Dr Kiran Bedi, the Chief Ministerial candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is clear about her vision and agenda for making Delhi a world class city. She believes in collective vision and action and wants every individual, department or agency to work together to achieve desirable changes. Talking to Organiser Senior Correspondent Pramod Kumar in Delhi she unfolded her plans and vision for Delhi. Armed with a popular image and experience of four decades in Police she entered into politics to give new vision and direction to governance. Excerpts:
- What is your vision to make Delhi a world class city?
Where should we begin from? There are over twenty departments in the government, and all have to begin simultaneously. All have to deliver. All have to have a vision. Then it becomes a collective vision. That has to be very-very specific and visible. Have ideas. We have already given—six Ps and six Ss. That is the journey and methodology. The six Ss are Saksharta (literacy), Swachchata (cleanliness), Sakshamata (capability), Sanskar and Sabaki Sarkar (everybody’s inclusive government). Similarly, Suraksha (security) is a goal. You start expanding them, they fall in place. The six Ps are Police, Public, Parents, Principles, Prisons & Prosecution and Press. All the six Ss and six Ps have to work simultaneously to achieve the goals. When did you hear collective governance like this last? I never heard. For the last one and a half years I have been shouting and saying it in panel discussions.
- Corruption has been a big issue for the last many decades and people from JP to Anna fought against it. Despite that people still believe that nothing will happen without paying money. How will you change this mindset?
I do not say I will do it within 49 days. We will continue to work. Public will be aware that if people sitting on top do not ask for money, then why should they pay to anyone sitting at the bottom. If you know that CM, cabinet minister or politicians do not ask for money then why pay to the officers and the clerks. Even then if you have fear in your mind, we will give you a telephone number. Inform us, we will be there early morning to check personally. We will adopt this kind of governance method. Eradicating this fear from public mind is important. At the same time all officers have also to be made clear that not even any gift will enter into the office. If somebody comes with sweats that will be distributed to the people before entering the office. We have done it when I was in police service. People used to tell the bottom staff that Madam do not need anything, then why do you ask for? They used to phone me informing the misdeeds of some SHOs.
- BJP has been following the ideology of cultural nationalism. However some people call it communal ideology. What do you think?
It’s a patriotic party. For it, India and Indians are first irrespective of their belonging to any caste, creed or language. India is first and India is last for it.
- One day a senior Congress leader appreciates the Indianness of Modiji, and next day other Congress leader questions it. What do you feel?
Have clarity, not conflicts. I am very clear on it.
- What qualities do you have which make you a good Chief Minister?
I have one biggest quality, which is not my quality rather God’s grace, that is love of the people. To me this is the divine grace. If people consider you trustworthy you feel blessed, to me this is the best gift. There is no replacement for it. You cannot impose yourself if people don’t trust you. But if people really want you and like your trust, this is the biggest blessing one can get. A trustworthy person is a gift of God. I would say this is an asset.
- What are the things you learnt as a cope over so many years that you will apply as a politician in governance?
My six Ss and six Ps make my vision clear. If you really understand it, share it with people.
- As a cope what have you learnt?
I have learnt to give, and never to take.
- People say that you are someone who does not listen to any argument. What is your assessment of yourself?
When I work, I take a decision only after listening to all, including those sitting in the corners and back benches. Because, good idea can come from any side. Rather I encourage people to express their feelings freely. Only then I take a decision. I do not hesitate to change my decision, if any better idea comes. I worked with police in this way only. When incharge of prison I listened to even the prisoners. I had a mechanism of feedback there. Every prisoner had the right to give any idea or suggestion. It means I was ready to even hear the prisoners.
- Your opponent Aam Adami Party alleges that your decision to join politics at this moment is an opportunist decision and you did not join them then. What is your objective to join politics now?
I have fully dedicated myself to the public cause. Now I sleep only for 2-3 hours at night. Earlier, I slept for six hours. This is my dedication. I never had any greed. I have enough savings. You must have seen my assets. They are sufficient for me. I can easily live a qualitative life with them. I do not need more money. I have my own house. I received invitations from world over—Harvard, Columbia, etc. All are pending. Now they will be cancelled for one goal—dedication to the nation. Because, we have to make Delhi a peaceful and good city. If we have to change India, we have to change Delhi too.
If you collide with Centre every time it only hampers the development and also make world news. The incidents like Nirbhaya bring bad name to the country. We have to change the mindset. We have to genuinely make Delhi secure. And it cannot be done without honest efforts. Honesty in monitory matters is not enough one should also be mentally honest. Jiski neeyat saaf, vo imandar. Jiski neeyat bhrast vo bhrast. (One who is mentally honest is genuinely honest and one who is mentally corrupt is definitely corrupt). We need to understand the larger definition of neeyat (mentality) and corruption.
- Why did you join BJP and why not any other party?
Why we voted for BJP this time and not for the Congress, and that too with such a thumping majority. Because, we wanted a new country, clean and good governance and a capable leadership, which do not pushes us back rather forward. BJP is a nationalist, cadre based and trustworthy party. Every party can have any of the problems, but its leadership is credible. It is dedicated to the nation and is patriotic. It is uniting the divided country. Stability is there. Investment is coming. Economy is boosting and people are joining the ‘Make in India’ initiative. This is the changed scenario. If I had to join politics, the choice was clear. No confusion was there.
- Your old friends also claim they too want to change the country?
Who prevented them? Why did they run away in 49 days? They should have continued, if they were honest.
- Your opponents now say you had criticised Narendra Modi during the Gujarat riots. Now you are with the same Modi. Why?
I was the same Kiran then and I am the same Kiran now. Some things and perceptions change with the passage of time. After that I have undertook Kailash Mansarover Yatra too.
- You called RSS a nationalist organisation. It also disturbed your opponents. Comment.
RSS is a solid and value based organisation. Its critics never tried to understand it from inside, which I did.
-If we have to change India, we have to change Delhi too. Colliding with the Centre every time will hamper the development.
-I have defined my vision and goals in six Ss and six Ps. For the last one and a half years I have been shouting and saying it in panel discussions.
-RSS is a solid and value based organisation. Its critics never tried to understand it from inside, which I did.
-I never had any greed. I have sufficient savings.
-I take a decision only after listening to all, including those sitting in the corners and back benches. Because, good idea can come from any side.
-People’s trust is the biggest blessing one can get. A trustworthy person is a gift of God. This is an asset.