INTERVIEW | ‘Women face many difficulties in male-dominated politics’

We say we have come to serve the people. Politics should not be a personal ambition.
INTERVIEW | ‘Women face many difficulties in male-dominated politics’

Bollywood actress and BJP candidate from Mandi Lok Sabha constituency Kangana Ranaut says she was given the ticket as her whole carrier was dedicated to women empowerment. In an interview with Harpreet Bajwa, she said politics should not be a personal ambition and that one will make a difference through politics when something tangible could be done to the lives of people.

Excerpts:

Why did you choose to join electoral politics?

We say we have come to serve the people. Politics should not be a personal ambition. I will not say I have joined politics, but I will say people called me and gave this chance. It is not that I wanted to be a candidate, but the BJP wanted me to be their candidate. I was their choice. I think I was chosen a candidate due to my nationalist thinking and for the work I have done in field of women empowerment in my movies, be it Queen, Manikarnika, Panga or Thalaivi.

What difference do you find between acting in movies and politics. Is politics attractive for you?

See, honestly till now nothing attractive. You know, to make a movie is very creative but when you do its marketing, that is the most difficult and boring phase of filmmaking. Now after my entry into the political field, it is time for campaign, going from village to village, travelling 400 kilometres daily. In movies also marketing is done like this. When we will be able to do something tangible to the lives of people, then one will make a difference.

You say you are Himachal Ki Beti; how do you resonate with the locals?

I am a very local person. I have always been a hill person. I am identified by my roots. Where ever I go, people welcome me. I am very rooted and grounded. I am not connecting with people as a film star but as a Himachal Ki Beti.

On what issues you are fighting these elections and what are your priorities?

The terrain of our constituency is very difficult and many far-off places come in our area, be it Lahaul and Spiti, Pangi, or Kinnaur. Thus connectivity will be our major concern. Himachal is lacking in connectivity, there is no good international airport. I feel to bring more tourism projects — beautification of ancient religious places to publicise them, restarting the stalled Shiv Dam project. I aim to construct more kendriya vidyalayas and hospitals, generate employment and tap talent of local women. I plan to promote home stays, cafeterias and just not bring big private corporate hotels.

You are a role model for many women especially from Himachal. Do you have specific plans to uplift them?

The Himachali women are strong and determined, they are famous for working very hard. I resonate with ‘Pahari’ women because my fierceness and aggressive nature resonates with them.

You have always been in one controversy or the other. What is your take?

I was in controversy for supporting the country and to give respect to women, and now it is for betterment of Himachal.

What difference you find as you played the role of a politician in films and now you are in actual politics?

I have played the character of former Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa in Thalaivi and also the role of former PM Indira Gandhi in my upcoming movie Emergency. In politics one has to face many difficulties; in this male-dominating world, for a woman to come forward and make a name for herself is very difficult. Thus my respect for Jayalalithaa has increased manifold.

Opposition is saying you do not have your own vision and agenda, but is asking votes in the name of Modi?

I am unable to understand why they are saying this. These are Lok Sabha polls and to elect Modi as PM, so on whose name I will ask for votes?

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