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Democracy Express

राजनीति से लोकनीति

Democracy Express 2023 is a 9 day immersive learning journey across the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh with 50 young political leaders who will be selected from various states of India. 


In these 9 days, participants will immerse in the regional political history of MP and Chattisgarh, and understand their electoral trends. Participants will build important political skills such as constituency and booth management, team building, campaign design, image and narrative building, value based leadership. 


People aspiring to contest local elections, current party position holders, local elected representatives - rural/urban, student politicians are encouraged to apply.


Our vision is to build a community of principled leaders that deepen their understanding of the Politics of Sarvoday, imagine an alternative to the status quo in all the different arenas of politics and find the moral courage to bring revolutionary change to India's politics.

Program Dates: 27th October- 5th November 2023

Final Deadline 24th September, 2023

Political leaders from all Indian states can apply!


Why get on the Democracy Express?

The word politics has become stained in today's world.

Elections are getting expensive, there is tough competition within the parties, and not enough opportunities to learn from the experiences of senior political leaders. It’s crucial for young leaders to find spaces of political learning, which the current political landscape doesn’t easily provide.


Skill building, reflection spaces, networking and exposure to different political landscapes, a diverse political cohort from across parties and regions will give you a push onwards in your political journey.

At Democracy Express 2023 you will:


Immerse in the electoral atmosphere of the 2 states


Reclaim politics as an avenue of public service


Be a part of community of principled political leaders across the country


Explore your leadership style


Build election ready skills such as campaign and team management

Highlights of
Democracy Express 2022

Democracy Express 2022 was a nine-day immersive learning journey across 3 states of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar. We received 390+ applications and 27 young political leaders from 9 states were selected to be part of the cohort. The program was entirely in Hindi. The program intended for participants to walk away with concrete political skills, gain clarity of their next political step, build deep relationships in the cohort to support and challenge them and for them to walk away with a few practices for themselves to stay on the path of principled politics.


Democracy Express 2022 started in Kolkata on 5th of November 2022 and ended on 13th of November in Patna. Over the course of 9 days we held 32 sessions of which 20 were internal sessions, 8 external speakers and 4 Exposure visits.


Glimpses of the Program Curriculum

The program is designed to ensure a holistic learning experience for the political leaders. Some of the key offerings include:


Skills & Knowledge

  • Learn about regional political history of the election-bound states, electoral analysis, and ideologies.

  • Build skills like constituency and booth management, team building, campaign design, image and narrative building, value based leadership



  • Immerse in the electoral atmosphere and tribal regions of the two states

  • Engage with progressive leaders and unsung heroes within the political landscape, across cities and villages

  • Build a diverse network of young political leaders


Inner Work

  • Reflect on your political purpose and values in your political journey

  • Experience processes like padyatra, shramdaan, community work with a focus on inner transformation

Who is it for?

50 participants | Age 18 - 50 years


We are looking for young political and grassroots leaders with active on-ground political experience and clear political aspirations.


You could be a : 1) Political party member 2) Local elected representative

3) Student politician 4) Political activist

5) Media person  6) Political consultant

Leaders from different parties, states, genders and social backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Please note that this program will be conducted in English and Hindi. Hence, proficiency (comprehension and conversational) in either of the languages is a must.


Application process

There are 2 rounds in the selection process

Round 1: Application form 

Round 2: Video Interview


 Speakers of Democracy Express 


Anandiben Patel
Governor, UP (BJP)


Prof. Ankur Sarin
IIM- Ahmedabad


Amul Bhatt



Aparna Mathur

Founder GLOW
We The People




MLA, Delhi (AAP)


Program Contribution

The minimum contribution to attend Democracy Express is 8000 INR for men and 3000 INR for women and the trans community. However, please note that for ISD, the actual program cost that goes behind every participant is 40,000 INR per person. This includes program design, facilitation, accommodation and travel expenses across 9 days of the program.

But as a non partisan and non profit organization, ISD raises funds to meet program needs and only takes marginal contributions from participants to provide equal opportunity to all citizens from across the spectrum. Democracy Express is designed to  add value to your political journey and we encourage you to look at it as an important investment in your long-term political learning.

We have limited need based scholarships, however we encourage participants to mobilise their networks and raise resources to arrange for their program contribution so ISD can direct these scholarships to those who really need it.

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