The Hindu Lit for Life 2018

Jignesh Mevani on how to crack an election

The reluctant politician: Jignesh Mevani with Chandan Gowda.   | Photo Credit: R. Ravindran

Independent MLA from Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani, painted a portrait of himself as a reluctant politician on the first day of The Hindu Lit for Life, saying that he remained an agitator.

Mevani was in conversation with Chandan Gowda, Professor of Sociology at Azim Premji University, in a session titled 'Right to Land, Right to Life.'

“The grammar of electoral politics doesn’t generally go with our kind of people. It’s a grammar of giving daaru ki thaili (packets of alcohol), enormous paisa, making thadjod (compromises) and whatnot. Only because I won, I cannot claim that we all can crack it. It’s been very difficult and it will always remain very difficult,” Mevani said.

The love of the people of his constituency Vadgam and political support from allies across the country have been “fabulous”, according to Mevani.

“You always have to come up with fresh, innovative ideas that can galvanise the masses, capture people’s imagination. Without this, cracking things electorally is difficult,” he said.

Talking about his relationship with the Patidar leader Hardik Patel, Mevani said he was open about allies.

“The risk of fascism is looming large over our heads. Gandhian, Socialist? You come. You believe in the samajwad of Marx and Lenin? You also come. You believe in the samajwad of Vinoba [Bhave]? Come and join the struggle. You believe in the samajwad of JP and Lohia?

“Come together. First, defeat these forces, stay united. From that unity, the struggle will emerge. Maybe, from that struggle, an -ism will also emerge,” he said.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 6:23:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/lit-for-life/jignesh-mevani-on-how-to-crack-an-election/article22471754.ece

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