You termed your visits to districts as ‘listening tours’. Please elaborate.
Everybody including Hillary Clinton is talking about the need to hear out, to listen. Politicians don’t do that. My current tours to districts are all about that. I am meeting people from all backgrounds, ‘samajs’ (castes) and I tell them not to share their personal matters but talk about what is bothering them. They tell me a lot of things…I also get to have a reasonable idea of how the party is functioning. This is so much better than the one-directional contact.
Aren’t your meetings caste-oriented?
Yes, they are and I never did it before. But one has to accept it; they are all with different characteristics and we have to come to terms with it. Whether we like it or not, Rajasthan is very, very caste driven. They have to be reached out to… it is very important to deal with that in a very sensitive way and with lot of affection. Change will take time.
Talking about caste, what about the Padmavati row? Was it fair to threaten anybody openly or vandalise a film set or theatres?
No, absolutely not. However, why didn’t Sanjay Leela Bhansali file an FIR the very first time when that happened? The state police had requested him to do so. You have a problem with him, you raise a protest. I cannot take cognizance of an incident at a personal level. The rest followed and eventually, I wrote a letter to Smriti Irani to ensure that the sentiments of a certain caste are not hurt. Why insist on a film if it is hurting the sentiments of a particular caste? Is it worth the trouble?
Mob violence, brutality, lynchings, hate crimes -the incidents have been frequent. Isn’t Rajasthan getting a bad name?
Rajasthan cannot be singled out here. Such incidents are being reported from across the country. This is a basis of a conversation which should be initiated. There are several factors behind this — recession, growing population, increasing ambitions of young people to over-achieve in a very short time… All that boils down to frustration and that is what is happening here and in every state. One cannot help it. Characters have changed. Yes, recent incidents have been gruesome, very unfortunate and equally scary, but I cannot be everywhere to stop them. The state government has always acted swiftly. Like in the most recent case in Rajsamand, the accused was arrested within 18 hours and all efforts are being made to ensure stringent punishment for him. It is definitely not good for the state but yet, Rajasthan is in a better shape than others.
There have been several allegations about the BJP government failing to provide security to the minorities.
A crime is a crime, what has religion got to do with that? Those accusing us might be the ones actually behind such crimes. The opposition is trying to prove its existence by making false allegations.
The gag ordinance…
What is there to talk about it, it’s over.
There have been speculations about you moving to Delhi almost all through your tenure.
The speculations were very much alive even during my last tenure. Rajasthan is my work place and I am completely dedicated towards its development and to its people.
Source : timesofindia