Tête-à-tête with the Chief Minister, Mrs.Sheila Dikshit
Q 1: Ma’am, awards like the ‘Best Chief Minister’ in 2008 and the ‘Politician of the Year’ in 2009 have been conferred on you. Do you think these honors really make a difference in your life?
Ans1: It does feel good to receive all these awards. It is proof that people recognize what you do, your contributions. It encourages me to work harder and does make a difference in my life but there is more to life than just awards.
Q 2: You are usually seen calm and composed. How do you maintain the perfect balance in your life?
Ans2: If you are comparing yourselves to me then I must tell you that I at your age was also extremely volatile and passionate. I would get happy very fast, sad very easily but I enjoyed the intricacies of life. I miss the feeling of childhood. I miss the feeling of dancing in the garden when I was overjoyed. I feel it is important to spread happiness in the world.
Q 3: How was your student life at Delhi University?
Ans3: Lovely! Really lovely. I did a B.A. course and a Fine Arts course from DU. At that time, there was very little pressure on students and less competition. We studied in a more relaxed environment. When I passed BA, I got at least a hundred letters congratulating me, for having accomplished this feat as a woman. The biggest entertainment in college was to cheer for the boys playing cricket. We would often bunk college and go to the coffee house and the cinemas. School and college days are still cherished by me and were indeed the happiest and most carefree moments of my life.
Q 4: What do you expect from budding entrepreneurs?
Ans4: it is not my expectations but about their own. They must realize that there is no other alternative to commitment and handwork. The one thing I expect from them is PATIENCE. Also, one must contribute to the general welfare of the community, the society and the country.
Q 5: What is being done to maintain the expensive and extensive landscaping and street-scaping done during CWG?
Ans 5: That is our main challenge and I’m quite worried about it as a lot of money has been spent. We also have certain limitations like we can construct but maintenance is indeed difficult and we look forward to each of your participation to make Delhi clean and green.
Q 6: Ma’am you have always been on the front foot when it comes to the plight of women. What is your take on the crime rates against women in Delhi?
Ans6: It is a matter of serious concern. All of us must take the responsibility to ensure that women in the country are safe and secure. Yes, we do depend on the police, however we must bring a change in our attitude and boys should develop a sense of security towards girls. Girls too must be aware of their surroundings. Respect for women amongst all is a must.
Q7: Most of the children of bureaucrats study in private schools rather than government ones. What do you have to say about this?
A7: I cannot say that bureaucrats should not make their children study in private schools.
However the facilities provided in government schools are equally good and today I can proudly say that government schools perform as well as any private school. Yes, I agree that those children lack the confidence but we are working to bridge that gap. I can also say that the time when children are equally comfortable in studying in government schools is indeed very near.
Q 8: A lot is being spoken about the syllabus and the stress it causes. Reservations are also a cause of concern. What are your views on this?
Ans 8: Reservations shouldn’t be a cause of concern. We have limited space but we must learn to share it. We are working towards development of the society and also building more schools. The EWS too should get a chance to make their children study in the best institutes of the country. We are evolving as a nation of the twenty-first century. We must have a broader perspective and not limited thinking. Here, I would like to give an example .If there is only one chocolate and two people, would it not be nicer to share the chocolate and make both happy rather than just one eat it, while the other remains hungry. The country belongs to each one of us and we must make a point to share it equally. About the syllabus I would like to say that the brain adapts itself over time and we must discover ourselves. Yes, the syllabus maybe wide but it is only in learning that we grow.
Q 9: What growth strategy do you endorse personally? What development would you focus on?
Ans 9: I do not endorse any strategy personally I feel that we keep changing. For eg: thanks to the CWG a lot of infrastructure has come up and we are at par with other world class stadiums. We must maintain that. Also housing and real estate is an upcoming sector. According to me, development should encompass all sectors and bring more people into the society. Our priorities at the moment are health, education and a clean city. A large population can pose a threat but I think that we have been successful in converting it into an asset for the country.
Q10: Who has been your idol?
A10: I think that it is the thought process of people like Gandhiji, Churchill, Roosevelt and Martin Luther king that have influenced me. Friends and relatives too have had a deep impact on my life. One must have a large and compassionate heart and never forget that one lifetime is too short to learn everything. Everyday we learn from others and everyday we grow.
Q11: How do you define an ideal school student?
A11: According to me, all students are good. It is the teacher that must bring out the qualities of a student. Each person must have one’s own self-confidence. We recently organized a painting competition and I must say that the result was outstanding. The judges too were mesmerized and enthralled by the concepts the children came up with. Each one of us is a strong individual and with motivation and guidance each one of us can turn out to be the ideal student.
Q 12: How do you see Delhi 2025?
Ans12: Well, I might not be here at that time. But, I see my city as a clean, green wonderful place with diligent citizens. We must also learn from the past and help in development of the future.
Q 13: What do you think was the magic that you created that made Delhites re-elect you as the Chief Minister for three consecutive terms?
Ans 13: Ha ha! Well you should ask the citizens of Delhi that question! Personally I think I must be doing something right that has made people elect me yet again. But, at the same time I do not forget that happiness is not lasting. After the sun shines, there comes darkness. We all experience different kinds of moments. Life teaches us a lot. I would also like to say that I want to thank the people of Delhi for having chosen me as their representatives.
Q14: Do you believe that Delhi can replace Mumbai as the financial capital of India?
Ans 14: Delhi has replaced Mumbai as the cultural capital in the last few years. But, both are equally good. Delhi has extraordinarily intelligent students. Delhi is a service-oriented capital. It is the heart of India.
Q 15: What were your aspirations when you entered politics?
Ans 15: Well, I did not envision myself as a political leader. It was Rajiv Gandhi who really brought me into politics. As a politician, I’ve seen life at its best and at its worst. India is a democracy. People choose their own leader. I am glad that Delhi chose me thrice. Also, in a democracy, if you do not like one leader, you replace him. The situation here is very much unlike that in the Arab world. If you have a voice, it will be heard. My dreams and aspirations as a politician, I would say, were to help in the overall development of the nation and contribute as much as I could.
Q 16: What message do you have for the students of DPS R.K. Puram?
Ans 16: I want to tell them to believe in themselves and not stress over any issue. School and college life are the best days and you must enjoy them to the fullest. Don’t crumble under any kinds of pressure. Learn and grow everyday. Determine your goals in life and pursue them.
A QUICK RAPID FIRE
Favorite actor: Shahid Kapoor & Dev Anand
Favorite book: I like to read all kind of books
Stress busters: Music, Friends
Favorite quote: Dance every minute of your life.