More and more management graduates enter politicsApril 14th, 2009 - 12:08 pm ICT by IANS
By Pupul Dutta
New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) This is not a decision taken in haste or forced by the current economic recession. More and more management graduates are entering politics, saying this is their way of serving society.
“While being in the corporate world, one can’t serve society completely. Politics is an area where you can do a lot for the society,” said Ranjan Kumar, a graduate of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Lucknow.
Contesting from the Mohanlalganj constituency on the outskirts of Lucknow in the Lok Sabha elections beginning Thursday, Kumar told IANS that he hopes to change the country’s “corroded” system.
“Most politicians have not done much for the country. The majority of the people sit outside and criticise the government. But if one wants to change the system, one has to be a part of the system,” said Kumar, who recently left the Congress to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Asked why he switched loyalty, Kumar said: “I have seen the Congress very closely. When Rahulji (Rahul Gandhi) joined politics, people thought a transformation would take place. But despite the Congress revival plan in Uttar Pradesh formulated in June 2004, nothing has moved.”
The 38-year-old IIM graduate is also an elected vice-chairman of the Mansarovar Cooperative Bank, Lucknow.
Harsh Vardhan Chhaparia, a graduate from IIM-Calcutta, will be interning with the BJP before he switches to his high-profile job.
“I chose politics and especially the BJP because I am impressed with their vision for youth. Moreover, I want to learn how public management works. What better place can I find than in politics,” Chapparia said.
The trend is not new to this industry.
Some five years ago, Sachin Pilot, an MBA from Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, joined politics, winning on the Congress ticket from Dausa in Rajasthan.
“It was a well-thought-out decision and not taken in haste. Whatever I have learnt could be best (given back to society) through politics,” Pilot said on telephone as he campaigned in his new constituency of Ajmer.
Pilot is happy that more and more young people with professional backgrounds are embracing politics.
“It’s time the system changes… There needs to be self-regulation. Muscle and money power should be done away with,” Pilot said.
Of all the newcomers in politics from the world of management, the prize catch for the BJP has been its IT cell chief Prodyut Bora. An IIM-Ahmedabad graduate, Bora joined the BJP in 2004.
“Politics can be a platform to do some good work. The political system has failed to attract youngsters in public service,” Bora told IANS. “The image of a bad, ugly Indian politician needs to change.”
So why did he opt for the BJP? Bora answered: “Well, I am a nationalist.”
What are his future plans? “It all depends on my party.”
IIM graduates entering politics can take inspiration from Meera Sanyal, who made a transition from a banker to a politician. Sanyal, the country head of ABN Amro, decided to give up her banking career and contest elections from the Mumbai South constituency as an independent candidate.
It was the Mumbai terror attack that led her to join politics. She is pitted against Milind Deora of the Congress, a business and political science graduate from Boston University.
Another prominent management graduate in politics is Jyotiraditya Scindia, who studied in Harvard and Stanford. He said he chose politics over the corporate world to “re-energise the system and do well for society”.
(Pupul Dutta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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