A school that teaches the art of the possible
What does it take to be a “good” politician? Unlike in other professions, there are no standards for eligibility in the field. However, an institution with a dedicated course to teach politics, not political science or other jargons of governance, is attempting to be a game-changer.
The National Institute of Political Excellence, instituted four years ago in the City, has set out to train aspiring politicians for the job. Established in 2008 by the GB Raju Educational Trust, the institute trains those wanting to get into active politics in history, administration, civics, oration, leadership, decision making skills, gender sensitivity and other attributes that a politician would find useful in the profession. On satisfactory completion of the course, the institute will help the candidates get into a political party of their choice.
The institute conducts classes on 10 successive Sundays. It charges a nominal fee of Rs 2,100 for the course. Some of the students of the institute have entered active politics after completion of the course. One such candidate is P Narayan, presently the State general secretary for backward classes welfare in the JD(S). Before the training, he unsuccessfully contested the Assembly election from the Uttarahalli constituency. After the course at the institute, he joined the JD(S). “I honed my oratorical skills there and I am now able to articulate my views better in my speeches,” he said.
Institute founder GB Raju, a practising advocate and professor of law, said he got the idea while dealing with many cases involving politicians in conflict with law.
“Aspiring politicians must have strong knowledge of criminal law, the Constitution and Indian history, so that they are sensitive to the social sphere within which they function.” Raju said lecturers in history, political science and law were part of the faculty at the institute.
Though the institute is gaining popularity among aspirants and politicians who seek to train youngsters in their parties, it is still looked down upon with hostility by the academia. The institute is waiting for affiliation from a university. “We have applied to many universities for affiliation. Once that happens, we will begin full-time post graduation courses in politics,” said Raju.
While only a few of the institute students have entered active politics, many joined to understand the field and contest elections in future. Raju says they have trained workers of many parties outside the course, following requests from political parties. From this year, they are planning to rope in ministers to give special lectures to candidates. Former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy is likely to take classes.