March 2023 \ News \ POLITICS

From being a geography teacher in a small school in Rajasthan to being appointed as Assam Governor, Gulab Chand Kataria has come a long way.

By Archana Sharma

Jaipur: From being a geography teacher in a small school in Rajasthan to being appointed as Assam Governor, Gulab Chand Kataria has come a long way. Despite being a political stalwart in the Mewar region after being elected eight times as an MLA and one time as MP, Kataria is known for his simplicity and humble profile.

Not many know that Kataria started his career as a geography teacher in a small school in Rajasthan, but gradually became aware of the geography of Mewar region. When he was serving as the leader of opposition in Rajasthan, he was appointed as Assam Governor.

Hailing from a humble background, Kataria had to walk miles across the hilly terrains of Mewar, ride on bicycle and bike to strengthen the organisation and to reach out to the people. Here are excerpts from the interview:

From a school teacher in a small town in Rajasthan to Assam Governor... How do you narrate the journey?

Definitely, there have been many challenges in life right from the start. In fact, I believe that our life evolves and emerges from challenges. During the initial phase, when we started working, we never dreamt that BJP will become the biggest party in the country. In fact, those who shaped and moulded us (our seniors) taught us that struggle is the jewel of life which beautifies our personality. I studied till Class 8 in our village. In Class 9, I had to shift to town due to my father’s posting. Later, when I was living alone in Udaipur where I completed my education, I also started cooking on my own at a tender age.

When did you join the RSS?

In 1961 I came in touch with RSS, which changed my life. Since my college days, I have been connected with the RSS. Meanwhile, I completed my B.Ed. and was selected as a geography teacher. I was also running an RSS Shakha then.

During the Lok Sabha polls of 1971, the Congress raised an issue that either this master stays or else it will stop the grant to the school. So I was asked to choose one out of two and I selected running the Shakha and my services were terminated. But I was not annoyed as I knew it was a priority for them to run the school. Then I joined a private school while pursuing my LLB. I was also doing Sangh work simultaneously. I used to go there to listen to the tall leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani. Meanwhile, after coming out of jail during Emergency, the Sangh helped me get a ticket.

What schedule do you follow being a representative of the people?

My day starts at 5.30 a.m. After my morning routine, I make sure that I stay connected to the people. In fact, most of the time, I stay away from my family. However, I make sure that I give my best as an MLA, MP or when working in my constituency.