PATNA: "Politics may be a career to others but for me, it is a god-given chance for rendering service to humanity because service to humanity is service to God," says 29-year-old ace shooter and the Arjuna-awardee Shreyasi Singh.
She is the first woman CWG gold medallist (shotgun) of Indian national team and now contesting in the Bihar assembly election from Jamui seat on the ticket of BJP. "Josh is high! And I will win the seat by hitting bull eye of opponent with the blessings of people," she says.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Singh, the daughter of late former union Minster Digvijay Singh and former Banka MP Putul Singh, said: "Art fascinates me, shooting rejuvenates and election will empower me to serve the society and nation as Bharat Ki Beti (Daughter of India) braving and battling all odds and obstructions.
She said that her victory will be an ode to the people's victory. Excerpts:
Since you debuting into politics first time at your own, how is the josh taking this opportunity at the prime career of an ace shooter?
(Laughs). The josh (enthusiasm) is quite high with highly spirited confidence and is surcharged with patriotism like a sportsperson especially amongst my youth supporters. Jamui has always given me immense love and support and the people who make me emotional with their love and affection as a daughter of soil deserves.
What differences can be expected from a sportsperson–turned-politician as you are now? Any special dream to translate, if you are elected from this seat?
Absolutely and one of my dream projects is setting up a sports academy in Jamui to explore the sports talents among the students with a dedicated training in the chosen sports for 3 days in a week.
And even apart from project like this, as a sportsperson, I will try to bring hard work and sportsmanship to politics. We are trained to function under the high pressure and will take all the challenges that a political career throws my way to make Jamui a land of genius given under equal opportunity and all needed supports.
Is your coming into politics just an accidental or planned one leaving a strongly emerging career in the sports?
I'm not going to sideline or quit the shooting entirely because it rejuvenates me from within and has trained as how to hit the bull eye in life with concentration coupled with patience and assertiveness.
Shooting is and will always be an integral part of my identity that has become also the identity of
Jamui in particular and Bihar in general.
Broadly speaking, I am now at a stage where I have proven myself internationally and wish to do more than just being also a mentor to the budding sportspersons. So, while I did subconsciously plan it, I felt an urge from within to move in politics also moved at the plight of my Bihari brothers and sisters during the COVID-19 induced pandemic lockdown.
What will happen to your sports passion if you get elected?
A passion never dies even a person is engaged in some sideline pursuits and services. If people of Jamui bless me by electing, I hope to continue my training whenever I get time from services to the people, which would be my first duty as the representative of Jamui.
Hitting the problems of people for bringing prosperity through 'lotus' (symbol of BJP), would be the prime duty of mine apart from continuing in shooting sports for the nation.
Who inspired you to take a plunge in politics and continue inspiring?
As far as my inspiration is concerned, obviously as well naturally, my father (late) Digvijay Singh will always be my inspiration.
My father was such a dynamic leader that it did not take long for former PM Chandra Shekhar to pick him from student politics and induct as union minister in his government. In today's politics, my values also align with PM Narendra Modi, who has consistently furthered the vision of self-dependent (Atam-Nirbhar Bharat) through his development-oriented politics.
What are the issues you are seeking votes from people with?
I am working to make Jamui a totally 'Atma Nirbhar' and the kind of development that I aim for is multidimensional. Here, some of the pressing issues at district level are that of strengthing of existing infrastructures of public school system and working higher education.
I am promising to make further improvement in local health care and agriculture supply chain, sports
infrastructures and avenues for arts and culture also.
The BJP is disowned the LJP but its chief and Jamui MP Chirag Paswan has asked his party leaders and works to support you to win the seat. How do you take this in politics?
Chiragji is the MP from Jamui and I’m honoured by his support to me to win the seat. The matter of electoral alliance is decided by the leaders of party's upper levels, who are far more experienced than me, so I take their guidance at the highest value.
After a long gap, the caste politics has again started gaining ground in Bihar, especially at this time of elections putting the real people-concern issues like unemployment at back seat. How do take this?
To say that caste politics ever ended in Bihar would be incorrect, in my opinion. Though, many leaders from Bihar have tried and succeeded in moving beyond it. My father had consistently worked against it and won the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 as an independent.
I only wish that young leaders entering the political fray this time will consistently work to place development at the core of political issues, so in the future, the politics of Bihar would have no room for
The PM has suggested that age of girls for marriage be increased. How do you see it needed?
Child marriage is a social issue that has plagued our society for long time and to tame it in totally, new versions of policies are the need of hour. The National Human Rights Commission recommended in 2018 that there be a uniform age for marriage for boys and girls.
So, I welcome the Prime Ministers's suggestion because the world is changing and girls need to be allowed the freedom to grown and bloom exploring talents in every walk of life.
How you rate both PM Narendra Modi and bihar CM Nitish Kumar in politics?
PM Narendra Modi's work has been commendable, be the gas pipeline project in Bihar or the strategically important Atal Tunnel to Leh to name a few recent works.
As announced by deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi at a recent rally here, the state government has laid the ground works for a new Bihar. I hope both PM Modi and CM Nitish Kumat are development-orientated to make Bihar vibrant and prosperous because of their effective policies.
Why should you be elected?
I have the right will and capability to work for the people of Jamui as my father had worked with dedication and hardwork. My principle in politics is serving the people as service to humanity going equally to the service to God.