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“MIM is for youth, by youth”: Interview with Syed Shafiullah Quadri

No need to pay heed to negative criticism in order to succeed in politics, believes young politician Syed Shafiullah Quadri of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). In his first ever interview since joining MIM, Mr. Quadri spoke at length on youth, politics, and the party with SM Fasiullah at MIM Headquarters in Darussalam, Hyderabad.

HYM: You started as a student leader with a law degree, and later joined active politics. What was on your mind when you moved to politics?

I always wanted to serve people in need. When I was associated with a student organization, I spent most of my time in resolving issues of students. After my post graduation in law, I joined active politics thinking it would offer me a bigger and better platform to serve people in an effective way. I think I took the right decision.

HYM: In 2014, you fought for Rajendranagar MLA seat and lost. What impact it has on you and your political career?

Success and failure are part and parcel of life. Being a person with service-to-people oriented mindset, I don’t regret a loss in elections. In fact, those elections helped me in understanding variety of people, their needs, and mundane problems. It will only help me in my political career. I think, ‘kamiyabi koi aur cheez nahi hai, kaam hi kamiyabi hai’.

HYM: Why you left Welfare Party of India and joined MIM?

MIM is a youth party with young and ambitious leadership. It has the capacity to inspire its cadre positively. The party has been resolving community and societal issues actively. Also, it is expanding nationwide as a strong political force. I felt the need to be part of the party to strengthen it. Asaduddin Owasi sahab is a dynamic, experienced, learned leader who drives his party-colleagues with mission and ambition. I don’t see all these qualities in other political outfits.

Moreover, some people have criticized me for joining MIM. I believe those who do right work they need not pay heed to negative criticism. That’s the best option to succeed in politics.

HYM: Like any other party, MIM too has a baggage of mistrust. How would you deal with Hyderabadis who don’t like politics of MIM?

In politics, you cannot convince all. Despite the fact, MIM is relentlessly addressing issues and concerns of locals. At Darussalam, both Asad sahab and Akbar sahab along with party MLAs listen to people and solve their mundane problems. It’s a daily routine here. Other politicians and parties don’t do it daily.

Those who criticize MIM need to look at things objectively. The party has always supported development of the city. When proposed Metro Route necessitated demolition of religious structures and shops of small vendors, we stood with locals and suggested another route.

Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi at Darussalsm
Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi at Darussalsm

MIM has introduced many pro-people and pro-poor programs, especially in the previous tenure of GHMC. Meals at Rs. 5/- daily, She Cabs, Auto Loans, SC/ST Driver cum owner car loan scheme are a few programs introduced under MIM mayor. In 2009, GHMC budget was about Rs. 2000 crore. Under MIM mayor, it was increased to Rs 5500 crore. It is done without increasing any property tax in Hyderabad.

There are many such examples to cite where we supported people of Hyderabad. That is the reason why people love us, and vote us to power with thumping majority.

HYM: Youngsters are showing more interest in politics, and taking part in national and local issues through social media. What MIM has on its table to woo such young voters?

It is really a healthy sign for a democratic society if its youth are involving in debates. It doesn’t matter if they are using modern tools for expressing their views. In addition to virtual debates, we need real change on the ground. Therefore I would like to request them to come out to cast their votes on election days as well.

Coming to youngsters, I reiterate that MIM is for youth, by youth. We have done a lot for youth of the city. Under our mayor Majid Hussain, many development works were carried out in Hyderabad. We supported for playgrounds in different areas, sport competitions for youth, and skill development programs, among many others. We have constructed Salar-e-Millat Sports Complex in Bahadurpura Constituency. It has all modern sports facilities. Two more such sports complex are being built in Charminar and Chandrayangutta assembly constituencies.

HYM: Young candidates mean more young votes. How far it holds good for upcoming GHMC elections?

Having young people in politics is good. But to run a system effectively, both dynamism of young and experience & farsightedness of elderly are needed. Therefore, we have a balanced leadership in our party. While short-listing candidates, the party considers a suitable combination of young and experienced people.

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