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Interview

“India Of My Dream Is An Emerging Superpower That Is Truly Liberal, Secular, Casteless, Women Friendly And Business Friendly In Its Spirit.” — Keval Mehta

We have recently interacted with Keval Mehta, a mechanical engineer and GPSC aspirant. Though he is extremely busy with the preparation for the same, yet he agreed for this exclusive interview on TheCheckerNews. We asked him several questions relating to career, life, and ambition, and Keval has honestly answered all our questions with an open heart.

He is one who knows how to keep working hard unless you accomplish your goals. He is an educated, hardworking, and focused individual. Also, he takes interest in travelling and sports. We hope this interview will inspire our readers and fill their mind with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and energy.

So what are you waiting for?

Here Are the Excerpts

Hi Keval! Welcome to TheCheckerNews.Com. Please introduce yourself to our audience.

Ans: Hello, I am Keval Mehta hailing from Rajula city, Gujarat. Now I am living in Ahmedabad and I am preparing for the GPSC class 1/2 and might try UPSC too in future. I have done mechanical engineering from Marwadi Education foundation group of Institutions under Gujarat Technological University in 2016. After that I aspired for the UPSC exam and gave 3 attempts of UPSC in 4 years, and one attempt of GPSC in which I cleared prelims.

Recently in 2021 , I did 2 private jobs too but was not satisfied and thought I deserve better things. My hobbies are Reading books, especially historical fiction novels and some non fiction books too, public speaking, and watching cricket. My areas of interest are History, Philosophy, Politics, and some very good literature.

You are a mechanical engineer too. Did you always want to be an engineer? How was the journey?

Ans: Yes , I am a mechanical engineer. It was not the case that engineering was my dream profession. So it’s not like that that I always wanted to be an engineer. So I frankly admit that I followed the rush for engineering in 2012 when most of my friends followed this. This was further compounded by my good academic results in 10th and 12th. Because marks and results in 10th and 12th were only factors which decided the journey of a person in future. Suppose I had 55 percent in 10th, I would have been told to invariably do arts irrespective of my interest.

My journey in engineering was smooth as it is not that much stressful 4 years. Even my project was also easy to complete. But during this journey only, I realised some dissatisfaction from life and me and I was searching what fundamentally I should do in my life and how my life on earth can be meaningful.

What is your ambition in life? Are you preparing for GPSC and UPSC exams too? Share your experience with us.

Ans: Right now my only ambition is to top in Gujarat Civil Service Exam (GPSC) and make my family proud of me. If I achieve that, and feel more and more confident then I will think of IAS again. Apart from that, I wanted to develop myself in other spheres like art forms like martial arts, painting etc. I want to have a very active public life, like service to downtrodden and protest, agitation for public causes. I want to be part of political activities too , but just support from outside like writing speeches , making electoral strategies in future as I think such tasks make me a real ‘MAN’.

Yes, I am preparing for GPSC and UPSC exams too. I took my UPSC exams in 2017, 2018, and 2020. I couldn’t clear prelims in 3 attempts. In 2020, its likely that I am clearing one of the most competitive papers GS 1 of India as I was scoring above with a good margin according to keys of coaching but might have less performance in CSAT paper. I gave GPSC 2018  in which I cleared prelims without GPSC preparation, but couldn’t get through mains by 1 mark margin in that GPSC mains.

Unlike other aspirants , my UPSC journey was very very tough. I had no moral support in my family to pursue UPSC and it became extremely tough to sustain UPSC for 4 years without moral support. Not only was there moral support, I had to face serious opposition for study. However, family had to support me financially. Because of this, I had to face mild mental health issues like low mood for a long time after my 3rd debacle in UPSC in 2020.Not any of my friends pursuing UPSC, has faced this much challenges and they are free to do whatever they like. In fact, because of personal pressures, I couldn’t take attempt of 2019 of UPSC which was relatively easy paper with good number of vacancies.

Apart from personal problems, I didn’t get much mentoring, guidance and such a good peer group to discuss. Most of the things are my own work. Its true that I took coaching in Bangalore in 2016-17, that I had some support and I got some very good people as mentors too. But my friends there, hugely benefited from other support systems through various programmes of coaching , mentoring , and peer group mainly because they could stay there longer than me and they had good family support to buy such programmes and mentoring.  However all these challenges did not deter me, I still excelled at prelims GS 1, philosophy optional through reading/digesting standard and reference books, and essays.

Now I am focusing on success with the right methods of study , discipline , and improvement over performances by reading very good books and executing them so that I can avoid the fate of defeat and failure.

Who are you beyond Quora? How do you manage time for writing on Quora?

Ans: My intention here is not to show how great I am, I am just explaining what I am beyond quora, and because many close people even don’t know me. Well, it’s a tricky question. I think I am a ‘gentleman’ so I am a good human ,citizen, son , brother, friend. I think my choice is very high(I am not boasting of me, really) as I was inclined to be PM for a long time. I read one of the greatest epic novels.  Because of this great novel, some extra reading and some personal experience, I don’t have longing for political posts. I mean my path and choice changed.  My optional in UPSC is philosophy, so again higher subject, I chose.

My role models and philosophers from history are also unique(different from the crowd).. I am more inclined to lead a meaningful life and find a meaning in life. I led a sort of committed life in UPSC which I found to be a higher form of life.  I am not much into the idea of luxurious living, I am a minimalist person. Money doesn’t motivate me much. Besides , I became a serial visionary mainly contributed by my loneliness and UPSC knowledge. But I am also a person with many flaws and bad habits(not any addiction) like untidy rooms and overthinking.

I use Quora when I am bored of my work. I mainly read others’ answers, not much writing these days unless some very good question is trending on Quora. So I manage time on Quora as some past time.

Do you love writing? Comment on it.

Ans: Yes , I love writing. Writing has many benefits like it forces us to concentrate on a thought. I can express myself more in the form of writing. With writing a book, we can share our insights to the world and illuminate the world. I would like to pursue writing a book in future. I already read many foreign authors’ books. So that too inspires me to write as quality books as they are writing.

Do you watch films and cricket matches? Who are your favourite cricketers and actors?

Ans: Yes I watch films and cricket matches. But right now I am not much into either of these. I watch only those films which are much more popular and have good stories nowadays. My favorite cricketer was Sachin but right now I like KL Rahul, as I identified him as a really very good way back in my college days(5-6 years ago when he was a new player) and my friends were not ready to accept this

I don’t have any favorite actors. If I like some movies and the acting of some actors, I appreciate them , that’s it. I found some TV serial actors are as good as or even better actors than Bollywood actors, so I don’t have favourite actors.

How many cities/ states have you visited so far? Which places would you like to visit soon?

Ans: I visited 5 other states so far. I would like to visit Goa soon with some friends.

The year 2020 was a tough one for each of us. How did you spend your time at home during Quarantine and COVID-19-induced lockdown?

Ans: Yes it was a tough year, but fortunately It was a good year for me somehow. Mostly my time spent in studies, movies and with some people used to come to my home because of freetime and boredom at home. Here I am living in a town where covid threat was minimal , so we are not as concerned as people in big cities. However, in the 2nd wave, we were also very concerned.

Why do people still run after government jobs when they can still do a good private job anywhere in India?

Ans: Main reason people still run after government jobs is because government jobs give very good job security. India is still a lower middle income country where job sustainability and job security is valued over everything else. Parents , elders still have the mentality that a government job is a sign of happiness. Boys are better candidates for marriage if they have a government job with them. Most of the youth who have done engineering are really not interested in technical knowledge. The commercial ecosystem of science streams plays a big role. So after graduation, if they do private jobs which have no technical requirements, they have to do low paying private jobs. Such jobs don’t have growth prospects either. So people either choose technical jobs in private, or the rest think of taking government jobs.

Stones, Dream, Inspire, Courage, Harmony, Rocks

Private jobs are exploitative in nature because of surplus profit motive. This is not my prejudice but this reality shown by Karl marx. Government jobs are not based on profit activities. Government is for service and welfare, development activities. Many people don’t like to do hard work and just enjoy it. This is possible in government jobs alone. However, I do support the private sector and wish for maximum flourishing of the private sector as a wealth creator. My point is that government Jobs are good and if we establish our business then it’s also good.

Finally, please explain the India of your dreams. What type of dreams do you have for India?

Ans: As I said, I became a serial visionary because of my loneliness and UPSC knowledge. So here I share the India of my dreams.

According to Dr. Ambedkar without social progress, political and economic progress won’t sustain much. So we need radical social transformation. We need to free up youth from shackles of tradition, elders, etc, from home to parliament. Leave parliament, change should start from home. Swami Vivekananda was a great youth promotor and if we go by his thoughts, India is not moving an inch. He once said, give youth all the power and freedom, allow them what they do. It’s true that youth will make mistakes because of lack of experience but still these mistakes are forgivable  as it’s committed by our own youth who will learn from this. So instead of deciding things by elders in the name of perfection and in the name of interest of youth, we shouldn’t stifle freedom of youth.  Currently, India is changing , but we have a lot to do. Currently India is still an anti dream, anti love society which is against youth. We need a greater woman dealing in the outside world be it her career or position in decision making bodies, parliament, good education institutions or works of nonprofits organizations like charity , trust etc.

Within this radical social transformation, we need a casteless society right now.  I am from upper castes yet I am not at all fond of institutions of caste. With due respect to our scripture, I would say the institution of caste might be relevant 3000 years ago. At that time, it might have served some purpose and was beneficial but in the 21st century caste is a totally irrelevant heritage for us. If we do some research on the question of caste in the 21st century, there is no single base we can say on which caste is relevant.  Apart from this, it’s morally wrong as it generates notions of high and low , so such notions and their mother caste is a morally wrong thing that we still are upholding.  Casteless society further contributes in real social integration which is hampered by feelings of “distinct and separate” by various people among themselves. Casteless society is caused by more and more inter-caste marriage and results in more and more love marriages which are youth friendly.  So India of my dream is a pro dream pro love society for youth, youth are freed from shackles of tradition and elders. Women are freed from patriarchy and society as a whole gets rid of caste institutions.

The India of my dream is that  society adopts secularism in its spirit. We have a secular constitution and secular state, so we should now aspire for secular society. We are regressing back with the progress of time because of colonial rule. We need India of the 16th century,6th BCE. So according to me, all religions should not only avoid conflict and live in harmony but also thrive together. I have thought of a seemingly funny vision of religious secularism on the matter of ram temple at Ayodhya when the court verdict had not come. I really thought temple and mosque should be side by side and both followers come to the same place separated by a wall. They can interact outside where shoes are kept. This is because just as school, hospital , temple etc. are also an important part and just as in school and hospital-people of both communities meet and interact , similarly outside of temple and mosque premises they can intermix well. Let the sound of bells and azan play together.

In the economic sphere , the India of my dream is like Singapore fully flourished with the latest business, products, technology, tourism, infrastructures, a learning center like the USA. We need a greater role of the private sector in India. We need more and more businessmen who can thrive in the global competition, we already have such businessmen but we need more. The India of my dream should be well integrated through global value chains in global supplies of goods and services. So we should take opportunities like RCEP rather than avoiding it.

In the international arena , India of my dream is that it follows that “Panchsheela”, and we need to have a more realistic approach in foreign policy. We have to have a strong military posture on all fronts of the border. We should resolve the border dispute with China at earliest.

(Thank you, Keval, for such a candid and enlightening interview. We wish you all the best in your life and career ahead)