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November 27, 2017

‘Secular parties should work out a strategy to prevent vote split’: An interview with A R Puthige

Aysha Tanisha & Sabika Lobo

Abdul Rauf Puthige is a quite familiar name in Mangaluru. Son of a doctor-turned-cleric from Puthige locality in the temple town of Moodbidri, the 51-year-old ever-enthusiastic gentleman is a well-established realtor, social worker and philanthropist who gives priority to charity rather than publicity. His sudden entry to politics as the Karnataka state general secretary of Janata Dal (Secular) has raised many eyebrows. Despite being a novice in politics, Mr Puthige has frank and ‘politically correct’ answers for all the questions. Here are a few things that Mr Puthige said in his exclusive interview to coastaldigest.com.

CD: What motivated you to enter politics? Do you fully agree with the policies and principles of JD(S)?

A R Puthige: Today almost every citizen in India feels politics is a dirty pond. But you will never be able to clean the pond merely by calling it dirty. I think if you seriously want to see the pond cleansed, first of all you must enter into it. In my case I don't depend on politics for my bread and butter. I have always believed that for people who want to serve the society and the masses, politics can be a very effective platform. In fact, politics has never been totally alien to me. A good number of my close friends are active in politics either as leaders or as activists at the grass root level. I have good friends in all the prominent political parties. Some of them have been insisting me to join their respective parties. Coming to the second part of your question, yes, I agree fully with the declared policies and principles of my party. 

CD: Do you think JD(S) will make gains in coastal belt of Karnataka by having you as its State General Secretary? 

A R Puthige: Ours is a party with a national vision. Our concern is the welfare of the entire country. Already our party has many senior leaders in coastal belt and a huge number of committed cadre in this region. They are all sincerely striving to strengthen the party in this region. My focus will be on improving the prospects of the party throughout the Karnataka state, which was once ruled by our party. 

CD: What’s your take on the possibilities of split of ‘secular votes’ in Karnataka?

A R Puthige: It is quite obvious that we do not want any division in the secular votes. It is very much possible to work out a strategy to avoid it. JD(S) leaders have always been concerned about it. But then, secularism is not the exclusive domain of any particular party. When there are many secular parties in the fray there will be apprehensions about division of secular votes. Congress too claims to be a secular party. If they are really serious in this claim, they should come forward to shoulder their share of responsibility in this regard. By the way, I look at the situation positively. In my view compared to competitive communalism, competitive secularism is always beneficial to the society. Therefore let there be many secular parties and let all such parties sit together and work out a strategy to ensure that division of secular votes does not benefit communal elements. 

CD: Can a political platform expand your social service activities? 

A R Puthige: If you are talking about Talent Research Foundation (TRF), an NGO launched in 2005 by myself along with a team of friends, it has nothing to do with politics. It will always remain politically neutral. Personally, while serving humanity and the human society is your passion, you will see opportunities to serve humanity in every platform. By joining politics, I have entered a new world. Here I see plenty of fresh opportunities to carry on with my passion.

CD: The activities of TRF are praiseworthy. Are you planning to expand its services? What’s the financial source of TRF ? 

A R Puthige: It has always been my dream to see TRF serving humanity at the national level. We will do it gradually. My friends in TRF are already planning to extend its services to the neighboring districts. TRF is run by a well-knit team. All its finances come from donations contributed by myself, my business partners, my close associates and members of my family. 

CD: Can you tell about a time when you almost gave up? How did you feel about that and what did you do instead of giving up?

A R Puthige: Ups and downs are essential parts of one’s life. There have been a number of such ups and downs in my life too. My faith in God helps me to overcome all the hurdles, remain positive and optimistic even under the most challenging circumstances. It’s my belief that God does not close a door on you before opening a dozen doors for you. You just have to positively look around and you will see those doors. I am from a very humble back ground. God has always been extremely kind to me. I am sure he will always be so in future too.

‘Secular parties should work out a strategy to prevent vote split’: An interview with AR Puthige


shaan Dubai - Thursday, 14 December 2017

error: To break jamiyyathul falah he made TRF

shaan Dubai - Thursday, 14 December 2017

AR Puthige once again proved an opporunist,to break and to become permanent president he formed TRF. Now to do some deal joined JDS to please BM Farook. He is a show man ans self publicityman

Shahul - Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Yes SDPI allianced wih JD(S) for their own electrol convenience and benefits. The same JD(S) ex chief minister Mr.Kumaraswamy called the madrasa breeding place of terrorism. How you can call these parites secular party.

Abdul Ghanim - Thursday, 30 November 2017

Dear Shahul,


i do agree with you, but later mr.kumar swamy openly apologised for his wrong remarks, as per your statement  if we are limiting our anger jus for one statement, then why we have to vote congres??? they have  been in power for more than 70 years! what justice they have delivered to the oppressed muslim community?? if we have an opportuinity for playing positive politics then we have to stand on our own or sometimes  if required  we need to make the allience and  get the support from other so called secular party's be it congress or JDS but our objectives and principle should remain the same. electoral allience and political  ideology is 2 different componants, as we are living in a multi cultured society we cannot stand alone, we need to make alliance with like minded partys, if any one compromises with its ideology then we may call them as political opportunists. like Mr.SM Krishna and Jayaprakash Hegde..!!

Shahul - Thursday, 30 November 2017

Dear Abdul


I also agree with you. I am not a supporter of congress party. If we analyse the current situation of our country with the minorities and daliths really miserable. The minorities faching challenges and difficulties under the present government, Muslims and daliths linving in a sense of insecuriy, intolerance and fear in a great diversify and pluralstic country thar gives equal rights to every citizen..Everday they are advocating provocative communal statements and threats from the BJP and sangh parivar leaders. We never experenced this type of situation under the congress rule.They are palying with divisive and hatred politics. we are witnessing  the voileance,atrocities, lychhing across the country in the name of religion and attacking muslim personal laws. Congress governement never interefered in the muslim personal law. It is true under the 70 years congress rule mulslims are lagging behing in education,employment,healthcare and economic and basic facilities. One thing we have to agree that today india is a developed and strong economic country the credit goes to congress party for their 70 years hard work and sacrifices. The current governance of congress governemt is better than comparing to other states. Honourable cheif minister is doing a better job and improved our state in all sectors. We can not trust the JD(S) some places thery are supporting congress (BBMP) and some places they are supporting  BJP (recently held ligislation council chairman voting.) we have to take a united stand for the betterment of our community and society.

Abdul Ghanim - Saturday, 2 December 2017

Dear Shahul,


with due respect, would like to make some points here.


the minorities were facing challenges and difficulties not only under the current rigim. if you go back to the previous 70 years of Congress rule, the same citiuation we have came across. from Babri to Dadri, Mumbai to Gujrarath, the communal oufits are scot free, no justice is been delivered to the oppressed victims. many hate speeches were given under previous and  present congress rule, but congress miscerably failed to controll the Facists. even though congress now not in power but they have failed as a responsible opposition. they have promised the muslim community that they will impliment the rangnath mishra commision recomondation and justice sacchar commisiion recomondation on socio, economic condition of the backward muslim community but muslims were betrayed again and again! some certain extent we have to agree that during the 70 years of congress rule they have devoleped the indian economy that was just because leaders like Indira Ghandi and Rajeev Ghandi, but the present  congress has become a B Team of RSS/BJP. if we talk about the present karnataka govt. Mr.Siddaramayya done a good job as he belives in Socialism. but again congress has failed to impliment the promise which they have mentioned in their Election manifesto ( you can check their website). to defeat the RSS/BJP voting congress is not the solution. for us all previous experinces are learning lessons. let this time give Chance to SDPI were they have enough strength to defeat the soft and hard hindutva groups.!!

Abdul Ghanim - Wednesday, 29 November 2017

SDPI was telling the same from  bigining but congress never heard their demands! JDS at least heard the voice of SDPI and it was agreed for the electoral aliance in the past. yes i do agree with Mr. Puttige All secular parties in state level and national level work out a strategy and provide a political share for all the secular parties as per their strength. then only we can put united fight against facist forces.

shahul - Sunday, 3 December 2017

Dear Abdul


"SDPI have enough stength to defeat the soft & hard hindutua groups" What happened SDPI strenght in recently held UP corporation/Municipality and Panchayat elections even in Up majority of area consists of Muslims and Daliths. Hyderabad based MIM won in signifacant numbers.

Abdul Ghanim - Sunday, 3 December 2017

Dear Shahul,


SDPI Backed Independent Candidates contested for the first time in UP Local body elections and have earned good response from general public, as far as SDPI is concerned they have 2 Strategy, electoral politics and Agitative politics, unless SDPI contest in election they canot win. as far as MIM is concerned yes this time they have bagged around 32 seats out of which 29 seats alone in Dasna muncipality it happend just because they contested dispite of alligation that they will damage congress bla bla n all, but last time in karnataka SDPI got good number of seats and MIM got no seats it doesnt mean that MIM should not contest if they have enough strength they have to contest but in karnataka they doesnt have grass root level workers when they doesnt have base they must and should support SDPI. 

Shahul - Monday, 4 December 2017

MIM does't have enough grass root level workers and not enough vote base even though in Maharastra they won 2 MLA's and many number of municipal councillors due to good leadership to lead.

Abdul Ghanim - Monday, 4 December 2017

Yes in maharastra if MIM have enough chance to win all should support them. as far as Karnataka is concerned SDPI have enough chance so MIM have to withdraw their candidates and full support to be given to SDPI. thats all i can say.

shahul - Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Mr.Deve Gowda's grand son Mr.Prajwal publicly criticized JD(S) is a party of  suitcase culture.

Fan - Monday, 27 November 2017

Dear Kumaraswamay,
I hate you and your party... But, if you assure me to make A R Puthige chief minister of Karnataka, I will definitely vote for your party!!!

Mangalorean - Monday, 27 November 2017

Very nice interview. People like Mr A R Puthige are need of the hour in politics. He is a self made man. Hope he will reach new heights and continue to serve people. 

Viren Kotian - Monday, 27 November 2017

Why so called secular parties are so much worried of a nationalist party? If you can work out a strategy we also can work out a strategy

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