Changing The Word 'Politics' To 'Life', Would You Be Interested ?

Misao Hejang Hangmi *

The first thing that comes to our mind when the word 'Politics' is mention is 'Dirty Game'. Many people especially the youth wanted to stay away from politics because of this perception. The media also consistently puts out stories of how most politicians are corrupt. But the truth is it was not always so. As many as 26% in the first Lok Sabha and 32% in the second were youth (aged between 25 and 40 years). But in this Lok Sabha the same figure has drastically dwindled to 6.3%!

Though the youth representation in the first two Lok Sabhas looks healthy, the number of cabinet Ministers aged between 26 and 40 in the first cabinet was zero and the average age was 52 years. The average age in the current cabinet has gone up to 64 years! We are the youngest nation (average age 27 years) ruled by the oldest cabinet in the world!

Of late, though, there is a revival of interest in politics, thanks to the Civil Society movements, UN bodies and NGOs building youth leadership and ownership of common spaces. A product of this change is the number of young voters who came out and voted in the recent Delhi elections and the number of young candidates fielded I these elections by some parties and their performance.

The capital's young people have certainly come of age. Now the rest of the country needs to reconnect to politics and create a vibrant engagement. The politics of this country is poised at a crossroads. One road will take us towards leadership being concentrated in a single hero figure. The other could take us to leadership being shared and devolved to millions of people in the country.

Young people want to look beyond just voting and claim a space that is ruled in their name. why should young people be content with engaging with the tip of the iceberg the voting process rather than participate in all the twists and turns of the political story?

Initiated by ComMutiny the Youth Collective, "My Space My unManifesto" a movement that kick started by bringing together 300 young minds to discuss their vision for the world they want to co-create has now spread across 15 states in the country. Starting off an unprecendented change in the political mindsets of the youth of this country. We call it the unManifesto because like Alice's unbirthdays in Alice in Wonderland, we believe young people want to celebrate and embrace politics each day of the year.

Instead of blaming young people can be prepared to claim the democratic spaces for themselves by experiencing it first hand. This experience will give them a real world opportunity to learn about themselves, about society and about their democracy like no book or speech can offer.

Since September 2013, UNFPA has come on board as a primary supporter and partner of the campaign. UNFPA United Nations Population Fund is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA emphasizes the inseparability of population and development and focused on meeting individuals' needs rathen than demographic targets. Youth is a special focus area for UNFPA and it has done far reaching work in building leadership of adolescents and young people across the country.

UNFPA, Community The Youth Collective, Pravah, Youth Ki Awaaz, Gandhi Fellows are the core incubating partners of the campaign. The campaign is further owned and run by a rainbow coalition of 42 organisations who work with young people on a wide range of issues including, rural development, tribal rights, governance, environment, adolescent and youth development, transgender rights, government school reforms and social inclusion.

Till now, through several on-ground discussions and events, online debates and Tweethatons (Twitter chats) have received 10,356 promises as on 12th December 2013 from 5,31,461 young people belonging to a wide range of communities across the country. The top 10 promises collated from the crowd-sourced youth unManifesto so far were presented to peoples' representatives across parties to include in their manifesto.

As the campaign progresses we plan to go to 14.5 lakh young people through both on ground and online interaction. We aim to collect 80000 promises and will be approaching 40 peoples' representatives from 8 parties. The political parties are already beginning to take notice and till date 7 parties and 23 peoples' representatives across India have expressed their willingness to carry these youth voices to their manifesto making committee.

In Manipur InSIDE-North East and Young Men's Christian Association will kick off the campaign starting from last January till March, 2014 with the following objectives:

1. Learning and leadership building among youth to take informed stances and engage in everyday politics rather than just during election time.

2. An understanding among the youth regarding what is politics, how does the system work and where can I as an individual citizen influence the decision making process.

Greater awareness among the general public especially the youth regarding what is a manifesto, how is it made, what are the promises made for the youth.

The question here is cannot the political arena become a:
o A space where youth experiences democracy first hand
o Where young people learn about themselves by taking action in the political world
o Which helps youth to relate the larger world politics to their own pains and aspirations
o Which helps young people take an informed political stance

Politics is just another word of life. Aren't we already politicians in our own homes and institutions? Every act of organizing, influencing and decision making in a group is after all a political act. The manifesto gives an experience inside the ring of democracy that you just can't afford to miss.

* Misao Hejang Hangmi wrote this article for
The writer is the founder and chief functionary of Integrated Social & Institutional Devt. for Empowerment - (InSIDE-North East), also working with DKA-Austrian project Coordination North East and can be contacted at jmisao(at)hotmail(dot)com
This article was posted on January 27 , 2014.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Teinem Luira Phanit @Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • PM Narendra Modi @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Candle Light for Pravish @Delhi: Gallery
  • RTE taunts Kamuching: Mapithel Dam
  • Please dont become slave to any holy book
  • Pravish's Parents meet HM Rajnath Singh
  • Assam Rifles celebrates Cheiraoba
  • Job requirements @SKY Hospital
  • Nursing opportunity across Europe
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Education: addressing the core issue
  • Call to amend the Army Act
  • MoUs inked to boost tourism in NE
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chingkaba #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sports @Kakwa: Gallery
  • Human right intimidated by SF: Amnesty Intl
  • Bikers rally to spread awareness on Cancer
  • TB survivor resolves to make TB-free ..
  • State Level World Kidney Day
  • Course in Comparative Literature at NEHU
  • Candle Light at DU for Pravish Chanam
  • PS issue stands as litmus test for CM
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #1 : Gallery
  • Premier League coaches train : Gallery
  • Culturals @ Republic Day #3 : Gallery
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #4
  • Radhakumar's Atoppa Sansar Amada #2
  • Prevention of cruelty to trees
  • Premier League coach train NE participant
  • GoI may sign agreement without NSCN(K)
  • Manipur celebrates New Year with gaiety
  • Zeliang denies involvement in terror funding
  • Shopping: Sajibu Nongma Panba #1: Gallery
  • Stall @Science Congress, MU #1: Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba (Meitei New Year)
  • Saving Nambul: Convergence of view
  • Job @ PR Enterprises, Khurai
  • National Institute for Locomotor Disabilities
  • Seminar on 'Conflicts in South Asia'
  • Luck matters; but not always
  • On completing one year in office
  • Spectacle distribution at Loktak Station
  • DGAR visits Manipur on his farewell visit
  • PM at Science Congress @MU #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Water & color #3: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • A tribute to Stephen Hawking
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #3
  • Effect of a Sleepless Night :: Peom
  • Psychology at MIT School of Vedic Sciences
  • So near yet so far
  • Naga CSOs walking with JCILPS
  • Vegetables grown @Thanga #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Fancy Dress Contest: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Khagempalli #2: Gallery
  • Truth of Life :: Poem
  • Celebration of womanhood
  • HQ IGAR (S) celebrates 15th Raising Day
  • Jet Airways for more flights for NE
  • Publicity doing good, Garbage filth continue
  • Other issue overriding education: Class XII
  • Wortam: The Rising Young Mashangva
  • Eidi Ethantani by Eyoom :: Review
  • OMCT : UA on harassment of Ranjeeta
  • Mass destruction of opium poppy cultivation
  • Career options in printing press
  • IBSD launches hi-tech facility for farmers
  • Bangalore Yaoshang - Cheiraoba Thabal
  • Quality over quantity
  • What will the PM have to say ?
  • Zeliang gets fresh summon from NIA
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni @Longmai (TML) #4 : Gallery
  • Nengneingah, Lungkhambou :: eMing
  • Yaoshang Water & color #2: Gallery
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #2
  • BJP led Govt, not flunk in first year
  • Demand handing of Pravish case to CBI
  • PDA Govt claims false credit: NPF
  • Feminism & Path to Women's Liberation
  • Word of caution from Ibobi: BJP to listen
  • Yaoshang Cooking Contest #2 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #4 : Gallery
  • Radhakumar's Atoppa Sansar Amada #1
  • Nigol :: Poem
  • List of Portfolios : Nagaland Govt
  • Clarify: Report of Zeliang summoned by NIA
  • Academic Programs offered by PHFI
  • Cong speaks: Changes expected in future
  • One year under the BJP: Significant but..
  • Students @ Class X Exam #2 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Khongman: Gallery
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #1
  • Cry Of A Dying River...21 :: Peom
  • Manipur-Nagaland border disputes
  • Not a word on beauty on Women's Day
  • Women Religious Tour reaches New Delhi
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #3 : Gallery
  • Chirom Indira- Nari Puraskar Award: Gallery
  • Human Rights Defender intimidated by Army
  • Rooftop Solar Power Plants: Gallery
  • Home stay for nature tourism in Manipur
  • Moodle: A learning management system
  • You can't stop small newspapers ...
  • BJP show in NE State: The backroom boys
  • Moldhin Chan: A Thado-Kuki Folktale #2
  • Yaoshang Nakatheng Chatpa #2 : Gallery
  • Mapithel Dam, Thoubal River & Tumukhong
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #2 : Gallery
  • Time for "Nokphade" to go global
  • Campaign on International Women's Day
  • War between Left & Right has begun
  • Poppy plantation, destruction & missing link
  • Yaoshang Halankar #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Water & color #1: Gallery
  • Harassment of Ranjeeta (HRA) by Army
  • Women's positions need to change
  • The Weeds :: Poem
  • We now know gold was created in space
  • Issues of women's rights should be priority
  • Protection of paddy land Act
  • Thabal Chongba @Khurai : Gallery
  • Bor-keina race @Yaoshang Fest : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #1: Gallery
  • Tanushree @Elecrama Startup Award: Vote
  • Indian Science Congress in MU: Act East?
  • Fulbright 'pathways' for college leaving class
  • Job @ St. Stone Medical Devices
  • Army jawan martyred in Bongjai IED blast
  • National Integration Tour for Women
  • AR conduct Yaoshang sport festival
  • Condemns rising vendetta politics in NE
  • Yaoshang Sport - Marathon #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Keishampat #2: Gallery
  • NERIST Director post vacant since 2014
  • Dynamic Startup 3.0 at MIMS, MU
  • NDPP Legislature 1st Meeting at Kohima
  • 8th Theatre Olympics at Guwahati
  • Yaoshang Cooking Contest #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Keishampat #1: Gallery
  • Sentinel Cup Equestrian #5 : Gallery
  • Translating inclusion into seclusion is..
  • Condemns land acquisition of muslim
  • News erroneously portraying Zeliang
  • Report: Shillong Lajong vs East Bengal
  • Yaoshang Sport @Khagempalli #1: Gallery
  • LGBTQ Yaoshang Sports Meet #1 : Gallery
  • M. Shenbangpu : Akademi Award 2014
  • Tribe: A concept in a state of crisis
  • Neiphiu's NDPP-BJP alliance stakes claim
  • Digital footprints: Blueprints for detection
  • Rio refutes news about 'Naga Peace'
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Nakatheng Chatpa #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang with Governor : Gallery
  • Black holes that are neither holes nor black
  • Lingaraja Temple- Lord of Three Worlds
  • Study helps hill student make up lost day
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba : Gallery
  • Saroi Khangba #3 : Gallery
  • Chirom Indira: Highest Civilian Honour
  • Rejoinder to "MCPCR in dire straits"
  • Poppy destruction: The new norm ?
  • Stop harassment of Urikhimbham
  • Sadar Hills District Demand :: Timeline
  • Understanding the origin & essence
  • Call to reduce Yaoshang days: Make it 3
  • 8th AMWJU Sports Meet : Gallery
  • March Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Yaoshang Thabalgi Sen Khaiba #2 : Gallery
  • Stop this shaming of menstruation
  • Yaoshang Greetings from BJP Manipur
  • Self-conscious manhood: Find true self
  • Parl Secy: To be or not to be ?
  • Holi colours can cause side-effects
  • Equality matters
  • Creating nuisance on the roads
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni @Longmai (TML) #3 : Gallery
  • Cultural @ Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • Nonsense is Sense : Guv's attention invited
  • Protection of Human Rights: Resolution
  • Protection of Human Right Defender: Meet
  • Mapithel dam chapter before NGT
  • GOC 3 corps calls on the Governor
  • Gangnam style is better
  • From boycott call to verbal duel: NPF, BJP
  • Festival of Colours to Sports Festival
  • Food Processing Training @Oinam : Gallery
  • Time to ban malicious Moreh products
  • Cry of a Dying River - 20 : Poem
  • Training prog on Food Processing at Oinam
  • One year - now a doomsday ahead..
  • Thought on full five days of Yaoshang
  • Loree Kaju Luita Phanit #3 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Thabalgi Sen Khaiba #1 : Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-ni Token Celebration at Chadong
  • Sannaroisingee Numit 2018 : Gallery
  • Students @ Class X Exam #1 : Gallery
  • AoNna tEnaba :: Seireng
  • Thanga Keithel : Gallery
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #5: Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic