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|February 3, 1998||
'People need jobs for livelihood, not roads and electricity'
Ganpat Rao Patil, 42, assistant to a pujari, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
Politicians! I hate them since I cleared my class XII. After clearing my exams, I pleaded for a job before every politician in our city, but no one helped me. My general view about politicians is that before an election, they give you all kinds of promises. But after coming to power they change completely.
Earlier, I did not hold such a view about politicians. I always used to campaign for the Congress. But as I matured, I realised that I was not benefiting anyway by campaigning. I say this because till date I am unemployed.
I was an ardent supporter of Indira Gandhi. But after the Emergency, I changed my views about her. In fact, I was surprised when she came back to power after three years. It is very unfortunate in our country that people's memory about politicians is short-lived.
After 1980, I started concentrating on doing odd jobs and started taking least interest in politics. I worked in a grocery shop as a part-time accountant. Among other places where I got temporary jobs were banks and the collectorate. But I was never confirmed in any of them.
About Sonia Gandhi, I wonder what's happening when people say that she will improve things after coming to power. I want to ask these people a question. When Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv could not change anything in our country, what can Sonia do?
In fact, western Maharashtra has been ruled by the Congress since Independence, but the life of the common man has not changed much. I am just as I was 20 years ago. Yes, I agree that our city is one of the most developed compared to other cities in Maharashtra.
Though I do not get a salary, the best thing about my job is that I see lot of people who come with hope to our temple including Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray. He had come here in 1995 for the blessings of our devi. I believe the Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena are in power today because of this devi.
Personally, I have never interacted with the BJP and Sena leaders. But I believe they are better than Congressmen. Beggars who come to our temple say the BJP-Sena government in Maharashtra have launched the zunka bhakar (a local dish) scheme which they provide for nearly one rupee.
No, I won't agree with those people who say that our country has not developed. Our country has developed in many ways. There were no proper roads to our villages 20 years ago. But today there are good roads, electricity and water. But people need jobs for their livelihood and not roads and electricity.
As told to Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
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