In an email interview, our writer Tarique Anwer caught up with Mrs.Priyanka Chaturvedi an avid blogger, columnist and District General Secretary Mumbai Youth Congress.
1. Your journey has been a rather interesting one. Our readers would like to get to
know you better. How has the journey been so far?
Yes it has been an interesting journey. From being a corporate slave to an entrepreneur to a blogger/columnist to a social worker and now a politician it has been a journey which has seen its ups and downs but everyday has been a learning process. A lot of things learned, a lot unlearned.
2. A mum, a trustee at Prayas- an NGO that is involved in educating street children , DNA/Tehelka columnist , voracious reader and a blogger. How do you manage these roles effectively?
When one is passionate about what they do everything falls into place and one manages to find time for it. Reading and writing is a passion so finding time for it is never a problem. Prayas is a trust which has many able trustees besides me who are involved hands on with the day to day affairs.
3. Your passion for books is commendable and quite evident in your “Book Lovers” blog. How does a person who is so caught up with multiple activities manage to read and blog?
Like I mentioned reading is something which I am passionate about and many a times it has been the biggest stress reliever, till date even if I have had the busiest of day, I do try and catch up on my reading before going to bed. Writing is an extension of what I read. So it has been a so far so good journey. But yes currently due to time constraints I do get lesser time to update the blog. Something I regret at times.
4. What is the most interesting piece you have ever written so far in your career?
While there are many articles that I have contributed tiIl now, some hated some loved but I believe my best is yet to come!
5. Currently you are the director at MPower Consultants. Did you always wish to be an entrepreneur? Based on your experience, what suggestions would you give to women who want to take up entrepreneurship?
Choosing to be an entrepreneur was not really planned, After 'mommyhood' I quit my job and to keep myself busy I started this small venture from home. Thankfully it met with some success so much so that it got me a scholarship from Goldman Sachs’ to do a certified Women Entrepreneur’s course from ISB Hyderabad. My advise to all women would be to strongly believe in themselves and follow their passion with as much determination as possible. The challenges are there but we women are much tougher and fighter enough to not let go easy!
6. Today the news media is undergoing drastic change because of the opportunities for independent journalism on blogs and the ability to constantly update stories online, and because many people prefer to read news online rather than in traditional formats. But there is also a constant fear of the wrong news spreading thanks to social media networks. How does one deal with such a situation?
It is a huge challenge and have been a victim of false propaganda too, despite that I feel these mediums are very important mode of communication and cannot be ignored. Some of the stories that go viral are deliberately malicious and can cause damage. Self monitoring and self censorship is one way of eliminating false propaganda, sounds naïve but can be done if people really wish to keep these modes of communication relevant.
7. What are your opinions on youth joining politics?
It is the need of the hour! We need young people in the system, the youth is passionate about the country and has some great ideas and thoughts on how to achieve the India they want and the best way they can do so is by involving themselves in the system, being aware of the political system and how they can best contribute to the country.
8. Twitter has become an important forum these days and you too have a large number of followers. How important do you think is social media in case of politics? Can it have the potential to change mass public opinion?
Twitter is like any other mode of communication which should be used to connect with the people of the country and to keep them informed and be informed. But at the same time it is unfortunate to see that twitter being an unregulated medium ends up spreading a lot of false stories and rumours too. It is a double edged sword. But if used effectively it is a great way to mobilize support.
9. Twitter has brought with it a rather nasty set of people who are frequently abusive or argumentative, popularly called trolls. Somewhere down the line the quality of debate is lost. How do you deal with them? Have these tweets ever led you to believe, “It’s time to quit Twitter”?
I have my fair share of encounters with such almost on a daily basis, initially every such tweet would get me worked up and wanting to quit twitter but then I adamantly stuck on and faced these handles the best way I could which is by ignoring them or in worst case scenario blocking them. Not that it has stopped any abusive tweets but just that it bothers me much lesser than it used to, developed a thick skin during my twitter journey!
10. Last but not least, what is your vision for India? If you had to give us three important elements for a Progressive India, what would they be?
A progressive, inclusive, secular India is my vision. Where the progress is not restricted to a few but every single citizen of this nation feels and is a part of this progress, where religion does not matter, where every Indian holds their head with pride and believes that they have contributed to the nation’s prosperity and the country makes them feel that they are important. No nation can progress if the idea is to cater to a few, no nation can grow if its citizens feel neglected. We grow together, we stick together!