Manifesto : Indian School of Democracy
We asked a child, ‘Who is a leader?’
‘A good human being’ she said.
The power of her words is our belief.
We, the people of Indian School of Democracy, dare to believe.
We believe that one day India will stand tall as the world’s most inclusive democracy.
We will lead with a still mind, a compassionate heart, and fearless hands.
We will reclaim politics as public service, so it truly serves the people.
We will break free from the shackles of left and right, to create a tolerance for multiple truths.
We will stitch the divisions of caste and creed, religion and class, with the threads of humanity.
We will hear the silenced, stand strong with the weak, and serve the unserved with humility.
We will fight polarity with interconnectedness, inequity with justice, violence with love.
No truth will shrink us.
No hurt will daunt us.
No struggle will stop us.
We, the people of Indian School of Democracy, will always dare to believe.
About Indian School of Democracy (ISD)
ISD is a non-partisan organization that conducts short-term and long-term programs for young people who want to work as grassroots political leaders, across the geographical, political, and ideological spectrum. The focus is on cultivating i) hard skills for public service ii) spaces for inner transformation iii) community of public leaders.
ISD aims to address the lack of equal and meaningful avenues for participation by the youth in politics. Our students will go on to become politicians in villages and municipal corporations, with the goal of Sarvodaya. (upliftment of all)
(PS. Indian School of Democracy is registered as Fundamental Pillar Association (FPA) and funds raised through this campaign will go to the FPA account.)
Our theory of change: Right people in the right decision-making positions can have a transformative impact in building an inclusive democracy.
Team: Read more about the team and people behind ISD here
Why grassroots politics?
A sarpanch represents 5000+ number of people in her gram panchayat and has discretion for around 80 lakh INR per annum. A ward councillor, even in a small city, typically contributes to decisions for a budget of around 10 Cr INR annually. We want to strengthen the political leadership at grassroots level because they are in charge of the local affairs of the village or municipal council and better understand the needs of the citizens they represent.
Working at the grassroots, also allows us to bring true gender equality in politics because all states have between 33-50% reservation for sarpanch and councillor seats.
Our Audacious Goal
Our audacious goal is that by 2047 (100 years of Indian independence), 25% of political leaders will be principled.
Read more about our programs here
Three important pillars of our work at ISD
Inner transformation | Relevant hard skills | Community
Why are we crowdfunding for Indian School of Democracy?
Our thought goes back to the pre-independence day when a farmer and an officer - both had an equal stake in getting independence and everyone contributed to the work of getting freedom. We want to build ISD with these ideals. We strongly believe यह समाज का काम है, इसलिए इसके नागरिकों को इसे करना होगा (Its society’s work, so its citizens have to do it)
One of our core principles is to remain non-partisan and inclusive. For this, it is important that we don't build an institution funded by a few people with a certain political leaning or interest. Keeping this view in mind, we want to have thousands of funders, and here we are asking you to support us with any amount you feel called to.
How will we use your contribution?
- Immersion for cohort across three places in the country: 15 lakhs
- Program development (including selection boot camps across India): 15 lakhs
- Mentoring and facilitation: 10 lakhs
- Focused programs for women leaders: 10 lakhs
- The Bastion: Politics Of, By, and For the People: Developing Democracy in 21st Century India
- The Logical Indian: Three reasons why you must join electoral politics
- Efforts for good: Indian School Of Democracy: Duo To Start Institute That Mentors India’s Youth To Be Politicians
- Dainik Bhaskar
- Podcast: Leadership that Indian Democracy needs
- The Logical Indian: Untapped Political Potential Of Women In India