A young go-getter/idealist, who considers none other than Martin Luther King – whom he admires for his oratory skills as his role model, Vijay, the next-gen politician from the city shares his goals and policies.
‘My interest in politics started after I finished my engineering, and my father was extremely supportive, asking me to go about it the proper way.’ Backed by the politically big name of Ayyana Patrudu, and part of a family that has been with TDP for the past 32 years, politics perhaps runs in his veins. . However, instead of taking the easy path, Vijay decided to first gather all the knowledge he could before entering the line. He enrolled at the MIT School of Governance in Pune, a place chaired by TN Seshan, which helped him shape his career. ‘Working in politics requires that you work not just with political parties, but the bureaucracy and people from different walks of life as well.’ And his study at MIT helped him gain both expertise and experience in dealing with a range of people. ‘It’s irreplaceable if you have leaders like Narendra Modi, Advani Ji, Shashi Tharoor etc. as your mentors, talking to you and sharing experiences. It just helps you benefit from the wealth of experience.’
‘Organic farming is the way towards a healthier future. And I’d choose to promote that, encouraging villagers in the process.’
The highpoint of his stint there was when the Dalai Lama visited the college, and Vijay was chosen to speak before an audience of one lakh people. Post education, Vijay returned to Narsipatnam, his hometown, rolled up his sleeves and got down to work instantly. ‘I saw a factory polluting the region and affecting farmers. When nothing else worked, a few farmers and me got together to do a padayatra from Narsipatnam to Vizag collector office’, a move that brought change and response.
From that little victory in 2012, Vijay has had many more, top of which include his profound oratory skills that moved crowds to working on renewable energy sources that has brought solar power to some parts of the district. ‘I’m an engineer and renewable energy sources especially for farmers, is an issue close to heart.’ In fact, this also led him to articulate policies, set the first solar power plant in Uttar Andhra and meet Hilary Clinton, who works with green renewable resources.
Despite having been offered several positions in the party, this youth is still taking it slow, saying that there’s still plenty to learn. And so we’re intrigued to know what is the path he’d choose if and when he comes into power. ‘Organic farming is the way towards a healthier future. And I’d choose to promote that, encouraging villagers in the process.’
He also agrees that the number of youth in politics is declining because most of them consider it unclean. To change it, he says that youth need to be a part of that process and bring the transformation from within. And for all those young people who want to get into politics but don’t know how, he suggests working at the ground level with people. ‘You can work in an NGO also, but it’s important to work at the basic level, interact with people and understand their issues. Secondly, because oratory skills are so important, you should join a communication course to help you build those skills. Then, you should get into it.’
And finally, his message to Vizag’s youth? ‘Work hard and meticulously in whatever you want to achieve and success will be yours.’