TESTIMONIAL. “At 21, I run a city of a million people in India”

Like the magic potion for Obelix, Arya Rajendran fell into politics when she was very young. Daughter of an electrician and an employee of an insurance company, active members of the Indian Communist Party, the little girl inherits parental convictions at a very young age. She was only 5 years old when her parents enrolled her in Balasangam, one of the main associations for children and young people in Kerala (nearly a million members), politically linked to the Indian Communist Party. Convinced of the need to get involved, the young girl even became president during her mathematics studies at the university.

“Students and young people must take part in politics from an early age. We are social beings. So we must have a clear opinion on the future we want for our country,” she explains. Very quickly, the student’s commitment made her an important figure in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. She fights energetically for better waste management and the opening of a health center for residents.

His confidence silenced all criticism of his age

“As a student and as a youth representative, I faced several municipal problems. The most important was that of hygiene and health infrastructure. Even during Covid-19, people were afraid to go to the hospital. I want to offer better care to all. And I think that my candidacy is a sign of hope for all the young Indians “, she will declare on Indian television a few days before her election .

An assurance and a determination that silenced the critics on his age and convinced the members of the city council to elect him. If the left has been in charge of Thiruvanantha-puram almost since Independence in 1947, this is the first time that a 21-year-old woman has taken the helm. As such, the one who is already a political beast intends to prioritize the empowerment of women and youth.

“Power is not given to you, you must take it”

“The creation of jobs and the promotion of entrepreneurship among young people and women will be my priority objectives”, she guaranteed. In a country that points to the most dangerous nations for women in the world, this appointment creates real hope in the population. The state of Kerala is nevertheless an exception in India. The literacy rate for women is around 92%, the highest percentage in the country.

In addition, life expectancy there is comparable to that of Western countries. An exceptional situation that the new mayor wishes to improve even further, while continuing her studies and repeating to herself this advice from Beyoncé, whom she adores: “The power is not given to you, you must take it.”


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