If there is one thing that has defined my path in life, it has been my desire to serve. I have always felt that one can only find purpose when one understands that we all have a duty to participate.
This recognition of duty coupled with a strong sense of belonging to this community led me to serve in the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Territorial Army. As an officer I learned extremely valuable lessons about loyalty, companionship and leadership. Looking back on those days I realise what it is about service that appeals to me so profoundly.
My business roles in the family businesses as well as my involvement with the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses have broadened and deepened these bonds. I need to add that my father, Krishna, has been the ideal role model for me and helped me aspire for a better Gibraltar. His work with the Hindu Merchants Association, the Chamber of Commerce and as a JP served as a good example.
The value I most identify with is the democratic ethos. More than ever democracy needs daily attention. Citizens want this and, in my opinion, deserve this. I meet hundreds of individuals daily who agree with the concern that the current system is run by an elite, serving the interests of a few. Many feel disconnected and what we need is a system that meets the needs of the majority. We need to focus more on the quality of life of the people of this community and craft a new vision for Gibraltar that is more attuned with the wishes of its people.
I believe Together Gibraltar will prove that politics can be done differently by being available, by being in touch. I want to help destroy the cynicism that surrounds the world of politics by being attentive, receptive and available.
The timing is right. On a personal level I feel that with the support of my family, and the help of my work colleagues, I can now take on these responsibilities in a more direct way. And as for Gibraltar politically I also feel the time is right for change. Many Gibraltarians, many of my closest friends, agree with me wholeheartedly.
I have a bolder vision for Gibraltar than most. But it’s tempered with an affinity for pragmatism. The message from me is that Gibraltar Deserves Better. A more diverse and inclusive economy. With a clear strategy that is both outward facing and inward facing - encouraging local businesses to grow and stretch. Better in healthcare and education. We need a Government that develops and cultivates a long-term strategy in consultation with all stakeholders to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.
I have had too many people tell me that Gibraltarians are not willing to pay the price for success in the way we govern ourselves. That we are not willing to do what it takes. I beg to differ. We are a proud and generous people, but we need real leadership. Leadership that looks and speaks like our community and understands their priorities.
My vision will encompass a future of quiet confidence in ourselves, our home and what we aspire to become. When we travel abroad, we should hear people express admiration for what we Gibraltarians stand for and what we do, and there should be a glimmer of envy that we could be so lucky to be Gibraltarian.