NEW DELHI: Away from the media blaze and limelight, 35 year old Sajjad Hussain is escorted by hundreds of supporters as he makes his way through the streets of Kargil, Ladakh as a candidate for Ladakh Parliamentary constituency.

Hussain, like many youth leaders in the electoral fray in the country today does not have a family legacy nor has he entered into politics through the monetary route. The disclosure which had to be made to the election commission in fact showed that his total assets are a mere Rs 50000.

He is being supported by all the major political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, including the Peoples Democratic Party and the National Conference. As an Independent candidate he is up against BJP’s Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Congress’s Rigzin Spalbar, and former Congress MLA from the region, Asgar Karbalai.

Recalling his political journey, Hussain tells The Citizen that he was involved in pro-people activism from his student days in Jamia Millia Islamia, in Delhi.

“I was always very interested in politics since my student days, not because I wanted to see myself in Parliament or the Assembly but I believe strongly in justice, and the need to fight for it. As a student of Jamia Millia Islamia till 2009, I consistently kept myself involved in democratic politics across north India. This was only because I was affected by the injustice and exploitation around me,” he said.

Hussain particularly admires Ayatollah Khomeni who led the Iranian revolution.

He further states,” I have been involved in all kinds of movement working towards upholding humanitarian values and truth, justice and dignity for every individual living in our society, these movements have been of all colours but what has really driven me to be a part of them is my faith in religion and one particular quote of Imam Hussain, ‘Death with dignity is better than life with humiliation’.

Having moved back to Kargil in 2009, Sajjad Hussain started to engage with people in his home district. While working as a journalist with Sehar Urdu TV and Editor of Greater Ladakh, he took active interest in local issues and politics. However what brought him to the limelight recently was his strong stand on equal share in divisional status and Cluster University for Kargil. Hussain was a prominent face in the week long protests demanding equal share for Kargil. The demand was eventually accepted by the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

If Hussain’s supporters in the region are to be believed, he represents a kind a politics that bridges the gap within and around the region of Ladakh.

He also has strong views on issues like Article 370 and 35 A and maintains that he remains committed to upholding them as they are pertinent to the composite culture and unity of the state.

On being asked why he was not being covered by the media, despite his political journey, he responds with a smile, udhar ki media wahi dikhate hain jo bikta hai (TV channels show what sells ). We are treated by the so called mainstream media as if we do not exist, and this is what I want to change. I will take the voice of people from the region to Parliament in Delhi and make sure that the people at the national level listen to our grievances and solve them. This indifferent attitude of those sitting in Delhi towards us will not be accepted by the youth of my region.”

Ladakh polls on May 6.