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|August 27, 1999||
Issues 99/Suresh Heblikar
'We have severe social problems like female infanticide that our parties don't bother about'
"Neither politicians nor political parties are taking into account the aspirations, or even worries, of the young people, and this, I feel, is very wrong. All parties talk about giving stable governments, as if stability in itself is a great virtue. What is the great use of stability if it is accompanied by non-performance and corruption?
To most governments today, stability is just another opportunity to loot the place. Our society is so full of glaring disparities, and I think we should only elect whichever political party really promises to do something to reduce these. They are causing a lot of problems in our country, like the rising crime rate both in the cities and the villages... And unemployment.
"It's not enough just to say that you will create one crore [10 million] jobs for the people. How can you really do this, and at what benefit to the overall economy of the country? We have such severe social problems like female infanticide that our parties don't bother about. We only think about engineering and software, not that primary education or universalisation of education is a must.
"These are the important issues that the voter must be asked to consider, not Rama or Kargil. As for Kargil, any government in control would have done the same thing. And Kargil, in my opinion, was a tragedy, not a great victory, in the sheer terms of the number of lives lost. How can you use Kargil as propaganda?
"Parties are all so fickle and confused. Ramakrishna Hegde and his Lok Shakti announced my name as their candidate from Hubli without even asking me. I worked hard with them on their manifesto and campaign plans. But when they finally worked out that seat adjustment with J H Patel's faction of the Dal, and with the BJP, Lok Shakti did not get the Dharwad seat, so I never got a ticket.
Not that I am sorry, because I never went seeking political power. I am happy to do good work for the people from outside the boundaries of politics.
Every party starts off by professing great concern for the environment, which is my favourite cause, and for solving the country's socioeconomic problems, But when it comes to distributing tickets, they still go by caste and religion.
I can only advise the voter, in this case, to opt for the party that seems to be most genuine or committed, and that is difficult to choose, because every party seems to be sincere only on the surface!
Suresh Heblikar, environmentalist, film maker and actor, spoke to M D Riti
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