood, he spoke of his feelings of inferiority while growing up and his relationship with his father. When Singh wanted to go to St. Xavier’s College, his father mocked him. When he joined a political party, his father threw him out of the house.
Singh talked about how the idea of proving wrong his arch enemy – his father – drove him for years. He always needed a ‘powerful enemy’, ‘a major crisis’, and personal enmity to motivate him, Singh told me, voluntarily revealing his psychological underpinnings, his strongest driver and his greatest weakness.
Singh was so eager to talk that when his wife, Pankaja, interrupted to take him to the hospital, Singh told her to hold on; he wanted to finish the interview first. Later, she insisted and he told me to come with them. I sat beside him, my voice recorder still running in the car all the way to the hospital.
It was after reading this piece on Amar Singh, written after one interview, that Priya Kapoor, my publisher at Roli, called and asked me to write a book on younger politicians.
Profiles of Members of Parliament (MPs) under the age of forty – that was my broad brief. The ‘Young MP’ theme rang a bit clichéd at first. However, I was intrigued by the idea of poking around Ministries, figuring out what the young politicians are up to, and clearing the cobwebs of party politics. I realized also that despite all the glossy press on ‘Young MPs’, most people didn’t know much about them. How did each of them go about elections, what were they doing in their ministries, what were they up to, in general, what did being an MP involve? I was curious to know.
The interview with Amar Singh had been easy and I foolishly assumed that all the profiles would be that simple. The thing about Singh is if you go to him for a story, he hands it to you on a platter – political scandal and dark psychological insight, all together.
The younger politicians are much harder to get talking. Many of the lesser known, first time MPs, were hesitant – they aren’t used to telling stories about themselves and are uncertain what to reveal. The young two-term MPs, often second generation politicians, have been interviewed too many times and are weary of journalists. They drop rehearsed sound bytes.
Over time, as I met MPs, I learned how to steer conversations and get a sense of what interested them. I learned to pick arguments, to bring up touchy subjects again and again, to push them to speak their minds and to talk about things they cared about. As I met the MPs for the second time, traveled to their constituencies with them, dug around them, or talked to people close to them, each of their stories developed interesting contours.
There is no job description for an MP or a Minister; each of them go about their work as they choose. I came to realize how different each of their visions are, how different and particular their strengths and respective ways of thinking about their responsibility.
Even senior journalists I spoke to admitted not knowing much about the younger politicians. In articles, the second generation politicians in particular are often summed up in one sentence or spoken of sweepingly as if they’re all the same.
However, each of them has specific strengths. I found Jyotiraditya Scindia a dedicated and capable manager, something India’s Ministries desperately need. I came to find Sachin Pilot a thoughtful, level-headed speaker, clear and comfortable talking about caste politics and other prickly subjects. Pilot could, in future, make a good spokesperson and public face for the Congress.
Even if they have opinions on the better known faces, most journalist friends I spoke with didn’t have much to say about the first time MPs, the ones without any family connections. No one knew of Meeanakshi Natarajan’s amazing ground-level sloganeering in student politics. No one I met had heard of how Ghanshyam Anuragi became a local legend in central Uttar Pradesh, before he turned politician.
These are the young people India has elected to power. They will, in the years to come, be running the country.
Akhilesh Yadav’s recent success in UP and the clamor for him to become Chief Minister proves that voters place a premium on youth – perhaps they're tired of the jaded faces they've been seeing, perhaps they feel young politicians, with their careers still ahead of them, would be more eager to prove themselves in office, or because they feel younger politicians would be more in tune with their needs. Whatever the reason, we're seeing a changing of guard.
To answer the question ‘Why Young MPs?’ in summary, I thought it would be good to know what each of their visions are, if any, their particular strength, their style, and their story. I thought it would be interesting to watch, in the years to come, how they exe

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