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|August 27, 1999||
India Speaks/ Aarif Ahmed
'I'll close my eyes and vote for the Congress'
The politicians today just don't care about the public. Not at all. They just try to load their pockets. And when the elections are approaching, they literally come begging at for votes. Yes, that's exactly how the situation is today. Once they've got what they wanted, they absolutely forget about us. After that it's a different story altogether. Then they say, "Who public? What people?"
Yes I do vote. It's my birthright and I will exercise it. According to me, every citizen of India must exercise this right. This time I'm going to vote for the Congress, for Mr Sunil Dutt. He really is an able politician. He is good-natured too. He comes amongst us people and asks us about our problems. He really makes an honest effort to solve all our problems. He has done so many things for us. He is not the type who comes asking for votes during elections and then totally forgets about his people. He genuinely cares about us.
He has won the elections twice and each time he comes to us and helps us. He is the only one who does such things. Till today I've never seen anyone like that -- really. He has organised taps for us, sets up bathrooms for us... If anyone has problems getting admission to a school, he has solved the problem...
We can never get the kind of leaders we had earlier. Corruption is too much. If things really go on like this, I really don't think the current generation will ever be motivated to enter politics. Most of our politicians are educated.
Of course, in UP and Bihar, the story is different. All of them are absolutely uneducated, total illiterates. Corruption is really bad. Politicians are just running after money. They first fill their own pockets and then think about others. They are a bunch of absolutely selfish people. I seriously don't think our politicians can do anything for the people. That is because they are after money and nothing else. That's how they are.
I think it'll take at least 20, 25 years for things to change. Nothing can happen before that. And that too the change will only take place if we have a prime minister like Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He is a good man. I think he really is a very good leader. Only he is in the wrong party. You see, if he wasn't with BJP, but the Congress instead, I'm sure the state of our country would be much better.
At present I really feel the Congress should be the ruling party. Today when we have to open a bank account, they ask for a passport, ration card and income-tax receipt. Not everybody has passports.
It was different before. Two people would just sign and one could open an account. With this kind of rules, I really don't think that this party is going to stay here any longer. We want the Congress in Maharashtra too. Yes, we will vote for the Congress. I'll close my eyes and vote for the Congress.
We don't want a BJP or a Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra. They've really troubled us a lot. They have broken poor people's homes. They've absolutely harassed us. What all have they done! We want the Congress here once again.
Politics today is a filthy game. Our politicians just try to create differences between people in the name of religion. Even if a single fish is dirty in the pond, the whole pond becomes dirty. No good person can stay here for too long.
I'll never let my children ever enter politics. No way! Our politicians cannot improve the situation of our country, we people should. We all should vote for one party only. And that party should be the Congress -- only they can improve the situation of our country.
Aarif Ahmed works as a darner in Bombay. As told to Kanchana Suggu
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