Public figures should do their social responsibility by inspiring youngsters to take up politics even though many have contempt for politicians, BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha today suggested.
“Let’s do our social responsibility by asking the younger generation to go to politics not for any gain. Many people today have contempt for politicians. And though there are good people in politics, not all are good in politics,” he said at the 4th Kolkata Literature Festival at the 41st International Kolkata Book Fair.
Admitting “allegations of corruption do come easily against politicians,” Sinha said it was not the whole picture and coming to politics was important to serve the purpose of democracy.
Drawing reference from his own career as a politician, he said, “I had joined politics to serve the cause of healthy democracy. I had the intention to keep the white whiter, not to tar the colour. And I have never compromised.”
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Asked how he would rate West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Sinha said, “Mamataji is a great lady and the late Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu was a great man. I have great respect for Kanshi Ram and Mayawati has been of help to me at times. L K Advaniji is my philosopher and guide whose words I had followed to contest in the by-elections for first time.”
“I had never made personal comments on people as may be they have different ideologies, but all are trying to do good for people. And aren’t political leaders also coming from us, the common people? Are they different?” the actor-turned- politician wondered.
Having starred in several blockbusters in the 70s and 80s, the ‘Bihari Babu’ said he saw no rationale behind the dispute on temple-mosque and what remained crucial for him was the temple of humanity.
Speaking about his entering into a contest against Rajesh Khanna in 1991 from Delhi in a bypoll, Sinha said, “Though I had tried to reason with him that it was done at the behest of of political parties (party ka mamla), an emotional Khanna stopped meeting me and did not even reply to my messages. I had communicated to him that I had made a blunder, but he was not convinced.
“While admitted to a hospital in Mumbai in 2012, I came to know Rajesh was also in the same hospital and asked doctors to allow me to visit to his cabin. But before that happened, he passed away,” Sinha said.
The actor also touched upon his equations with Amitabh Bachchan in the curtain raiser talk show on his life, views and biographical book ‘Anything But Khamosh’ by Bharathi S Pradhan at the literary meet.
Later responding to reporters’ queries on demonetisation, Sinha said “This literary meet is not the proper forum to discuss the matter.”