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'Join politics to serve the nation'

He is also producing a film with Sunny Deolin the lead. When CS quizzed him about multi-tasking, he saidin a matter-of-fact tone, “One must be clear every morning as to how one wants to spend the day. Once priorities are clear, it’s not difficult.” In a long chat, he shares his political and personal ideologies.

Striking a balance
When I became an MP in 1988 I stopped being active in business. It’s not possible to do both business and politics. I have professionals to run my firm. Politics takes up my time.

Politicians then and now
Most of the people who enter into politics have a strong background. During the freedom struggle, most of them were either legal or medical background. I don’t see anything wrong with entrepreneurs joining politics but the aim should be to serve public interest, not for personal gains. As far as corporates getting into politics is concerned, I feel that professionals and CEOs have good ideas but most of them are not patient with the system. When you are in the Government, you cannot take decisions as quickly as you can when you are employed in a private company. 

It’s socially relevant
Social media is a wonderful platform. But the acute shortage of power supply in rural areas makes it difficult for the youth in these areas to access the Internet. Again, I would like to see the youth of our country joining politics but the aim should be to serve the country and not for individual interest.

Change in scenario
The political scenario has changed over the years. Politicians are becoming self-centered. Even parties are becoming leader-centric instead of ideology-centric. Presently, there are 20 to 25 regional parties, which are influential in their areas. All this started 25 years back and has now reached a climax.

Environment matters
It’s heartening to see that the awareness for environment and wildlife conservation has grown, yet the paucity of resources makes it difficult to achieve much in that direction. However, in the last five years, the tiger population has gone up which is a good sign. I used to photograph birds at Bharatpur National Park, but my wish was to see a live tiger in the jungle. In 2002, when I went to Bandhavgarh National Park, I was riding an elephant and spotted a tiger close to us, he was right under the tree that we passed by. Since it was my first encounter with a tiger at such close quarters, it remains memorable till date. 

Early influence
My uncle was a Lok Sabha member from 1952 to 1967. I was his understudy. My political grooming, if you can call it that, happened under him. Family is always important.  

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