It is time we accept that politics is in an urgent need for redefinition. Far from the understanding that it is 'bad', 'negative', 'malicious', 'manipulative' and undesirable ... what I learnt is that politics is everywhere, is indispensable and the sooner we acknowledge it, the better for country. The benefits of learning Political Science in the academic domain are great. As for me, I attribute to this discipline the ability to let me think critically, not take facts on face value and question every form of knowledge that comes my way. It also helps one to be better at research and analytical skills since one is constantly trying to assess and reassess the happenings around us. Certainly, it benefited me when I became a student of Mass Communication, since a knowledge and understanding of any social science for that matter is a pre-condition for a good media professional.
Later, when I joined a PhD program in Political Science, I also realized that this discipline was flexible, that it could be linked and studied with any other domain of knowledge, that my roots in this discipline had actually helped me flourish as a researcher. You realize that politics is everywhere, everyone is talking about it or is at least curious to know what is going on in the political domain since it invariably affects the lives of individuals.
The vast arena that Political Science occupies (and I strongly feel that each Indian citizen must have a chance to learn it), incorporates almost every part of the society - culture, economy, media etc. Politics is that independent variable which impacts everything. Stay aloof on your own peril as the AAP experiment in Delhi shows that even new entrants into Politics will be taken seriously if they promise to deliver.
The practice and academic understanding of politics is certainly not divorced from each other, they co-exist and actually provide for a more nuanced understanding of the discipline.
I feel blessed and empowered as a student of this discipline. It made me into what I am! I choose to be its student forever.
Thank you Political Science!