Baryl Vanneihsangi speaks out on challenges of being first time MLA in Indian politics

Baryl Vanneihsangi speaks out on challenges of being first time MLA in Indian politics

Baryl Vanneihsangi, the youngest first-time woman legislator in Mizoram is a journalist who rose to become Mizoram's youngest MLA, sheds light on the challenges and pressure of being a first-time legislator and a woman in Indian politics on Day 2 of India Today Conclave 2024 held in Dalhi. 

Mizoram's Baryl Vanneihsangi, who has etched history as the youngest MLA in the northeastern state, shed light on her inclination to serve the community and her motivation to stay relevant in the political arena. She admitted to having been born and brought up in a patriarchal society and the challenges she faces as a woman legislator.

Speaking at the India Today Conclave 2024, Baryl Vanneihsangi spoke about her decision to plunge into Mizoram politics and her life before that.

"Prior to plunging into state politics, I had the privilege to serve the community as a media person for seven to eight years. It was a fulfilling experience. The reason I say fulfilling is that many of the viewers might think that entertainment is something that just amuses you, or you have fun with and, later on, waste your time. But to me, entertainment imparts education, knowledge and information," she said.

On her inclination to serve people through politics, Baryl Vanneihsangi said, "Life of the people that I was serving through television, so I became interested in pursuing politics as it allows you to truly work for people and with people. The mission perfectly matched my passion."

Baryl Vanneihsangi, 32, not only became the youngest MLA in Mizoram but also stands as the first woman to take charge of an Assembly session in the state's history. Her journey to the historic milestone began with her victory in the December 2023 election, where she triumphed in the Aizawl South-III constituency under the banner of the Zoram People's Movement (ZPM), securing victory by a margin of 1,414 votes.

Beyond her political milestones, Baryl Vanneihsangi's influence extends to the digital realm, boasting a considerable following of over 252k on Instagram.

On having been inducted as the youngest MLA in Mizoram and the two months since she assumed the office and her expectations, she said, "I have pressure on my shoulders, the seniors, veterans sometimes tell me what to do and what not to about the approach, and I'm always in dilemma. But later, I follow my heart and hear the voices inside my head, and look back at the reasons why I entered politics. Let's see now for the next five years (as an MLA)."


Speaking about the Women's Reservation Bill and politics in India, she said, "Born and brought up in a patriarchal society, I did have a lot of obstacles even during the campaign, not only as an MLA but even as a corporator (in the civic body), which was my previous profession. But those disadvantages can always turn into advantages of mine. But why do I bother? Why not utilise it as a stepping stone to climb the higher ladder?

"When you're optimistic, you can overcome anything. Everyone asked me about women's reservations, but you should not seek a reservation just because you are a woman," she opined. 

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