Not even in my weirdest dreams did I imagine that my journey with Loksatta will come to an end so abruptly. I have had problems with the Loksatta’s lacklustre leadership when it came to party building and at times I wrote strong emails to the leaders asking them to be more proactive. The problem was that Loksatta leaders are all busy people and that meant they could only give less time for the party. Despite their lack of involvement in party building, my respect for Loksatta leaders has always been exceptional for I recognized the knowledge they had and the solution they had for the Society. Building the party, though was not their cup of Tea. I thought it is one place where I could contribute well to the party.
In life, though a great student of Swami Vivekananda who called on all of us to achieve greater things in life, I was yet to find my goal. Business was a necessity for living and it has helped me to sustain myself. But I don’t see myself as a great businessman. That idea of doing money transaction with people doesn’t inspire me so much. Then there is this NGO which we started. Certainly, a noble endeavour. But something that requires greatest dedication and the purest of lives. We are doing a reasonable job and that will continue. I can continue with that still. But there is one thing where I feel I can make a significant contribution to India and that is in politics.
So politics has my highest priority and it’s natural for me to expect our party to do good in most respects. I have stayed in the party when most leaders have moved out of the party because I believed that Loksatta had the best ideology and the right type of volunteers. When I found that the party was not showing signs of development in Karnataka, I forced my way into the State Working Committee, because I wanted to make sure that we are on the move. For about 8 months did I try to push for a State Level Convention. I felt that was needed to get a fair idea of the support that party has in the state and that it will connect us to all our members whom we can inspire and take the cause forward. Finally, the convention was held on 11th April 2015.
I was really serious about the program and tried every bit to make it successful, because I wanted this program to set the party in the new direction. It so happened that I felt a quote of Swami Vivekananda can be used at the program venue. I picked a quote which was very relevant for the program. The quote read, “ Don‘t look back—forward, infinite energy, infinite enthusiasm, infinite daring, and infinite patience–then alone can great deeds be accomplished” My intention was that this quote is relevant for the occasion. Lok Satta is set about doing great things for the country and what better inspiration than Swami Vivekananda and a quote relevant to the program!
Now wait, the party has branding issues. Swami Vivekananda is not a part of their official branding so they don’t want to use his photo and message! Really surprised that they didn’t know that Swami Vivekananda was the most inspiring leader and that he is also the recognized ‘National Youth Icon’ of India. The banner was placed at the entrance of the venue and the party leaders wanted the banner to go off. It was the last thing that I expected. Considering the contribution that Swamiji has made to the nation and the vision that he gave for the country, his choice should have been automatic. They removed the banner. I was naturally upset. But I tried to debate in most open terms after the program. The replies received were just hollow. To top it all this was the statement by the National President when I suggested that Swami Vivekananda should be a part of our branding and also that any great personality from India can be in our programs. The reply was – “Suggestions can neither be put as questions nor interpreted as questions and as such suggestions do not require answers. It is up to NCC + NSPDMC to take these suggestions on board or not. They are not required to give answers &/or justifications for their decisions.” I felt really sad reading this.
After this I had only one option to choose and that was to resign from the party. It was a tough decision because I had identified myself with Loksatta for a longtime and I had introduced the party to many people. It was quite possible for me to go higher up in Loksatta if I wanted to. But I didn’t want to stay at a place where a great national Hero whose very name should be uttered with utmost respect was insulted. The replies received by the top brass of the party didn’t help the cause either. I know I have the necessary inspiration and courage to start building a new party from scratch. I felt it is better to ‘Stand and die on one’s own strength” than to go behind all these close minded leaders. What nation can be built without studying and understanding Swami Vivekananda!
However Loksatta gave me many wonderful things. It was only because of Loksatta that I entered politics. It was here that I had the good fortune of coming across someone as good as Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan whom I consider as my role model in politics, it was also here that I saw and understood politics from close angles, it was here that I met many unselfish people dedicated for politics, it was also here that I witnessed, for a change, a significant number of honest people playing an active part in politics. When I contested from Mysore, I did receive a lot of media attention and my name featured in many leading news papers and people recognized me well. It was also because of Loksatta that I went to the doors of rich, the poor and the middle class and interacted with them and got a better perception of the Society. I thank Loksatta for giving me all these. On my part, I did my bit to introduce the party to people, friends and social workers. I could have given anything, but not bear with what they did to the poster of Swami Vivekananda’s stature and the replies they gave later. They have absolutely no idea of the contribution that he has made to the country. I can write pages after pages. He is someone who inspires the nation, his teachings inspire the mankind, his life is an ideal for any patriot, his name is Holy, but the party thinks they can take out his banner just as they please! They have no reason, no explanation, and no justification for their action. They have nor the humility to learn and correct. So leaving the party was the only option that I had. Why should I beg someone to do what is right?
Many people have come and gone in my life and everyone has taught me some important lessons. LSP too had a major influence on my life. I thank them for that. But I feel rather sad that a party with noble intentions and many genuine supporters is not willing to learn and become better. It all happens according to Karma. My Karma has brought me out of LSP but I wish that their good cause succeed.