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NA Harris: Shantinagar’s ‘Amar, Akbar & Anthony’


NA Harris: Shantinagar’s ‘Amar, Akbar & Anthony’
He can be described as the three-in-one ‘Amar, Akbar, Anthony’ of Shantinagar. NA Harris, Shantinagar MLA, has another plus in his favor – his good looks and a pleasing personality. If everything counts in politics, Harris is a full package. The credit for this, he says should go to his father, N.A. Mohammed, former President of Bhadravathi Municipality in Shimoga Dist. (1968-75), a veteran Congressman since his childhood.  He speaks Malayalam fluently and belongs to a prominent Malayalee family in Bangalore.

With his terrific following among the youth, Harris has been hyper active in taking up many civic issues in his constituency. Recently, he was in the news for initiating the NO Honking Campaign in the city by involving various corporates and college students. A large number of young volunteers hit the streets with placards’ to educate motorists, car and cab drivers to not to honk unnecessarily and avoid noise pollution. The volunteers even managed the traffic after their work earning appreciation from the public. The response from the public was robust and the campaign will be an ongoing affair, Harris said.

Among other activities taken up by Harris include promoting sports, conducting health camps, and providing education support to the economically weaker sections. The last mentioned is his passion. Harris regularly sponsors the education of poor students. He insists this is not a gimmick, declaring that he was lucky to be born wealthy, and pointedly adds that he did not become wealthy after entering politics.

Recently at a birthday party organized for him by his well wishers he urged them to get their names enrolled in the voters’ list and to vote the right candidate. “I did not ask them to vote for me per se,” he said, “I only asked them to vote wisely and vote for the right candidate.” Even if this is shrewd political strategy, one can hardly fault it.

Incidentally, the political grapevine has it that after he retains his assembly seat as expected, he could be in for a ministerial post. “Do you seriously expect me to respond to this speculation?” he says amused.

At 44 years of age, Harris represents the Congress’ youth brigade, especially since he started his public life as a student leader in Vijaya College, where he did his degree and went on to complete his MA in History. Noting his articulation skills, the Congress Party anointed him as its spokesperson.  Harris has held several posts in the past viz. Chairman, Mysore Paper Mills Ltd, Karnataka State Tourism Council, Karnataka State Haj Committee, Bangalore, Administrator, Niswan (English/Urdu School) Shivaji Nagar Bangalore under the aegis of the Wakf Board of Karnataka, in addition to overseeing several social activities as Managing Trustee, N.A. Mohammed’s Centre for Education, Chairman, Nalapad Rehabilitation Center, Chairman, Nalapad Foundation, Chairman, N A Haris Foundation.

Harris has also been the recipient of the prestigious RAJIV GANDHI SHIROMANI AWARD for Meritorious accomplishments in diverse fields of activities, the MAJLIS – E – ADAB Golden Jubilee Award (1999), PARYATAN VIKAS BHARATI AWARD by Indian Achievers Forum for individual achievement and national development, the NATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARD for outstanding services, achievements and contributions on the occasion of 56th India’s Independence Day.

With a repertoire and pedigree like this, NA Harris is a tough candidate to beat…