Political Action Internship I

We conduct political action internships in order to give youth exposure to political and civic activities so they develop a genuine interest in stimulating change. Youth networks raise active support and awareness for politicians, and working together with politicians creates an effective means of dialogue, bridging the gap between the two.

2 Interns experiencing a public address as a part of their internship programme at Freedom Park, Bangalore

Interns at a public address as part of their internship programme at Freedom Park, Bangalore

Political Action Internship, April 2013

The Political Action Internship was conducted in April 2013. The internship enabled youngsters to engage with the realities of democratic and political process during the assembly elections in Karnataka. It was a unique programme that allowed interns to understand the complexities and dynamics of elections, including rules around filing nominations, door-to-door campaigning, analysing constituencies, researching political trends, introduction to psephology, pre and post-poll analyses, social media campaigning, liaising with the press and serving as counting agents.

The internship was very successful as it included two components, a Campaign Internship lasting the duration of the actual campaign period and a Strategy Internship that included a variety of pre-election discussions, seminars and debates. The internship started with a two-day orientation seminar which included talks on the elements of the election process, urban issues, a brief history of politics in the region, an introduction to opinion polling as well as the team joining a B-PAC march that coincided with the first day of the internship. Soon after, interns found themselves on the campaign trail. Interns were able to understand the intense dynamics of public support, party policies, election rules and expenses as well as the role of mainstream media. The internship gave youth a chance to have their opinions heard by politicians, policy makers, media and the voters at large.

In order to build bridges between the political class and society, a series of events were also conducted that allowed MLAs to interact with local people, including entrepreneurs, journalists, students, IT professionals. Drawing up towards the dates of polling and counting, interns conducted internal pre-poll surveys, with remarkable accuracy in their estimations of the number of seats different parties would secure. The internship was very efficacious as it focused on sustainability and development of society with special focus on democratic processes.

Interns Speak 

Through this internship I gained knowledge which I could never have learned in the classroom .This internship gave me so much practical knowledge that I have never encountered  anywhere else and I feel a new sense of readiness for a career after my academic study. I fell it was one of the best decision I have ever made to join Political Action Internship. I found the whole experience exciting and I am thankful that I had the opportunity to work with Prof Rajeev Gowda and the entire PAI team.
– Dorothy Sharma
Law school is a recurring series of research-writing assignments. Amongst us, are a bunch of those who genuinely believe in the process of the law, the legitimacy of a people’s government, the validity of policy made upon popular consultation, and the like. But you can’t go on believing in theory for 5 years, trapped inside these red walls with only around 400 of the same people for society. For once, I am a part of things really happening; to create legitimacy of some kind; bring about some kind of Lockean consent by getting people to vote.
– Jinal Dadiya

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