In these days, when everybody abuses politics as a dirty drain, CH Sekar (34), a topper in the Engineering College, preferred to enter the so called ‘drain’ boldly to make it clean.
Social service in early days
Hailing from a small town Gummidipoondi in North Tamil Nadu, he used to spend his leisure time doing social work and temple cleaning right from his boyhood. During his college days, he used to be passionate about modelling and ramp walking in fashion shows. Though many offers came knocking at his door for acting in films, he preferred to continue his studies and social work.
Being one of the brilliant students, after his graduation in mechanical engineering, he got admission in 2001 to pursue his post graduation in a popular US University to study ‘industrial engineering’.
Turning point in life – US visa denied for no reasons
While he was standing in the queue for visa at US Consulate General Office, Chennai, all the 15 persons standing before him were given visa without much questioning. When his turn came, the shift of the handling officer changed and a new Black American lady attended to him. Though he had all the required documents with him, she threw the file at him, refusing him visa, without giving any reason.
The young Sekar was shocked at the arrogance of the handling officer and determined not to step into the United States at all. Though his sister lives in US and has been inviting him over, till date, he has not visited USA because of the bad treatment meted to him at the Consulate.
He started assisting his father, Mr Appala Naidu, an honest Government officer turned businessman. He continued his social service to the people of his locality, besides taking care of his father’s business.
Entering active politics
Service-minded Sekar felt that serving the society through a political brand was better than individual service. His close friends encouraged him to join politics. Since he would not be able to promote his identity if he joined the major political parties, he chose DMDK (Desiya Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) floated then by the actor, Vijayakanth in 2004. Since he was one of the earliest members of DMDK, he was able to get a key party position quickly. At that time, he was 25 years old.
“In early 2000, the country had nearly 30% of the youth and I projected that the country would reach 60% youth population in ten years from then. Elderly people beyond 50 and 60 years of age cannot understand the problems of the youth. Hence, I am advocating all the youth in the age group of 20s and 30s to join politics, to change the nation. I want to be the change-agent”, said CH Sekar in an exclusive conversation with PreSense.
First defeat in politics
He contested the Assembly Elections under DMDK ticket in 2006 for the first time, when he was 27 years old. He was then the District Secretary of the party. Without any alliance with major parties, he secured 23,000 votes, which was then one of the top achievements of DMDK. Although he was defeated, he learnt a lot from the good and bad experiences of contesting in the elections.
“Many people, after the first political defeat, leave the party and pursue another profession, due to family compulsions. In my case, because of my family support and the regular income through my family business, I preferred to continue in the political journey”, said a confident Sekar.
After his defeat, he started nurturing the Gummidipoondi constituency with 131 village panchayats. This is one of the largest constituencies in Tamil Nadu with more than 200 Sq Km area. He continued his service to the people enthusiastically along with his young friends.
People elect Sekar as MLA
|CH Sekar MLA meeting people in his office|
During the 2011 Assembly elections, DMDK had an alliance with AIADMK and again Sekar contested under DMDK ticket. This time he secured nearly 1 lakh (100,000) votes (55% of vote share) and won with more than 30,000 votes margin.
Normally, the Government provides one office and one assistant to the MLAs to attend to their constituency work. Since his constituency is one of the largest constituencies in the state, he set up 4 offices in different locations with assistants, at his own cost, so that people could visit the MLA office without travelling too far and submit their grievances. Each office covers nearly 30 to 35 nearby villages. Sekar visits all the four offices by rotation every week on a specific day, to meet the people. He is also available on his mobile, facebook and email to his people always.
|CH Sekar meeting people in a village|
“At that time of elections, I promised to get (a) a bus depot to connect the rural areas, (b) a sports stadium to promote sports among youth and (c) to make Periyapalayam temple a tourist centre. Within two years, I obtained the approval from the Government and the implementation is in progress”, said CH Sekar with a sense of satisfaction.
Vision for his constituency
His focus is rural education and rural health. He has been taking up individual issues with the Government for rectification. Every year, MLAs are allowed to spend Rs.2 crores (Rs.20,000,000) as MLA-LADS Fund. He utilises the money in building community halls in villages, toilets for girl students in schools and providing mineral water plants in all the schools. “Many girl students drop out from schools because of the lack of proper toilet facilities. I have already provided toilets in many schools. Within one year, I would ensure that all the schools are provided with toilet facilities and drinking water facilities” said Sekar confidently.
When asked about his role-model, he replied that he wanted himself to be the role-model for other young politicians. However, he considers Dr Abdul Kalam as a role model for public life and his father, Mr Appala Naidu as his role model for personal life. “My father used to do any work with passion and commitment. He always maintained work-life balance. However busy he was, he would spend time with family members and children. I follow his example”, said Mr Sekar.
Active in social media
Sekar is quite active on Facebook. He updates his page regularly. Out of 5,000 friends, he estimates around 4,000 members are from his constituency, working in other places. He wants to keep his constituency people updated about his activities. Many Facebook members write to him personally too, to resolve grievances.
He wants to serve the constituency in state politics for another 10 or 15 years and then move on to national politics, after gaining experience.
Message to aspiring young politicians
CH Sekar feels that committed and sincere youngsters should take up political work instead of blaming the system from outside. While concluding the conversation, he recalled the rejection of visa by the US Consulate General Office. If the lady had granted him a visa, he would have been one of the software engineers working abroad. “Probably, God wanted me to serve the society as a politician and that was why, he made that lady to reject my visa application without any reason. Now I am fulfilling God’s desire”, Sekar ended his conversation with a positive note.
CH Sekar be reached at email@example.com
Source: www.prpoint.com/ezine/presense0513.pdf (May 2013 issue of ezine PreSense)