He became the youngest politician in Rajasthan at the age of 22, his juvenile shoulders carries solemn responsibilities of 45 village panchayats of Gogunda. Ajju Banna, that’s how he’s been called by residents of Gogunda in an affection and respect he made in the hearts of people, by the social, political and economic reform he brought to the place in last 1 year.
Abhimanyu Singh Jhala (born. 26.03.87) is a working vice-president of Gogunda Gram Panchayat Samiti. He belongs to the family of political leaders, his grandfather Devi Singh Jhala was the president of Gogunda gram Panchayat for 18 years and his father Lal Singh Jhala is vice-president of Rajasthan Kisaan Congress.
His mother Lajwant Kunwar Jhala impeccably raised the family and children. Abhimanyu is the eldest of his two siblings Kapil Singh and Anushree Jhala, Abhimanyu’s political position and his young age has amazed many people; markedly he is one of the youth icons of not only Gogunda but also his birth place Udaipur.
While I was having a cup of coffee, Abhimanyu was sipping aerated water in a cozy Café Barista and a long conversation started. I asked many questions to Abhimanyu regarding his professional and personal life. Here are the excerpts from an interview with Abhimanyu Singh Jhala.
1. Abhimanyu, please tell us about your childhood and early education
My childhood was passed in Udaipur and Gogunda simultaneously, I did my schooling from Mahrana Mewar Public School and after that, Central Public School, later I moved to Jodhpur for my higher education and enrolled myself to Old Campus Jodhpur for Bachelor’s in Arts. Unfortunately, because of my early involvement in politics, I could not complete my final year but I’m still on my toes to get it complete.
2 How and when your first public interaction was?
I am from Gogunda, a place which had witnessed the historical coronation of Maharana Pratap. Since long, there is a tradition of commemorating Maharana Pratap on his jayanti but from last 40 years the event became slightly dull. Four years back when I was in Gogunda on college vacation, just in a casual group talks, few of my friends planned a grand celebration of Maharana Pratap Jayanti which was nearby.
Our discussion materialized in a form of an organization named Maharana Pratap Raj Tilak Samiti, where I was appointed as President, on the day of Pratap Jayanti I interacted first time with public through a speech.
3. Your doorway to Politics, share us the incident made your choose politics as a career
Although, both my grandfather and father are politicians I always detached myself from getting involved in politics. My younger brother was one who always used to accompany my father in meetings, rallies and political tours, my interest was more into business and I wished to start my own enterprise. But my student life in Jodhpur changed my view. There I used to attend various meetings related to Univ. elections, though it was just for fun but I myself don’t know how and when it turned my mind and I started thinking seriously about politics. Later, when I moved to Gogunda and as I told you about Maharana Pratap Raj Tilak Samiti, you can say that it was the start of my political journey.
4. How was your Father’s reaction after knowing your active involvement in politics?
My father is a great personality for me, he taught me to walk on my own feet and he is the only person who knows me well. But regarding my budding interest in politics he was not so optimistic, probably because of my young age and level of maturity. But when I started making successful political campaigns for my father, he took it positively and gradually started trusting on my potential.
5. You won Panchayati Raj election, how it happened?
After making Maharana Pratap Raj Tilak Samiti, we organized a grand event in Gogunda on the day of Maharana Pratap Jayanti. The event became successful, I received recognition by people of Gogunda, especially youth started supporting me and it helped in boosting my confidence. Later when the Panchayat election came up, I enrolled my name and won the seat of Vice President.
6. Politicians in India have not so good image, corruption is all over gripping every corner of our nation. Where do you find yourself in this?
See, I know that majority of politicians in India are corrupt but it would be wrong to point every politician. I think corruption starts when desires grow, essentially where a person achieved power just by a fluke of luck. I don’t have greed for any materialistic thing because I already have everything by god’s grace. I just want to rule the hearts of my people, not their minds.
7. What are those problems in Gogunda you are struggling with?
It’s a place where I spent my maximum childhood, I know every in and out of it. Gogunda is situated in a tribal belt of mewar, the biggest problem of Gogunda is lack of education; people are unaware about the importance of basic and higher education. Education reform in Gogunda is needed and that’s one of my main objectives.
8. What are the developments done by you in last one year in Gogunda?
I worked on road development, water supply and education in last one year. We carried hand pumps to those remote villages where it’s hard to reach by vehicle. There were many roads constructed in and around Gogunda and still the process of development is going on. When I was in my early teens, there was no English medium school in Gogunda now there are 2-3 English medium schools.
9. Did you ever opt for a job somewhere before joining politics?
No I’ve never worked anywhere; my work of being a vice president itself is a tough job. In corporate world you have only one boss but here people are real boss and I am their employee.
10. Here is the most asked question by common man of India- How a common man could become a politician? Why money is so important?
Passion is first most important thing needed to become a politician. Secondly, the feeling of selflessness, politics is not exactly what we all are seeing and reading in every news papers, it is just a negative side of it, like everything else politics also has positives and negatives.
Talking about money, tell me how you will travel in any emergency situation if you don’t have money to fill diesel in your vehicle? This is a small example to answer your question why money is needed? Though it is secondary but still holds important position.
11. How was the last 1 year being vice president?
I finished my 1st year being vice president on 12th Feb. 2010 I started my political journey, I take this as my first lesson of politics where I learned many things and this process of learning will go on till next 4 years or may be more that.
12. Who are your Political Gurus or idol?
I am highly inspired and motivated by Rahul Gandhi, one because he is young and second because he has a strong determination and a strong aim. I adore CP Joshi, he is my political guru. Mr. Joshi has always impressed me by his energetic speech and encouragement.
13. If not busy in your work, what do you love to do? Your likes etc.
I like travelling, mountaineering, hiking and almost all adventure sports. I am not a TV addict; I love to explore new things.
14. Any message to our readers?
Sure, I just want to say that if you want to change something then you have to get involve in it. Thank You!