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Exclusive interview with Ranju Darshana- A Youth Politician

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Ms. Ranju Darshana is a young, active and optimistic youth politician of Nepal. She has created her own remarks in Nepali Politics as the central committee member of Bibeksheel Party. Currently, Ranju is holding bachelors in Development Studies from National College. At the age of 21 she approached her name as a possible candidate for Mayor Position in Kathmandu Metropolitan City. Her political journey started at the age of 17. She always believed that the land where she is standing today is the reason of her identity and is the reason she wants to work for the welfare of the country.

Every day she motivates herself to live up to her dream of childhood i.e. bigger and better Nepal. At present political journey is moving with a full swing now. And to know more about her perceptions in this field we has a conversation with her. Her response to some of our questions were:

How do you comprehend politics?

 During my age of inception, I had very little knowledge about politics but my understanding on it became stronger with time. I consider politics as an art since it involves a lot of strategies, interconnection, public relation, intellectuality, knowledge. It is such a bind that will not just determine how a country will function but also can foresee the upcoming generations too.

What created the undivided attention of yours in politics?

Since I was very little kid, social issues and contemporary issues that were going in and around had always intrigued my little inquisitive mind. I was avid supporter of truth and feminism when I was little kid back then.

Another thing is I was raised by a single mother, she has seen her mother and grandmother doing everything possible, staying in a society where women have restrictions to some work. Even I was put in such allegation that “I can do nothing. You have no father. You cannot progress in life, you are able to do nothing neither for yourself nor for your society”. These are the things that I hated most.

We have a lot of people who are still underprivileged. In spite of their capabilities, they are unable to do things in life so I wanted to become that holding hand.

So these are some strong factor that made my strong determination into politics. As I identify politics as something that has power to change the world.

Being yourself as a youth, who could have better opportunities waiting down the line, but what drove you to get into politics and what has been motivating you on daily basis ?

Yes, there were other side ways or opportunities on my journey but I always have a strong feeling of giving back to my country. You have to be in this country. You have to be thoughtful about this country has been my ever green dream.

If you ask me what my dream was during childhood, I used to write NEPAL in big capital letters. This means I want to see Nepal being better every single day. So this childhood aspiration drove me to politics and has been motivating me on daily basis.

Any challenges, questions or any sort of allegations were put on you, when you decided to choose politics with a purpose?

First of all, questions were raised from family that what and where I was involved in but once I recognized that this is the platform that I’ve to work upon and build myself I kept on continuing.

Another difficulty was during my bachelors study, I had to juggle between studies and politics. Also I was identified as a member of political party more than a student which make me a little awkward.

This has been my some of the challenges and hurdles.

What issue do you think is most pressing our country today and why?

Most pressing issue right now is government not being much accountable and transparent. Transparent with economy and accountable with voters about the things that they had promised to do.

Another thing is we are yet to work on gender inclusivism, social justice. Just because we are more focused on economic development we cannot live behind inclusiveness and social justice.

What would be your effort to resolve it?

First of all towards resolving it, it should be led by examples. We have been practicing it in our party to showcase others. Look what we have done so far. In our context, we have agreed to a provision that we will have 50% women in our executive head. This could be one example.

Politics is considered to be formed by men, for men and to men. So every gender has to be included. For this everyone’s effort is needed to bring gradual change.

Have you experienced political development in the last few years in our country?

In context of Nepal, alignment of two groups of CPN as a single party is good thing. Another thing is the local election that was conducted after time gap of 2 decades is very remarkable. Also the provision of securing 40% position for women is a historic thing in itself.

Do you think youth in our country are politically aware?

No, they are not much aware. They are aware in very little way but they do not tend to showcase such interest in it. They think that politics won’t change their life but it has been doing to much extent.

And since there is my influence among my family and friends so they are politically aware to some extent.

Why do you think there is importance of youth involvement into politics considering the present context of Nepal?

 There is the greatest need of youth into politics, whenever they are align with politics then only there is smooth pathway. Youths are considered to be the most updated generation. Now it’s a high time to level up politics with their effort because how they will be in coming years and what will be the condition of upcoming generations is to be determined. The one who were involved priory have no longer time in this field. So youth and politics are inseparable and their involvement has to be inevitable.

 Do you see any relatedness existing between government and youth in terms of addressing problems of youth through concerned level? 

 I think to some extent certain percentage of gap filling activities have been done by present government such as youth employment program and youth in parliament this gives a shine of positive hopes. Having said that, the effort from certain level of government is not enough, every family needs to discuss about youth in politics. Every parents need to support their children if they wish to involve in politics. Then only youths into politics can get success.

When we talk about young people and politics, social media always comes up. It has been also notified as a key factor in recent political uprising in context to western political scenario. But how has social media influenced youth engagement and democracy here in Nepal?

In Nepal’s context, this factor was not helpful before but it’s being helpful presently. If we see in our party also, it was the first party to have its own official Facebook page. We used to be accused as Facebook party but trend has been set out that now every party has its own Facebook page. Everyone is getting into this platform because social media has been part of our life now. Before TV was the easy access for people so TV was part of our life. Thus, it has been influencing a lot.

How do you attract youth and overcome the Nepal public cynicism that politics isn’t a dirty game?

For them I will say that; Just see ourselves , we are at frontline. If we see in our party also me being youth is the front face, its someone like me who is the main leader. What else could be bigger motivation than this? Also, there has to be little effort from youth’s side too. Having said that we’ve been trying to write things up that would interest youth.

What political changes do you foresee in future and who must do what?

I think few years down the line, there has to be a lot of youths in the Parliament. There should be youths presence in some distinguished position as country leader and this is possible only when people alike reading this interview take an initiative.

As a young people, what can you do to change the existing political scenario of Nepal and what message would you like to give to others? 

To present youth, I would say that it’s okay if you don’t want to come into politics. But don’t say that politics is not my cup of tea. If you make small effort then change is possible. If you even develop interest to some extent, you start to speak up. When you start to speak up, you aware people around you.

Another thing is constitution has secured a tool i.e. Right to information. So use that tool to gain some core information regarding government, NGOs. So on that basis you can do something for what’s wrong is happening. But first and foremost youth yourself need to be active.

-Madhusudan Dhakal