Award day 03rd October 2021 @ 7PM onwards
ESSAY WRITING CONTEST
Total Prize Money INR 65,000
Charter for 1Bharat
Be involved only if you are convinced of the cause. Plan a specific amount of time to be dedicated to the group activities.
Restrict the activities to the agreed common goals as much as possible and avoid driving individual agendas/ views/projects which disrupt the collective efforts.
Respect for all members – no hierarchy, no personal and abusive languages. Maintain decorum on all forums.
Discuss and debate witing the group, but work towards a decided goal once it is done. Bring back any confusion/ question to the group for resolution.
No topics aligned to the goal of 1Baharat are out of bounds. However, all discussions need to be courteous, with a focus on build rather than counter, and as much on ideas and events about people.
Make commitments to deliver and stick to it. Be respectful of the time of all. Treat the engagement with the same level of professionalism as any other work we do for our living.
Constantly communicate and advocate the group vision and mission, activities, in all forums as possible. Focus on onboarding new members aligned to the group vision and mission.
Create content for the propagation of the purpose and views of the group to be published in digital and physical mediums.
Be conscious about the specific constraints faced by any of the members of society at large and engage humanely and collaboratively with them to make them contribute towards the group goals.
Maintain all relevant documents generated in common repositories as agreed and ensure proper handing over of the same in case of any temporary or permanent disengagement.
‘Empathy in political leadership -
are we missing it today?’
-A Essay Writing Competition
Empathy, popularly defined as “getting into someone else’s shoes”, is getting increasing currency in all walks of life. Governance is no exception.
The limitations of both trickle-down and socialistic models in bringing in all within an inclusive society stand exposed. COVID has only aggravated and displayed it in a very vulgar way.
Governance has to be radically redefined in a post COVID world – hyperlocal, empowered, solution-oriented, quick off the feet, and delivered within constraints. And that needs empathy.
Because only when look engages with someone with an empathetic mindset, we understand the real pain points and look at the real solutions. It will no longer only be an institutional intervention with standard guidelines that need to be followed, but a customized solution which into account the social, financial, and personal context of the individual.
COVID has shown the power of empathy across the world – both among the millions of common citizens who worked tirelessly against massive odds, and in sparks among the political and administrative leadership.
But we at 1Bharat believe that it has to be mainstream. It has to be the DNA, the breath, for all who are involved with the society in making a difference in someone else’s life.
And it is probably most important for political leadership. Because whatever may be our reservations about them, there is no other section of the society that affects our everyday life – through setting the narratives, through legislation, through prioritization, through implementation.
However the tragedy is, even the best among them, with all the good intent and content, many times are so bound by the constraints, provide something that keeps out the weakest, the marginalized, the ones lacking the voice.
And that is where empathy will come in. As when we look at the world through the lenses of empathy, we will start with the ones who are most vulnerable when we will work on a challenge, and that will make whatever we do inclusive in every sense of the word.
So the question is, do we have it in our leadership today? If so, why is governance so exclusive for a few? If not why?
1Bharat wants to view. On the topic “Empathy in political leadership – are we missing it today”.
Here you go.
Dipankar Khasnabish is a corporate veteran who has worked across multiple industries in management consulting, business development, and education. Dipankar is an active civic society member. He also contributors actively in online and offline.
Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another's position. Generally used to suggest feeling the pain of poverty or illness of the underprivileged but empathy can also be towards the rich and famous. It may be difficult to empathize with someone rich who suffers from loneliness or mental disorders or drug/drinking issues, but this is how alcoholics anonymous was able to succeed and at a far lower cost per alcoholic, where some of the finest rehabilitation centres failed.
Empathy is not to be confused with communism or with leftist rhetoric. In the current pandemic, rich developed nations will be vaccinated first but the leadership there can still show empathy by continuing to ramp up production domestically as well as globally to provide vaccines to poorer, developing nations which may otherwise never be capable of discovering a single drug or vaccine. Blaming rich nations for vaccinating their own populations first and expecting them to deliver vaccines to poor nations first is not empathy but vote bank politics.
So, empathy for the poor does not necessarily come at the cost of the rich. It does need to hate capitalism or business tycoons or the wealthy. The sheer numbers make the poor a valuable vote-bank but true empathy is towards all living creatures, wishing the best for all, putting oneself in the others shoes and causing the least amount of pain and suffering. If we ban cars, force the rich to take local trains and buses or to wait in line for hours for a free vaccine, that is not being empathetic towards the poor but a tendency towards narcissistic dictatorship couched in empathetic rhetoric (jhumlas).
Also, empathy is not to be confused with pity or feeling sorry for someone without the capacity to truly place oneself in that position. Feeling pity is much easier as it takes a higher level of integrity to understand to what extent good schools or 24/7 water, electricity, gas, access to computers and smartphones combine to give some of us an advantage over the majority. The understanding of how we would probably react or suffer in someone else’s shoes and the desire to devise win-win solutions can only come about with empathy, not with pity or with vote bank sympathy.
Nikhil Picardo is a legal advisor, with interests in governance, jurisprudence and environmental issues. A history buff, tennis enthusiast and avid trekker, who enjoys "good" cinema,
literature and music.
1Bharat strongly believes that Indian youth will be aspiring for transforming our country into the destination of their dreams. And we would love to provide a platform for our youth to channel their vision for this largest Democracy in the World.
As part of its efforts to create awareness about democratic values, and deliberate on the need for its continued evolution, 1Bharat has announced an essay competition with the following details among the College students.
Free Creative Writing Workshop for Top 25 entries by leading Literary Luminary.
>>Please note you will be asked for proof of age and institution if you are in top 10 of either category.
>>Please do note that to participate, you need to be between age of 18-25 as on 15th August, 2021.
1. Submission to made in pdf or word format. Please email to
2. Please write your name, phone number, and email at the top the document.
3. You may use images/ figures/ tables etc. in case that help explain your writing better. However the text, if any, to describe it will be considered within the word limit.
4. Please append all the references and sources used (this will not be part of the word limit).
“Older order should change, always and ever, yielding place for new, so that one good order may not corrupt the world.” - Bhagat Singh
"Evolution of democracy is not possible if we are not prepared to hear the other side. We shut the doors of reason when we refuse to listen to our opponents or, having listened, make fun of them."
"There is nothing wrong in being grateful to great men who have rendered life-long services to the country. But there are limits to gratefulness. As has been said by the Irish patriot Daniel O'Connel, no man can be grateful at the cost of his honour, no woman can be grateful at the cost of her chastity and no nation can be grateful at the cost of its liberty. This caution is far more necessary in the case of India than in the case of any country."
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
"Success often comes to those who dare to act. It seldom goes to the timid who are ever afraid of the consequences."
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India
“Democracy is a matter of pride for our country – something that we must always cherish, preserve and always strengthen”
We are a group of citizens who want Indian democracy to be strengthened in the overall national interest. We don’t believe that arguing and complaining using WhatsApp, Facebook or other social media is sufficient. However, if that energy can be channelized for a positive action that would be more useful for our nation.
Most of us have busy personal and professional lives and are not political activists in the true sense or members of any political party. But we are aware that politics affects all of us whether we accept it or not. We also are concerned enough to realize that a single party dominance may not be good for the nation.
Most of us are based in India but some are also based abroad in the US, UK, and Singapore, united with a vision of a vibrant democratic India. To know more about the people who came together to start this initiative please visit the team section at the bottom of this page.