On Thursday morning, the CII auditorium in Sector 31 transformed into studio space, where the anchor, Anupam Kher, took centre stage and struck his patent ‘Kuchh Bhi Ho Sakta Hai’ conversation with none other than wife and MP Kirron Kher. Organised by Confederation of Indian Industry’s Young Indians (Yi) Chandigarh chapter, the conversation between Anupam and Kirron was a fully scripted show.
As the interview sailed from Kirron’s illustrious career as an actress, her ‘larger-than-life’ personality to her ticket to political world, and achieving a work-life balance, Anupam smartly wove in questions revolving around her much- criticised ‘elusive, at times, even arrogant’ behaviour. “As long as one is honest and straight, the jealousies, the whispers cease to exist,” Kirron justified her attitude, adding how she prefers to conserve herself, and for that avoids reading the news. “Especially the local news. I avoided it during campaigning, for there was so much negativity that it bogged one down.”
The ‘image building’ exercise continued with Anupam congratulating Kirron on being a ‘modern politician’. “I hate naarebaazi, haars, people touching my feet, all this importance… I am not a politician. I am one more seat for Modiji which I won from Chandigarh. I am here to work only,” she said, with Anupam joking how ‘people hate and abuse him on Twitter for being Kirron’s husband’.
A political turn, and Kirron eagerly shared her vision for Chandigarh. “There is the Adarsh Gram Yojana, and while Sansad Aap Ke Dwar has started, what this city needs is a change in system, bringing in single windows for the processes that are tedious and tiring,” she said, adding how instead of people asking land for religious places from her, she’d rather work for a hospital or orphanage or a dharamshala for the poor instead.
Meanwhile, a meeting with Harsimrat Kaur Badal has secured an extra canal for the UT with additional capacity of 40 MGT. “We would have 24/7 water supply here by next year. This will solve the UT’s water woes. Also, we are working with the administration on the need-based changes in Chandigarh, CHB, conversion of leasehold to freehold, transportation, infrastructure and skill development,” she added. Kirron, who still prefers regular AC bus service over a Metro here, feels that for a ‘potentially India’s first smart’ and happy city like Chandigarh, one needs to work towards smoother transportation, wifi zones, primary health care, two more flyovers around Tribune Chowk, improvement in school education system, and gun for a Film and Television Institute for the city.
Speaking of FTII, and the controversy it’s mired in, Anupam, whose name was suggested by filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli as a potential head of the institution, feels that in art democracy doesn’t work. “FTII needs to be autonomous body, and agitations bring about a positive change,” he said.