Ranju Darshana is making headlines because of her age and fervor. The youngest political figure in the history of Nepal, she is an inspiration to many youth who thinks they are too young to take any task. In her own word, she is here to fulfill the dream of this generation by resolving the repressed local issues. Colleges Nepal talks to Ranju about her future plans and more.
1. Why did your party nominate you as a mayor?
Being a mayoral candidate requires a lot of courage and capability. According to open candidate policy, it gave everyone an equal opportunity to file for candidacy, both from the public and within the party. As a part of that process, I filed my candidacy where I was judged by a jury consisting of a majority of non-party members. I was nominated based on the advice of the jury.
2. While most of the youth try to keep themselves away from politics, what inspired you to be politically active?
I was neither happy nor satisfied with the ongoing situation and started following political news to be informed about banda (forced shutdowns). I used to feel deep unease within myself but I could not figure out what that was at the time. One day, while I was roaming around in my neighborhood, I happen to see a card with a smiley face with ‘Bibeksheel Nepali’ written on it. I goggled the name and in the website there was a slogan, “Raise your voice against banda”. Then I realized that was the party I had been looking for. The next day I went to an anti-banda campaign at Chakrapath. My political activism started from that day.
I deeply felt the need to change the system when I had to go through innumerous hurdles in order to get my citizenship through my mother’s name. That experience made me determined to continue my involvement in politics.
3. How important is the involvement of the youth in politics?
The involvement of the youth in politics is not just important, it is the necessity of current situation. The youth are the pillar of the nation and should be actively involved in politics. Everything we do is interrelated with politics. Similar to other fields, politics has huge opportunities to innovate and make meaningful impact in the society. This should be understood by the youth. Politics creates environment for other fields and opportunities. Ignoring it never provides a solution. Politics is not a problem, but if we ignore it, then that is a problem. But if we accept politics as an opportunity, we can take the country forward in the path of prosperity and good governance.
4. What is your dream and how will you change your dream into reality?
It's not just my dream, it's the dream of the entire Kathmanduites. Our dream is to make Kathmandu a ‘Sundarmandu’ - a beautiful Kathmandu. This is only possible with the active participation of Kathmanduites in government's actions and activities.
I believe in participatory administrative and democratic system. I am not the only one involved in transforming this dream into a reality. Thousands of our supporters and millions of Kathmanduites are with me.
5. In your opinion, what is the importance of leadership?
Leadership is like cooking a delicious dish with the ingredients that are at your disposal. First, you need to have a vision of what you want to create and then work with whatever is with you/you can get to realize that vision.
6. Your message to the youth?
I would urge the youth to keep an interest in our political processes and demand what you deserve even when you are glued to your smartphones and TV soaps. And think wisely when you decide to cast your vote. With your conscious decision at the ballot box, we can change the country for the better.