April 3, 2009 5:50:10 pm
Most of India’s lawmakers are ill-informed and unsure of their objectives which hampers the nation’s progress,former President A P J Abdul Kalam has said and advised political parties to field candidates who have “integrity” and can deliver on development.
Watching the Lok Sabha poll fever with keen interest,he appealed to the political parties to place the nation above everything else and nominate people who can “work and succeed with integrity” in the elections.
“All the political parties should keep in their mind … that the nation is bigger than the party or any individual,” said Kalam in an interview.
“When they nominate members they must keep a motto they should select people who work with integrity and succeed with integrity,” the former scientist-President said while replying to a question on what he thought about parties nominating candidates with criminal background in elections.
He said candidates usually “do not know what they want to do” and even do not have much idea about their own constituencies.
Asked whether it was hampering India’s progress,Kalam replied,”Yes,naturally,naturally. The candidates should know more about the constituency.”
Kalam emphasised that political parties should have a “vision” for the nation and not be concerned about the growth of themselves only.
“Nation is bigger than the party. First and foremost,all the parties should consider nation bigger than party. They should work for the development of the country,” the former President said.
He observed that parties do not have a vision for the nation. “They have a vision (only about) how to grow the party.”
The candidates or lawmakers should update themselves with details about their constituencies like the per-capita income of the area,literacy level,number of water bodies,core competence of the seat and the infant mortality rate,Kalam said.
“This is real politics. I call this developmental politics. Politics parties should get to know from the to-be-elected members what they will do for their constituencies,” the former President said.
“If all these happen,then we are decentralising everything. If the MP knows all details about his area,he can shout in the parliament and ask for more funds and so on,” he said.
When referred to Varun Gandhi’s hate speech,Kalam said it should “not frighten us” as hate element has been used since the days of epic.
He said such tactics can be countered by education and empowerment of people. “What we need is education and empowerment. You educate people and they will know what is right and wrong,” said the former President who is currently engaged in creating a “youth movement”.
The 78-year-old ‘missile man’ said,”People have to decide what is wrong and right. After all,vote is with them. So,we must remove ignorance and increase education and empowerment. The lower the poverty,the difference in the society can be reduced. Nobody can be taken for a ride. People will start thinking if they are educated.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.