I am an engineer, did a job for a couple of years, then pursued my management studies from IIM Bangalore. I was leading a normal corporate life and did not involve myself in any social activities. It all changed about six years back, with the start of the Bangalore Apartment Federation (BAF), when the people had started becoming targets by the government officials for unreasonable policies, including hiking in tariff, harassment, extorting money from them, etc.
This all led me to start the Federation. It took on a life of its own, I managed to rope in many apartment complexes into the fore. Today, Bangalore Apartment Federation has more than one thousand apartments across the city, representing more than 2 lakh households and about 6-8 lakh citizens. This is a huge movement by itself. As Founder and General Secretary of BAF, I got a chance to interact with most politicians, civic agencies, and officials. I realised that there is no integrity, no interest, no intent on the part of any of them to bring about a change in the system. The government is in bad shape not because bad people have entered into politics, but the situation has deteriorated because of good people staying away from politics.
Importance Of GrassRoot Politics
I felt that there is a need to get citizens involved in grassroots politics and bring considerable change to society. I now fully believe that political activism by good citizens is the best and possibly the only route to good governance. By choosing to stay out of politics, the good, competent and honest citizens have enabled the incompetent, corrupt and uninterested people to be elected which has led to total misgovernance of our city. The only way to change it is through good citizens getting into politics and bringing change inside the system.
This is why Bengaluru NavaNirmana Party came into existence. I won't be wrong if I claim it or be the world's first only city party that is exclusively focused on one city and its Municipal Governance. There is no other party in the whole world that exists for this reason, which makes it unique. I believe BNP will be at the forefront of a new movement where a lot of city-oriented parties are going to make a mark. In the next 20-25 years, we will witness the emergence of municipal governance focus parties. I am very proud of the fact that we are at the forefront of having created this movement.
Young Minds Need To Make Difference
I personally believe that there is no force on Earth that is bigger than citizens' power coming together. Getting citizens to overcome their own diffidence and channelising their energy has been the biggest challenge but then that has been the biggest opportunity too. Today, we have 10,000 volunteers across the city comprising good, active and passionate citizens of Bengaluru, coming together to be the change that we desire, has been the most exciting part of my journey.
City politics is a great stepping stone and learning platform for people aspiring to get into larger levels of politics. It is important for people to start at the municipal level and then gradually grow into state and national level politics.
Youth should come forward and bring about positive changes at the initial stages as they have the ability and potential to do it. There is no better place to start at the grassroots level, and if one wants to make that difference, there is no better place to begin at BNP.
If you too have an inspiring story to tell the world, send us your story at email@example.com