Pushpam Priya Choudhary is the president of Plurals. She launched the political movement “Everyone Governs” through the political party “Plurals” in 2020. The philosophical idea of ‘plural’ is what defines her, her ideological orientation, as well as her movement. Plurals stands against the existing political practices to re-define politics in Bihar. She firmly believes that a country which was born out of substance and firm moral grounding has moved away from it, and it is time we re-establish those fundamentals. “Politics will have to change as the future and welfare of people depends on it now more than ever. We cannot afford to be left behind. Someone needs to step up. I am going to be that someone”. She advocates that politics should be positive, productive and only about policymaking — “I only support programmatic politics”.
Pushpam Priya Choudhary was born and brought up in Darbhanga, Bihar. She moved out of Bihar to pursue her tertiary education and graduated from Symbiosis International University, Pune during 2007-11. After working in the Tourism and Health Departments of Government of Bihar for four years between 2011-15, she later moved to United Kingdom in 2015 and completed her masters in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex in 2016. Her subject of research was Governance, Democracy and Development Economics. She researched about the effective policies worldwide and the failed policies of Bihar and India. She also conducted a primary research on voting patterns and voting behaviour in Bihar in the context of Bihar Assembly Elections 2015 and submitted a thesis on “party-candidate-voter linkage mechanism of accountability and responsiveness”. Her research was highly praised by internationally acclaimed experts of comparative election studies.
Ms. Choudhary then pursued Master of Public Administration at The London School of Economics & Political Science during 2017-19 session. At LSE, she studied Political Science, Political Philosophy, Public Administration, Economics, Philosophy for Public Policy, Social Policy and Political Communication. She was also offered an opportunity to complete her second year at the prestigious Sciences Po in Paris for a dual degree, but she decided to stay at LSE — “The teaching and research at LSE is excellent, I did not want to miss a single day at LSE, let alone a complete year.”
The 2018 & 2019 AES fever in Bihar that resulted in deaths of hundreds of children disturbed her immensely. It happened around the time when she was working with Boston Consulting Group and LSE on a public-policy project for developed democracies — “The problems of public services and governance in Bihar can be tackled very easily. The governments of advanced democracies are now involved in tackling more complicated problems, they have their basic services and governance in place. Designing policies for other countries, knowing about the issues of my home state that can be fixed, was morally troubling. The burden of not doing anything for Bihar and leaving it in the hands of corrupt and incompetent people is not what I ever wanted to live with. I moved out of Bihar, but Bihar never left me”. She was always very clear and focused about what she wanted to do for Bihar since her departure — “Of course, money and opportunities are abundant abroad, but money has never been my drive in life. What I adore about London is the respect people have for each other. People are valuable to the government, no matter who they are and where they come from. Life is easy and public services very effective. I want to see Bihar like that in this lifetime, before I die. So I packed everything and moved back to my land, for good”
Pushpam Priya Choudhary, returned in 2019 with one aim — build a better Bihar and change the inefficient political system. The people who she stands against are everywhere...“When I say political class, I do not only mean politicians, it means the entire patron-client network of corruption. They are everywhere, in different professions. People who misuse the power of their contacts.” She knows it is difficult as the system has been deliberately ruined for decades and thus the network of the corrupt is very strong. “But it is not impossible, and definitely not as difficult as going to the moon or creating rain in a dessert. That has been done too. Life is difficult too, but we do not stop living eh? People do not deserve to die because of governments’ inefficiency and arrogance. Bihar belongs to me and people like me also, and as a Bihari I will not let that happen any further, whatever it takes. Moreover, there is no evidence that it cannot be done, but there is 73 years of evidence that these politicians can’t do it. I function on evidence and facts not speculations and opinions. There are some honest, hard-working people too, who want to work but are not allowed to work in the system. I want to create a healthy environment for them. When institutions are strong, talents get promoted to the surface automatically and when they are weak, only the wrong and corrupt grow on the expense of the right and innocent people.” She envisions a progressive Bihar. “I believe in my people and the electorate. We have tolerated for years. Enough is enough. Bihar will change now forever and will be governed by evidence-based public policy and positive politics. And that is definite.”
(In Conversation with Secretary, Communications, Plurals)