Sunday, September 06, 2009

“Serving the people is more important than winning”



The young and energetic Dr. Sindhu Joy lost out to the veteran Congressman K.V. Thomas, but not without giving a fight

Photo: Sindhu Joy with actor Mammooty

By Shevlin Sebastian

Politician Dr. Sindhu Joy befriended the late Kochi-based music composer M. Iqbal through Orkut and he introduced her to his two sons. However, it was a short-lived friendship, because Iqbal passed away, aged 58, on March 20, 2007. Thereafter, one of Iqbal’s sons, Irshad, used to call up Sindhu from a town in Saudi Arabia where he ran a cafeteria.

Sindhu enjoyed talking to Irshad even as she got busy with her Lok Sabha election campaign, which she launched in February. She was the CPI (M) candidate for the Ernakulam constituency and was pitted against veteran Congress politician K.V. Thomas.

One day while she was campaigning in the Mattancherry segment, she stepped into a house to have a cup of tea. There she met Iqbal’s second son who told him that his brother had died suddenly in Saudi Arabia.

“It was the saddest moment of my campaign,” says Sindhu. “I just could not believe he had died.” Nevertheless, Sindhu, 31, overcame her shock and campaigned tirelessly in every segment of the Christian-dominated constituency.

“But the odds were against me,” she says. “Ernakulam has been traditionally a United Democratic Front stronghold.”

She says that owing to misconceptions in the Christian community about the Left Democratic Front government’s plans regarding educational institutions run by the church, the community turned away from the Leftists.

Still, in early vote counting, Sindhu was leading and there was talk of an upset win. However, in the end, Thomas squeezed through by a margin of 11,790 votes.

Nevertheless, she says, she was not disappointed when she lost. “Winning and losing are part of elections,” she says. “I have joined politics not because I want to become a MLA or a MP, but to serve the people.”

Today, the Lok Sabha loss is far behind her and she is busy with various activities of the party and outside.

As the national vice president of the Students’ Federation of India, she is working closely to implement the educational policies of the UPA government.

“I am also very much interested in gender issues and the poor status of Dalit women.”

As a member of the District Committee of the CPI(M) she interacts with the people to find out their problems. “Since our own party is in power, I am able to provide solutions for some of the issues,” she says.

Sindhu, who has received a doctorate in political science, is also planning to do a two-year research on tribal women empowerment from Kerala University.

(The New Indian Express, Kochi)

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