In Conversation with Russian Deputat in Putin's Cabinet, Abhay Kumar Singh

Russian lawmaker Abhay Kumar Singh  speaking at KJ Chaupal, New Delhi.
Russian lawmaker Abhay Kumar Singh speaking at KJ Chaupal, New Delhi.

It was indeed an honour and privilege to have Abhay Kumar Singh, first-ever Indian origin lawmaker of Russia from Vladimir Putin's United Russia party at the KJ Chaupal session in Krishi Jagran's headquarters in New Delhi, on Monday. 

Singh is a deputat (a constitutional designation like an MLA in India), from Kursk city situated in the western region of Russia. 

Interestingly, hailing from Bihar, he went to a foreign land to pursue a degree in medicine in 1991, and initiated his business venture in the pharmaceutical sector post completing his studies in late 1994. 

During a brief conversation, Singh generously answered various questions regarding India-Russia partnership in farming and agriculture, his charity works outside politics, his roots in Bihar, and more. 

While talking about India and Russia's relations with each another, Singh even invited the Indian entrepreneurs interested in agriculture to directly connect with him, assuring he would provide the required assistance as it would also strengthen the partnership between the two countries. As Kursk region earns most of its revenue from agriculture, Singh shared how the global scenario in the farming sector can be transformed via healthy India-Russia partnership.

What would you like to say regarding Russia and India's partnership in terms of agriculture?

Russia has very big farms and is making progress toward modernizing the agricultural industry. Its agriculture is a full-fledged industry, not just farming. Without a doubt, we like fostering mutual growth. In certain areas, Russia is in the lead, while in others, India is well ahead of us in terms of agricultural concepts. You can always get in touch with me, and my staff, and we'll do our best to support each another.

You graduated from the Medical University with a degree in medicine. Then what prompted you to join politics?

When I was a student in Russia, I noticed that some of my friends were doing part-time jobs to help them with everyday expenses. This encouraged and motivated me to start working.

I completed my education back then, and I even returned to India, but my heart remained in Russia, and that is what compelled me to return and work there.

My involvement in politics began when I initially took a part-time job at a pharmaceutical business and met some members of the local ruling party. I simply took the chance, and as time passed politics became part of my life.

Also, it was shocking that 70% of voters supported me, while the remaining 30% supported our party in the second election that we won. Considering the size of Russia's population, this is a big number.

While choosing a leader, people are often hesitant toward outsiders. Have you ever faced any such situation?

Since most individuals in Russia are educated, their perspective differs. But I won't dismiss the 10% to 15% of folks who will stand their ground and refuse to compromise. But this percentage is insignificant compared to the 70%.

According to you what was it that impressed people about you? What was that one strength which you think made a difference?

Neither I nor my team made any false hopes or promises throughout my last five years of employment, I believe the role of public meetings played a significant influence on the outcome. We only assured the things that I thought we could do. Even when the opposition used to appear in public, people still accepted my explanation that Abhay was present, and that no other candidate was required. Therefore, once that notion began to spread, I put a lot of effort into keeping my commitments.

You’re engaged in charity - assist schools, creative collectives, and patriotic associations. Could you please share a bit more about such involvements outside politics?

If I have the power to provide aid to people I need, there is no reason why not to proceed with it. During this time of crisis, everyone is aware of the ongoing upheaval between Russia and Ukraine, it also becomes our moral duty and responsibility to provide assistance to the needy.

You’ve been supporting Russian arts as well? How did it start?

Well, my curiosity began to develop in primary school, or perhaps we should say captured, my interest in it. I firmly believe that art is universal; all you need is the ability to see them. If you look closely, you may see a Radha Krishna painting hanging in my room as well as in my office.

What do you have to say to the youth – what is it that takes them to places and positions as you’ve gained?

I suppose there only one mantra I would give to my fellow ones- “Put all your efforts in whichever path you choose and go ahead with your faith and heart into it.”

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