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Building Political Activism: Young Professionals Take Charge

May 2004
Building Political Activism: Young Professionals Take Charge

Building Political Activism: Young Professionals Take Charge

Members of the Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP) Atlanta and the Atlanta community participated in a dynamic discussion about politics, its role in our lives, and opportunities to get involved, at Emory University on April 17.

The discussion was led by Dhruti Contractor, Mobilization Chair, Georgia Indian-American Political Action Committee (GIAPAC-Mobile); Dr. Arnold Fleischmann, Associate Professor, University of Georgia, specializing in Urban Politics; and Amitabha Bose, third year law student, University of Georgia.

"The seminar showed us how politics is in our life -- whether we like it or not -- and showed me the many different ways I could get involved and make a difference," said Tejal Dudwala, NetIP "Politics from the Pros" session participant and mechanical engineer from Greenwood, S.C.

The seminar started with brainstorming about how politics affects us daily -- from the time we wake up in the morning. The audience created a list of ideas of how an individual and a group could create change in government, and the speakers shared stories and real examples of how these methods are put into practice. Two themes appeared for group activity -- issue-based organizations or Indian-American political organizations.

"Politics for the Pros was an opportunity for us to educate our membership and people of the Atlanta community about Indian-American politics," said Ashish Mistry, president, NetIP Atlanta. "We look forward to hosting many more similar political education events as a service to our members and community."

In looking to the future, activist and organizer, Dhruti Contractor spoke about specific actions people could do one to five minutes of their time that would make a difference. She urged participants "to try small, easy ways to get involved and find an issue that is important and personal, and work for that issue."

Each participant was given a "starter-kit" folder including useful Web sites for information, a voter registration form, and specific information about Georgia politics. University of Georgia freshmen, Amulya Nagarur and Vasu Kaushish, said "the seminar was very informative and provided useful facts and examples."

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