EP #67: Rathika Sitsabaiesan – From Politician (Canada’s 1st Tamil MP) to Professor

Rathika Sitsabaiesan is a former politician (Canada’s First Tamil Member of Parliament) and currently a professor at Centennial College.

She joins Ara on this week’s episode of #TheTamilCreator to discuss growing up in a single income household, watching her parents help other Tamil immigrants get on their feet in Canada, introducing Tamil Heritage Month with the late Jack Layton’s full support, the impact of a Tamil being elected as an MP, taking 8 months off in 2015 due to extreme burnout, how somebody in the Vietnamese community encouraged her to become a teacher; her ensuing passion for education, working in a hospital for 5 years before realizing she didn’t want to be a doctor and so much more.

Follow Rathika:
– LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rathikasitsabaiesan/)

*TAKE THE QUIZ – “What Type of Creator Are You?”**



00:19 – Ara introduces this week’s guest, Rathika Sitsabaiesan
01:27 – Rathika speaks on her family upbringing and how it led her to a career in politics, and then education
09:41 – Growing up at a faster pace as the child of an immigrant
11:04 – How shifting from University of Toronto to Carleton led her into politics
14:08 – The moment Rathika was officially elected and her immediate reaction
17:00 – What it was like working with Jack Layton
23:08 – Rathika reflects on her career in politics and assesses her performance
29:19 – Why she didn’t resume her politics career; Jack Layton’s passing
35:50 – What she would have done differently as an MP and when she considering running as an independent
40:21 – Is Rathika done with politics?
41:06 – Being involved in post secondary education and advocacy for the past 15 years
44:17 – How Rathika sees the education space evolving amidst the pandemic recovery
52:25 – What she would tell her 16-year-old self; her parents not understanding mental illness but still being supportive
58:08 – How she wants to be remembered by her friends and family
1:01:26 – How her political career is still useful in her everyday life today
1:02:11 – Creator Confessions
1:10:40 – The Wrap Up

Intro Music

Produced And Mixed By:
– The Tamil Creator
– Yanchan

Written By:
– Aravinthan Ehamparam
– Yanchan Rajmohan