Meet the youngsters who took the plunge

Get to know a whole host of Bengaluru's dynamic 'gennext' politicians and political campaigners. And don't miss our story on 'Young netas'.

Young, spirited and raring to go. Bangalore’s politics has probably never seen so many young faces. Some hail from political families, some young guns running their own firms, a marketing executive, a financial expert, a film producer, some self-made first timers who have worked their on way, and some are students. 2009 may be indeed the year that sets the trend from national to local.

Citizen Matters spoke to a number of ‘gennext’ politicians and political campaigners on their heeding the call of politics and their outlook for the upcoming council elections. Your future corporator or even MP may be one of them. Meet the new faces of the city’s political scene. All pictures were taken by the authors. 

See also: Young netas look forward to city council polls article for the story.

Name: M Venkatesh

Age: 28

Resides in: Malleswaram

Party Affiliation: BJP

Political Aspirations: Will stand for council elections (probably from Kodandaram ward or Dattatreya ward in Malleswaram)

Current occupation: Family business of silk saree shops in the city  

Venkatesh At 16, I completed my SSLC. I looked big, so they made me the General Secretary of the ward. They didn’t know I could not even vote then. That’s when I started. I have also worked with the RSS. In Dattatreya ward, BJP did not win in two consecutive terms. All of us finally helped the BJP win eventually. We have to learn patience from our senior leaders in the party. I have known Ananth Kumar from a very long time. 

I think we should have a councillor so that people from all areas can go to him with problems. The public cannot meet the BBMP commissioner or any other Engineer. What’s the point? First have council elections.

Give an opportunity to youngsters. We have many years ahead of us. Give opportunity to people between the age of 30 and 40. What will a 60-year-old person do? I’m not asking anyone to give me an opportunity. I’m just 28. Give those between 30-40 an opportunity. 

During the LS elections, I slept for barely two hours each day. We have our constituency meeting on Wednesday and Thursday between 7PM and 9PM. We decide what to do for that week. I’ve worked for nine elections throughout the state.  All for the BJP, no one else. I encourage my friends to join the party.

Before elections, we help the MLA with each ward. After elections that MLA will get new people. They should remember us. We are hard workers. We won’t leave the BJP. We have big aims. We can go a long way. We have the mind and education. If our party gives us a seat with confidence, we will definitely win it. 

There are three parties in my house: father in Congress, brother with Janata Dal, I’m in BJP. My mother is a Stree Shakthi leader. There’s a politics team in my house.

Name: G R Vishwanath   

Age: 29

Resides in: IISc Campus

Party Affiliation: BJP

Political Aspirations: Will be standing for council (most probably from Malleshwaram)

Current occupation:  Land investor, film producer.  

VishwanathI was not interested to join (politics). I volunteered in last year’s elections. Venkatesh asked me to join. I was with the Janata Party in 2004. I was the General Secretary for Bangalore. I lost interest then. I always had respect for the BJP. I was always helping indirectly with organising activities. I know many politicians and ministers. But I never go to them for any help.  

The good thing about the BJP is that whenever there is a strike, we always say “Bharath Mata ki Jai”. Very rarely do you hear us say “Vajpayee ki Jai”. Others say, “Sonia ki Jai, Rahul ki Jai”. We have that togetherness in our party. 

We should have a call centre where you can call and register complaints. It should be one single number for all kinds of problems. Now we have so many different numbers for different things. Nobody remembers these numbers.

Give opportunity to youngsters. We are ambitious. We can’t sleep if we don’t finish our work. If we aren’t working, you will catch us in PVR or Inox.

I studied BBM in Vidya Vahini College. I followed my father’s footsteps. I was the unopposed President of my college for five years. First year, one girl stood against me. But later she withdrew. I do work. I don’t like making it public.

I got married when I was 23. Most people don’t want to get married until they are settled. For me, everything clicked only after my marriage.

I have reached here without any investment. You need to have a positive mind. I worked like a dog. I knew I’ll go somewhere one day. I’ll always keep my word. Our principles will work for us.

Name: Nizammudin Ahmed

Age: 26

Resides in: Queen’s Road

Party Affiliation: Congress

Political Aspirations: To contest in the next Lok Sabha polls

Current occupation: Director of CandyCo, a Nagpur-based confectionary unit. Graduated from Baldwins College with B Com.  

Nizamuddin If you don’t have an idol or a person pushing you, you can’t do it (politics). A lot of people are getting into politics. For a youngster to get into politics, it takes a lot. It’s Rahul Gandhi’s call. See, to reach the top brass is not easy. In state politics, there is no encouragement at all, in any party for that matter. I chose Congress because of the ideology – secularism – and it’s a national party. I’ve been here for about 5-6 months. I have had no prior experience. Colleges should take initiative to encourage students to take up politics. I belong to a political family. 

I campaigned with Dr Sangliana, going with the candidate, I went through the entire process. I was also there when the counting took place. But as a young member voices go unheard. If you are close to some candidate it might be considered. I think a lot of money is involved in winning elections.

Even to get a corporator ticket, it is difficult. If I get it, I’ll first work on pending issues and then on promoting youth. If some politician recognises me, I see myself contesting, otherwise I’ll be struggling. It is discouraging because you have to be of service to the politician in order to go up, you aren’t serving the people.  

With regards to BBMP elections there is no work because quality of people contesting is pathetic, you can’t interact with them. 

It is disheartening to know that people don’t see the quality of a person. People only see money. People are becoming non-secular. Nothing against the BJP, but ideology is the main thing. The intention is not right. You need a lot of money to be a politician. 

Name: K R Venkatesh Gowda

Age: 35

Resides in: Girinagar

Party Affiliation: Started with ABVP, now Congress

Political Aspirations: Wants to contest for council elections

Current occupation: State General Secretary of the Youth Congress, runs an NGO, law graduate

Venkatesh Gowda My father is a bureaucrat. I was born in Shimoga. I was good in academics. In 1989-90, politics was on a high. ABVP and all were really popular. Shimoga is a centre of politics. I participated in a lot of extra curricular activities in college. Debates, public speaking and all that. I was also good in Kannada. We were caught in politics during this time. When we attended these programmes, parties used to campaign at events like these. I was briefly with ABVP, but I smelt casteism. I started raising my voice. I then left. 

Most of my friends got into politics. I started a student organisation with my friends in 1990 called Vishwa Manava Parishad. I was alone here ( in the student organisation). I failed to keep my team. I did my BSc at the Sahyadri Science College in Shimoga. I slowly entered the Congress. I had to merge with someone, so I joined the Congress in 1991.  

In 1998 I did my LLB from the R L Law College in Davanagere. In 1999 I came to Bangalore.  I thought I’ll practice law. But my work in politics is a lot. In 1999, I became the State General Secretary of the Youth Congress. I also run an NGO called Prerna Foundation.  

In 2004, I attended the Youth Parliament, where I was the Health Minister. The topic that year was HIV AIDS. 

Krishna Byregowda has given us maximum exposure. Rahul Gandhi has given us this opportunity. We had a nice time campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections.

Our manifesto for the council elections will be focusing on youth and women. We will have a campaign workshop next month (August 2009) for aspirants. This will be about how to tackle the BJP, regional forces, independent candidates and the money force. We will come up with solutions to make ward committees.

Krishna Byregowda is my role model. I want to take this as a positive challenge. I am doing the groundwork now.   

I’m from a middle class family. I don’t have any influence here. But politics is a waiting game. You have to wait. You can’t be desperate. Your approach needs to be clear. Go through the right channel. I can’t afford to be a personal secretary to Krishna Byregowda. I’ve got my freedom. Most of the time, we limit ourselves. Your actions should prove your mettle. You can’t just talk.  

Initially my family did not accept (my getting into politics). I’ve been convincing them and they have also seen my consistency. I’m a first generation politician, so it is difficult. Now they are happy.

In Bangalore, you can do a number of experiments because people are open-minded here. Think of permanent solutions. My focus – population is not a problem, you need to utilise the strength in a positive way.  

Local youths are lazy. Outsiders who come here are more successful. Our youth should be more open and be energetic. It’s just that they don’t know what to do. They are guided by, I don’t want name them, by regional forces. They don’t know much about NGO work. If you don’t like Congress, do something at least, make your own party. I want them to get jobs. I want to guide them.  

In the recent Lok Sabha elections there was no money and liquor. Krishna Byregowda was sure of this. He believed in door-to-door campaigns. He believed in us. He took advice from us. But he also gave us an opportunity, the youth. He told us to use this to develop our promotion in specific wards, for a one-to-one relation. So we actually did some of our campaigning that time itself.

Name: Chetan Gowda

Age: 27

Resides in: Padmanabhanagar

Party Affiliation: Congress

Political Aspirations: Aspirant for council elections

Current occupation:  Runs a school – Royale Concorde International School, Kammanahalli; State General Secretary of the Youth Congress 

Chetan Gowda I am from a political background. I did my M A in Political Science. I am one of the youngest on the Youth Congress Committee. I am the General Secretary of the Youth Congress [there are many General Secretaries in Congress]. I joined the Congress in 2000 when Dinesh Gundu Rao was the General Secretary of the Youth Congress. My father is a former MLA. Politics is in my blood. I believe in Rahul Gandhi’s leadership.  

My campaigning experience was challenging. Our high command should have announced Krishna Byregowda’s name earlier. Right now, BJP is in power, so it was easy for them to win. They also have money power. But it was a good experience. We went door-to-door explaining the benefits to people. 

My mother is not happy with my decision to join politics. She has seen my father be in politics for so long. She didn’t have a personal life. She didn’t want me to get into the same thing. But my ambition is to become a good politician.

My interaction with our party candidate has been very good. He is our Rahul Gandhi. We give in our views. That’s why we are enthusiastic.  

I want to make every facility given by the government simpler. Every voter should get everything. Every problem should be addressed immediately.  

Rahul Gandhi has given youngsters an opportunity. Once we contest and win elections, I want to make something. I’m doing my groundwork now. I’m ready to contest from any ward.

We will reach a level with our dynamic leaders. Given an opportunity, I’m ready to work anywhere. (When asked if his ambitions are to go national, he looks up at the sky.)

Name: Kiran Kumar BS

Age: 33

Resides in: Kempegowdanagar

Party Affiliation: Congress

Political Aspirations: Would be contesting for council elections

Current occupation: State General Secretary of Youth Congress 

Kiran Kumar I am not from a political family. But our family has always supported the Congress. I am the State General Secretary of the Youth Congress. 

We have worked from the grassroots. The leaders are saying 33 per cent of seats should go for youth. I was with the National Students Union of India (NSUI) when I was in high school in 1995. I did my PUC in National college, Basavanagudi. I did my Mechanical Engineering from Dayanand Sagar College.

I work for the KG Nagar ward. I was supposed to contest last time, but that ward went to a lady. This time if it gets reserved, I’ll contest in the neighbouring ward.  We help getting seats in colleges like Oxford, Vijaya College, National College, people keep coming to us.  

The seniors see our work and give us a ticket. The local people also ask us to contest. This is how I decided to contest. This time there are good chances for the youth.  

My father was working with Minto Eye Hospital as a Manager. My mother was an Assistant Treasury Officer. They both helped a lot of people. Our family is well-known in KG Nagar. My family is supportive. But my mom says why I got into this after engineering. But what is the point of doing a 9-5 job. Who will run the country? 

When I joined college, there were no elections in the college. But my friends and I wanted to do something. So we have been working a lot.  

I’m just concentrating on BBMP polls. Sanitation is bad, conservation problems are there, water problem. When SM Krishna was the Chief Minister, there was a boom, in terms of roads and so on. And I am not saying this. People themselves are saying this.  

For the BBMP polls, no specific preparations. The local people know me. People come to us for school and college admissions. Roads need to be made better. I have been focusing on the local area for ten years now. It’s 99 per cent effort and 1 per cent luck. If you give a chance to youth, work will get done.

Name: Manjunath M

Age: 31

Resides in: Vijaynagar

Party Affiliation: Congress

Political Aspirations: Will be contesting for council elections (Govindarajanagar – subject to change)

Current occupation: VijayanagarYouth Congress Block President, land development and construction business 

Manjunath We started (politics) during college life. I was Secretary of the NSUI. It has always been the Congress for me. It is a secular party. All kinds of people are here. I’m the first in the family to get into politics. There were no objections from my family. They just tell me not to come home late. You know how families are! 

I am from Bangalore. I did B.Com through Open University. I am now doing B.A in Political Science through correspondence.  

Last year I worked with M Krishnappa, for Bangalore South. We worked hard then. KBG’s campaign was different. His wife helped him. His campaign was not about holding banners. He used technology to the core. He reached out to the youth. There wasn’t enough time to campaign. Five years from now, I don’t mind becoming the CM (he laughs). I’m just joking.

For the council elections they look at our work and give us a ticket. I’ve been with the party for more than 12 years. Local leaders follow our work. I know the people in Vijaynagar and Binnypet. Youth need to be given an opportunity.

I am not preparing now specifically. I’ve been working since 2001 with M Krishnappa. He is the former corporator. We looked at storm water drains, roads, BPL cards, health insurance, ration cards. 

The problem is today they look at how much you can spend. This needs to change. We need the youth for this. I want to become an MP but I want to serve the local people.

This was not the first time I have worked with KBG. When he was an MLA, we all campaigned for the bye-elections together. The other day, we had a meeting at the Congress office regarding BBMP polls, for preparations.  We have to keep our ward clean and tidy; this is the work of a corporator.

I gave an open statement that youth need to be given an opportunity at the meeting. KBG has also said that youth should be given an opportunity. Youth can actively work to keep a ward clean. 

Name: Anil Shetty

Age: 22

Resides in: Teachers Colony, HSR Layout

Party Affiliation: No (supported Capt. Gopinath in the recent elections)

Political Aspirations: Wants to contest in council elections next time

Current occupation: Runs a business in stock investments 

Anil Shetty The reputation of politics has come down. Some issues in India are not tackled properly.  A politician is a representative of the people. It shouldn’t be for money. There are many issues not solved. I believe in experience.  You can’t learn it in any college. I closely work with the Citizen Forum concept of Capt. Gopinath. 

My major concern is agricultural sector. My father is also a farmer. For localised issues, local leaders need to be there. Localised issues need to be solved in a local way. Local leaders need to be strong. Look at the way Gujarat has been developed. Narendra Modi is my role model. I’m only looking at the positive things he has done.  

On BBMP elections – I’m not really interested in contesting this time. If you want to do work, you don’t need power. You need to understand the people in a ward.  

IforGreen is an NGO that I’m launching soon. This is with a clean Bangalore city concept. 25-30 people have joined me.  You need to plan in a proper way. There is a lot of misuse of funds. People should have service mentality. If you want to make money, go do business. Politics is not to make money.

The common man does not know what happens in Parliament. For him the worries are about water supply, electricity and so on. A politician should not do personal favours. Youngsters don’t want to get into politics because it is not clean.

I’m from Mangalore. I came to Bangalore four years back to do B.E. at M S Ramaiah (Institute of Technology). After two years I dropped out.  I did not want to become a politician. I wanted to get into service.

I do not want to contest now. Next elections, if people think I should contest I will. I want to serve the people now. The problem now is the family system in politics. The son wouldn’t have done anything, but he still gets a ticket.

It is not about youngsters getting into politics. Whether you are 70 or younger, you need to be knowledgeable. I still don’t know anything. I want to learn about my constituency and then contest.  

There is no equal distribution of wealth. Resources are there, but not utilised properly. ‘Influence’ is such a bad word. Law and order should be strict.

I need to learn what politics is. As an independent, I can work anywhere. I’m not against political parties. Ultimately it’s about service mentality.

People don’t think I’m 22. When they hear me talk, they think I’m 27-28. It’s not about age. It’s about maturity.  

When I went to people, they said, ‘Hogappa’ (go), we’ll vote for the winning candidate. In the slums, they asked us how much money we will give.  On the day of elections, people sit at home, it is just a holiday.  Next election, I want to have a task force. So that they will go to each house and ask people to vote. I’ll try and do this for BBMP elections.

I want to emerge as a leader. I do not want to announce myself as a leader. I don’t want to self-declare. I’m a server. I don’t want to lead now.  

See, my business is for my livelihood. If this business was not there, and if there was only politics then I would have looked at it for money. Once I establish my business, I’ll dedicate more time.

In Ghajini he says, “Mein kartha hoon, yeh mera vishwas hai. Sirf main hi hoon, yeah ghamand hai”. I can do it, is confidence; only I can do it, is foolishness. (‘Ghamand’ means pride. Shetty translated this himself, and seems to have meant that this kind of ‘pride’ is foolishness.)

When my business reached a certain point, I want to give 50 per cent of my earnings to charity. The shastras say this.  

The government is only bothered about economic development and globalisation. I want to look at the real happiness of the people. Economic development will not make people happy. Money won’t make people happy.  

We want to promote Capt. Gopinath. He doesn’t need to make money in politics. Let’s pick up individual candidates from wards and support them. Then they will help us later.

See, I know the bad ways of winning also. 

People don’t vote for independents because they think he doesn’t know anyone in power at the state level. People always want to catch the big fish. BBMP seats, I heard, are auctioned for about 30-50 lakhs. I’ve only heard. I don’t know if it’s true. 

I will not join any party. I joined Capt. Gopi because he is doing good work. I’m a follower for now. I’m a servant. I’m a follower of good things. I’m not supporting Capt. as an individual, I’m supporting his movement. Anybody does good work, I’ll join them.  

First time I contest, I’ll contest as an independent. Then I’ll definitely need a party. Otherwise your voice won’t be heard. I won’t use the word ‘party’. I would rather use the word ‘team’. Build my own ‘team’

Name: Venkatesh R

Age: 22

Resides in: JP Nagar

Party Affiliation: BJP

Political Aspirations: wants to make a career out of politics

Current occupation: party worker for the BJP

I am part of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad and I have campaigned for the BJP even before. Young people have always been there in politics but the interesting thing now is that now not all are coming from political backgrounds. I see many people who were engineers, marketing professionals and others who came up to campaign. Some people come in support of the candidate and many come because of their inclinations for the party. I think BJP is my party.

My family does not oppose my political inclinations. Presently I am here as a party worker for the BJP. I have big dreams but the achieve them I will have to work hard. I have not thought about standing in the council elections but I will be campaigning. Politics always had a lot of scope for young people but nobody was interested in it. Now more and more are coming in, there is need for young blood in politics.

Name: M V Suresh

Age: 19

Resides in: Jayanagar

Party Affiliation: BJP

Political Aspirations: Not sure

Current occupation: Student

I am studying ITI and I was always interested in politics but campaigning for Ananth Kumar was the best way to see politics from inside. One of my friends asked to join in campaigning, my friends father is a BJP member. Initially, I was not sure if I should because we all have wrong notions about politics. My mother did not allow me. But at the end I went with a group of friends. We campaigned throughout Jayanagar and JP Nagar and it was learning experience. I will be campaigning for council elections too.

Ananth Kumar used to come and talk to us also. He personally came and appreciated me. Campaigning was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Even now I visit the Jayanagar office regularly and I do work with the MLAs. I enjoy doing this, sometimes my studies get affected but then now I want to make a career in politics. My mother was not very happy initially but she does not stop me now.

For the council elections, I don’t know, if I have exams that time my mother will not allow me to dedicate so much time in campaigning but I will still do some.

Name: B Nithin

Age: 27

Resides in: Tilak Nagar

Party Affiliation: BJP

Political Aspirations: Not sure

Current occupation: Software engineer

People have all kinds of notions for politics; even I had till I happened to join the BJP for campaigning. I was very happy with the BJP government’s work in the Bangalore South constituency and I wanted to do some contribution from my side. I do not believe in all the ideologies of the party but I wanted them to win because they were doing good work.

So when I went to the BJP office I was overwhelmed that our MLA and the Ananth Kumar spoke to me personally and requested me to campaign. There is a lack of young blood in the party but this time we saw many youngsters volunteering. I think some orthodox ideologies will vanish if more and more young people join and slowly reach the cream layer of the party.

I am not sure if I will be able to campaign for the upcoming elections because it was a tough time juggling with my job, family and campaigning. At the same time, my family is not happy with my political inclinations.

Name: Murali Prasad

Age: 20

Resides in: Rajajinagar

Party Affiliation: BJP

Political Aspirations: Wants to become the Chief Minister

Current occupation: Student

I want to become the Chief Minister of Karnataka. My family thinks I have gone mad because I want to enter politics, people think it is a bad thing. I joined the ABVP and I am actively working for them. I think they realise the problems and the demands of the youth very well. It gives me a lot of enthusiasm and energy whenever I am with like-minded people who want to see a change in the society. I think changes can come only when common man actively involves in politics. I have helped  ABVP even earlier in campaigning and I will continue this.

I am studying B Com and side by side I work for the party. I chose BJP because they run on ethics, this is very important. I always idolised Atal ji, he is my idol. I want to become like him. But for that I need to work harder. I devote most of my time for party work. I am close to MLA Vijaykumar and a lot of other politicians. They all appreciate me for my dedication.

I think this is the right time when young people should come into politics. Earlier politicians were not open in welcoming young people, they thought we were immature, inexperienced. But now they want to interact more with us. At the end it is the young population that decides the fate of a country.

If somebody gives me a chance I do not mind standing for the council elections.

Name: Nagaraju Mani

Age: 25

Resides in: Kanakapura road

Party Affiliation: BJP

Political Aspirations: No

Current occupation: Marketing professional

I have no very high political ambitions. But I support Ananth Kumar so I campaigned for this elections. This was the first time I ever campaigned and it was a huge learning experience. I went to places where I would not have gone otherwise, I met people whom I will never forget. It was overwhelming to see the popularity of Ananth Sir, people would come out their houses, stand on rooftops and jam the roads just to get a glimpse of his.

I enjoyed this experience though it was tough to manage this with my marketing work. I would certainly give time for campaigning every time. But for the candidate is also of great importance. I if I know that some particular candidate is not deserving, then I would think before campaigning. I think unless young people volunteer the negative image of politics would also not change.

Name: Sharan Gharandigae

Age: 31

Resides in: JP Nagar

Party Affiliation: Congress

Political Aspirations: No political ambitions

Current occupation:  Web developer and marketing professional

I never thought of campaigning for a political leader before. I was called by Byregowda’s office to do some computer related work. I went there with my brother, we had some two hours of work there. Before we left KBG’s wife Meenakshi Sheshadri came to us.

She asked us if we could help them in campaigning. This was totally unexpected. Her approach towards everyone was overwhelming. We agreed to the offer and this was the begining of the most wonderful experiences of our lives. I Will campaign for council elections too but I have no plans to run for elections

Name: Charan Gharandigae

Age: 31

Resides in: JP Nagar

Party Affiliation: Campaigned for a Congress candidate

Political Aspirations: None currently

Current occupation: Web developer and marketing professional

I campaigned because of KBG. I believed in his ideas and his work. As part of campaigning we organised events like Coffee with KBG in Coffee Day and similar events where people could interact with him. I had different experiences including many wherein people asked me how much would we pay them to vote for KBG. I was so disgusted once when I young guy standing across the road asked me how much would I pay him to attend KBG’s event. Even auto-rickshaw drivers kept asking us if we were going to pay them.

I think at some level politics has evolved like this in our country. These incidents angered me so much that I decided not to leave campaigning for the right cause. I think more than a party it is the right candidate that needs to be promoted and youth in particular can bring this change. I am sure more and more youth influx will be seen in politics in the coming years.  I will campaign for the candidate (no party inclinations in particular).

Sharan and Charan Gharandigae are twin brothers.

Name: Kashyap Nandan

Age: 27

Resides in: Vijaynagar

Party Affiliation: Congress

Political Aspirations: Not yet

Current occupation: Works at Manipal Education Group

Kashyap Nandan This was not the first time I was campaigning. I had earlier campaigned in 1999 in Mandya for a Congress candidate Athmananda. I know Meenakshi (KBG’s wife) personally but I never thought of campaigning. One day I got a mail from one of my friends from Dubai. The mail said: “Future Chief Minister Krishna Byregowda.” This moved me. I went straight to KBG’s office and opted for campaigning. This was a great experience and I would be campaigning for KBG in the future too.

Politics is always about older people deciding the fate of our country. This time we saw educated people coming out of their comfort zones to campaign and ask people to contribute. There will be more coming in the future. We all are seeing the change happening.

Name: Rashmi

Age: 35

Resides in: Jakkur

Party Affiliation: Congress

Political Aspirations: not yet

Current occupation: teaches dance

I have always had an inclination towards politics. My family is also having a political background, my grandfather was a mayor. Then my father was always closely associated with politicians therefore, I developed an interest in politics. Meenakshi happens to be my college friend. I campaigned for KBG when he was contesting for Byataranapura. I will be campaigning for him even in the future. I am personally not interested in running for council elections.

During the campaigning days it was a juggle between family and campaigning hours. We were working almost the whole day. But at the end of the day it was a wonderful experience. I met various people and went to places I would otherwise had not visited. My family has always supported me and do not mind my political inclinations.

I think the influx of youth was because everyone now is tired and wants a change. I came in because I wanted to see the change.

Name: Manjunath Prasad

Age: 27

Resides in: BTM Layout

Party Affiliation: Congress

Political Aspirations: not yet

Current occupation: Software architect

I do not want to run for council elections, I think there are better people than me for that. But I will always campaign whenever there is a deserving candidate. I always had this inclination for Congress but I never thought of campaigning. This time KBG was very impressive candidate. One of my friends suggested me to visit KBG’s office and try campaigning, I was skeptical initially. But my first meeting with fellow campaigners itself was so overwhelming that I did not feel out of place. This was the first time I was doing anything like this.

After this experience, I am sure of campaigning for council elections too. It was tough juggling between office and campaigning. Some days I used to go late and sometimes even take leave. The energy and enthusiasm in the all the fellow campaigners was overwhelming. My family supported me when I said I wanted to campaign. They knew I was always interested in politics and this I can call was my first brush.

Not many people think seriously enough about politics. It is someone else’s headache for most of us. This is not the first time that youngsters are seen in political campaigns but this time unusual people from various backgrounds came forward. Earlier it always used to either younger party members or close allies. This time I think selection of the right candidates has given hope for youngsters. I personally was very impressed with KBG and therefore did not hesitate campaigning for him.

Name: Bhushan Nagendra

Age: 31

Resides in: Jayanagar

Party Affiliation: Congress

Political Aspirations: No

Current occupation: Software Engineer in Siemens

I was not sure if I should jump into campaigning for anyone. I was in dilemma but once I came into this I did not want to come out of it. One of my friends suggested me, I was impressed with KBG. He is a deserving candidate. I was never someone so interested in politics therefore, I do not even think of running for any elections. But I will always come ahead to support a deserving candidate.

I think politics is not seen in a good light. Even when it is about college elections people who get selected are not always the most deserving or the most intellegent ones. Because nobody wants to enter politics. I feel things might change with young, educated and impressive politicians coming forward. This was one of the reasons why so many young people came forward for campaigning.

Name: Arun Sheshadri

Age: 25

Resides in: Jayanagar

Party Affiliation: Congress

Political Aspirations: Not sure

Current occupation: Student

I was in Kuwait when I got a call from my sister (KBG’s wife) saying that KBG is standing for elections from Bangalore South. I have been part of KBG’s campaign even earlier when he campaigned from Mandya. But that was totally different and campaigning in Bangalore was an experience in itself. We met various people here. Some simply told us: “We are not going to vote for Congress why are you coming here to campaign.” In fact I remember once when we were campaigning in Nandidurga Road and one elderly person called two of us and spoke to us for almost an hour asking us: Why he should vote for KBG. We kept giving him various reasons and explanations but he kept asking the same question again and again.

I like campaigning, it gives me a high. The atmosphere is really very energising. My family has always been supportive of my political inclinations. Especially with my sister and brother-in-law full time into politics, nobody says no to me. I think more and more youngsters are now coming into politics but still not many are seriously thinking of standing for elections.

Name: Rehmat Sherif

Age: 25

Resides in: Frazer Town

Party Affiliation: Congress

Political Aspirations: Wants to make a career in politics

Current occupation: Student

I have always campaigned for my grandfather (Jaffer Sherif). I will continue campaigning for Congress in the future. I have not thought about council elections as of now. I have full support from my family even if I enter politics full time.

I think this is the time when young people should come up in politics. Our society has evolved and there are various topics that concern the young generation. It will be easier for a youngster to relate to these issues and the public also will vote only to people who they can relate to. I am asking all my friends to also join politics.


  1. Srikanth Parthasarathy says:

    Brilliant Profiles. I wish them all the very best!

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