For each one of us, who may be students, employees, social workers, professionals, sport person, leader, businesspeople, or just citizen, the pain of failure and the joy of success is a known emotion. But how many of us have coped with these by patiently bearing and learning from failure and intelligently though modestly, building on the success. The saga of Ganesh Naik’s life bear testimony to those virtues. From his consecutive three electoral defeats in the beginning of his political career he braved the storms of opposition onslaught and built his base as a trade union leader, who perfected a balance between justice for the employees and interest of the employers. The smallest to the largest industries including Reliance Industries became his turf, where he nurtured his concern for fellow citizens and after every electoral defeat he emerged a stronger trade union leader. Even in the corridors of political and bureaucratic power, Ganesh Naik maneuvered on the tight rope that pulled ruling and opposition’s interests towards opposite ends, ultimately emerging the most accepted leader in the region. Ganesh Naik utilized the Shiv-Sena’s opposing tactics but added his own measures of negotiating skills to win over people from all walks of life. His three political setbacks early in his Socio-political carrier rooted him deeper to the people, who found him an effective rallying point. This set the ground for his record electoral victory in the 1994 Assembly Elections and subsequently a minister in the State Cabinet of the Shiv-Sena govt. People of Ganesh Naik’s stature, it was soon realized by the powers in Shiv-Sena, cannot be dictated to follow irrational diktats and finally the self-esteem and pride of a self made personality held sway over the lure of succumbing to humiliation to retain power and Ganesh Naik walked out. When he lost the next elections by a wafer-thin margin, it did not deter his resolve and determination a bit. Ganesh Naik is indeed the most apt example of one tapping opportunity in adversity. What was destined loss for Shiv- Sena came as a boon to the newly floated Nationalist Congress Party floated by rebel Congress political heavyweight, Shardrao Pawar, whose political strategy and judgment, saw the spark of Ganesh Naik’s charisma and chose him to steer the party to become a force to reckon with, in the city. Ganesh Naik rose up to that expectation flawlessly. His organizational skills, grassroots contacts, his cosmopolitan approach in an emerging urban scenario and his human understanding of the displaced villagers, all stood him in good stead and he entered the State Assembly riding high majestically with a record victory margin in the state. Ganesh Naik has been the talk of the state, almost equal if not more, than the State Chief Minister Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh and the State Dy. Chief Minister Shri R R Patil. More often than not also a subject of strong criticism. VOICEOVER Ganesh Naik has also earned a reputation of being the most opposed leader too. Sections of the media have unsparingly showered attacks on his intentions and activities, making Ganesh Naik the most misunderstood leader in the region. Be it his frank suggestion of selling open lands, or his liquor policy. But despite these controversies, Ganesh Naik is firmly committed to his stance with the intention of pulling the Maharashtra State out of its burdensome debt and triggering rapid development to put the State at par with the most developed cities in the world. It is well known that some of the political rivals of the leaders, both outside and inside the party have apparently tried to distort his intentions and give a negative turn to his aspirations. Ganesh Naik, however, appears to be blessed with the boon of getting stronger after every fight or defeat. Another quality of the leader is that, he galvanized the immigrants and villagers as harmonious citizens of the rapidly growing new city. Thus when communal flare up haunted neighboring regions, not a spark was ignited in Navi Mumbai, under his able leadership and the vigilance of the city police. Ganesh Naik is the only political leader in the city, who had disciplined timetable for all wings – students, youth, women welfare, project-affected, South Indian, minorities, quarry owners, union workers, businessman people, senior citizen, artist, NGO’s and sportsperson. He meets each one of them with equal vigor, post success and defeat. His Janta Darbar has become a source to get in contact with people of his constituency directly giving a hope for solution. Janta Darbar happens to be his medium to hear the grievances, issues and problems of the people of the city. For a common man with whatever problems, Ganesh Naik personifies the “Main Hoon Na” attitude. As shared with Navi Mumbai News, Ganesh Naik has a vision for the city – to make NM an international city with world class infrastructure, providing quality employment opportunities and increasing tourism. Indeed, Ganesh Naik has become a Brand of Navi Mumbai. Like every Navi Mumbaikar, we take pride in our association with this beloved leadership. As we celebrate his birthday, NMTV wishes Ganesh Naik many more years of glorious leadership for Navi Mumbai in particular and the State and the nation too. NMTV wishes him many happy returns of the day and a continued healthy, long and fruitful life.
November 12, 2014
September 12, 2016