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|February 16, 1998||
'I know for sure the kind of leader that I want does exist somewhere'
Pravin Soni, jeweller, 32, Rajkot
My expectations from our leaders are not too many. I will be delighted, even grateful, if they can free this country of the ills such as poverty, corruption, unemployment, pollution and ever-increasing population.
I know this is a herculean task but I am sure a sincere, combined effort can produce the desired result. Even if our leaders can succeed in removing at least two of the five ills I have mentioned, it will be a great achievement.
I hope they will do public service with a sense of dedication and sincerity. Most of our dreams have been crushed by successive leaders and politicians, but it is to be hoped that India will have a new and proud image in the 21st century which we are about to enter. To do this you have to be honest and corruption-free and I am sure there are still some leaders who possess these two virtues.
It is my biggest dream to see India emerge as a powerful player in the politics of the world. And I hope it will be realised by the dawn of the twenty first century. My other dream, of seeing India as a first world country, has long been shattered, though. I do not think India will ever be considered a developed country. But I have no doubt, however, that India will be a major player in the affairs of the world, come the 21st century.
I would also like our leaders and politicians to have total commitment for the task on hand. I think a true politician is one who is committed to his work. Unfortunately, most of our leaders have no time to think, let alone recall, about the promises they give to the public before the election. It may not be a right qualification for a politician in the modern context, but I just cannot stand any politician who is not committed, sincere and public-friendly.
I know for sure the kind of leader that I want does exist somewhere in reality. What he needs is the right platform and the right environment. If we could unearth such people and lend them our full support, India will again be a great country it once was.
As told to Haresh Pandya
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