As the Chief Operations Officer of one of the youngest and most vibrant departments of India’s oldest political party, I have a unique duty. My job, in essence, is to ensure we communicate, commit, and create. But the best part of my job is the fact I get to meet people from all across our great nation. I was given this unique responsibility, because of two people, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, MP, our Chairman and Rahul Gandhi ji, our leader. But there is another person who reminds me of the value of sincere devotion towards service each day; my best friend, my mother.
The AIPC is a unique effort, unlike any other. We have a framework that would easily be associated with the board room, not a street corner, yet uniquely AIPC works. Our fellows are politically professional and professionally political at the same time. We are a blend of political activism and thought-provoking inquiry; yet we are, and always will be a work in progress. As a person in charge of our operations, my challenge is to take the best that I am aware of, both in terms of practices and procedure, and apply it based on experience and inputs by my colleagues.
AIPC is founded on the value and importance of teamwork. From the very senior levels of leadership of our national executive to chapter activities across the country, one uniquely AIPC trait is the value and importance of collective collaboration and constructive thinking. If there is one thing I have learnt in these past three years, it is the limitless potential of bringing like−minded citizens together and asking them how they feel they can better that country. I believe it was in one of those meetings that AIPC Inspire! was born, and today you are reading one of our first products, a manifestation of inspiration.
As fellows, we are proud of our greatest responsibility; to work towards the betterment of our nation. There is no better way to do that than to commit to the values of the Indian National Congress. The Indian National Congress is an instrument of progress; it is the very meaning and manifestation of freedom. As a young Indian who happens to come from what I like to call ‘the Khichdi’ that is my family, a manifestation of India’s socio-religious palimpest, I’m proud of the fact that in this party, with my leaders, I am accepted for who I am, not what I am. My leaders remind me each day that our objective is not to bow down to the lowest common denominator, but to raise the quality of debate and aspiration for us all. In that sense, I am my brother’s keeper, what happens to him or her, affects me, my plight affects them. We are all in this together.
Over the past three years, we have come a long way. Along this journey, we have made new friends and watched others grow and take on new responsibilities. We have expanded at a breathtaking pace, both in terms of thought and growth. We have grown from a humble ‘start-up’ where I would wear multiple hats to keep us going, to a vibrant instrument that brings like-minded professionals together. But perhaps the greatest achievement we have had these past few years is the fact that we have defied all odds. Looking at just how incredible the AIPC Inspire! team is, for example, in terms of the passions and energies they bring, reminds me that every day in life can be day one.
I’ve been involved with AIPC since it is a concept note drafted by our Chairman. I think now of those all night meetings with various colleagues and stakeholders across the party trying to figure out how we can make this concept into reality. I could say that this is one of the greatest adventures I have had the privilege of embarking on. In this particular time, in this particular place, in this space of functional chaos, I find myself at home. I look forward to what the next chapter of growth looks like and the challenges it will bring on the collective collaboration that will need us to rise to the occasion.
I thank you for taking the time to read this humble submission by a proud son of two mothers: my country and my mother.