“If you have faith even a small mustard seed can say to the mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing is impossible.” He is bold, tough, straightforward, ambitious, and fearless. And, of course, he has the money. But for Nishikant Sapam, ‘Manipur first’ is his dharma. If there is no corruption and if there is sincerity, unwavering intent, strong willpower and more importantly a sense of belongingness among the people for the motherland, Manipur can be one of the most developed and advanced states in the country, he believes.
Having tested commendable success in his many business ventures and also being the owner of two of the largest circulating newspapers in Manipur– The Sangai Express –English and Manipuri editions, Nishikant is not in awe of power and fame. Yet, he feels, if you want to serve the masses, one of the best ways is to be their political representative. You can reach out to a lot of people, listen to problems and take initiatives to advance their interests. Of course, there are other career paths to take, other activities you can take up to serve the people– but all these paths are directly or indirectly influenced by the decisions and actions of politicians, as they are also policymakers, Nishikant, who is an intending candidate from the Keishamthong constituency for the 12th Manipur Assembly election slated to be held in the early quarter of 2022, told The North East Affairs.
Manipur is a small state, which is waiting for development. When you love your state, you are more likely to contribute to its developments with an open heart. Our state can be a paradise if it is taken in the right course – either in tourism, development infrastructure, roads and irrigation, areas in which the state still lags far behind the rest of the country.
Explaining why he entered politics, Nishikant, who was considered one of the best basketball players in the country during his school and college days, said that as a politician, not only do you represent your people, but you also have an opportunity to find solutions that help your state. Political representation can therefore be an act of patriotism, he contended. Like Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan – Na Khaunga Na Khane Doonga –I will not become corrupt and nor will I allow others to be corrupt, Nishikant’s philosophy and open slogan is to remove corruption from the state at every level.
Nishikant said that the Keishamthong constituency is one of the most literate constituencies in the state, and he believes people can decide on their own who is winnable and will do work for the constituency and the state.
Born to Sapam Mani Singh and Sapam Ongbi Gambhini Devi & Sapam Ongbi Ibemhal Devi at Keishamthong Thouda Bhabok Leikai, Imphal, Nishikant Sapam went to Eden Garden School, Khwairakpam Leikai till Class 1. Up to Class 3, he studied at the Bishop Westcott Boys’ School, Namkum, Ranchi, Jharkhand. He finished his class XII at the prestigious Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, New Delhi. He briefly joined St Stephen’s College, New Delhi but later shifted to Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, to finish his Bachelor in Commerce (Hons).
An active sportsperson since childhood, Nishikant Sapam represented the Indian Basketball Team (U-19) as Vice-Captain in Asian Basketball Championship held in Manila, the Philippines in the year 1982. As Captain (U-21), Nishikant presented the Indian Basketball Team as a Goodwill Tour to Saudi Arabia in the year 1984.
Despite his fairly good academic record, Nishikant never dreamt of joining any lucrative government service or private firm. Instead, true to his family background, he joined his father’s business of publishing, printing and selling books.
But entering into politics is his ‘inner calling’ and said that politics is all about sacrifice. He wants to dedicate all his life to the public. His main ideology, like BJP’s, is ‘Manipur first’, which he said if you love the place where you were born you can do a lot for it. He has seen those poor people and destitute families in many places including his own constituency. Their despairing stories and cries for development hit him hard and forced him to enter into politics so that he can serve more people and much better, he informed. This is the reason, he said, why he had organized mass vaccination camps with more than eight thousand people getting vaccinated in his own constituency during the past few months. A 24 hours ambulance service has been running to aid the public, Nishikant disclosed.