Interview: Attack against Nandan Nilekani not personal, says Mohandas Pai
Bangalore: Manipal Global Education chairman, T.V. Mohandas Pai, who is a former board member of Infosys, has been less than enthusiastic about the reported decision of his former colleague, Nandan Nilekani to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections saying “People want to know what Nilekani has done for Bangalore.” He spoke of this and more in an interview with Deccan Chronicle.
Q: You have said that Nandan Nilekani hasn’t contributed to the city. Your comments don't seem encouraging.
I have only voiced what many people have asked me. It's clearly not I who is asking this question. People want an MP who has been in the field and worked for society. Nobody wants a political novice. Nilekani is a wealthy man but what has he contributed to society? Many people have become rich only in the last two decades, but how many have contributed to the welfare of people? In countries like the USA, the rich set up schools and engage in social welfare work. How many have done this here? We need leaders who can help people.
Q: Mr Nilekani is doing a good job with the UIDAI. Isn’t this good enough to launch him in politics?
The Aadhar is a very large government programme. It is not clear whether it will be good or bad for the people. Politics is altogether different. An MP's worth is known by the work he does for his constituency. So far, we have had three members of Parliament from Bangalore, but what have they done? Has anybody inspected the condition of the roads towards Kempegowda International Airport or have they taken a look at the problems caused by Metro construction? Who has taken people's problems to the Union government? At the end of the day, what matters is what they speak in Parliament. They should be able to address people’s problems.
Q: When former Infosys board member, Balakrishna has joined AAP and there is a steady stream of people wanting to take up public causes, your comment on Nilekani seems rather negative.
I have to say again that it was the people’s question and they have asked the right one. There are no wrong questions. As voters, they are free to ask this. They should know what an MP has done or is capable of doing for their welfare.
Q: What do you personally think of Mr Nilekani’s political debut?
It will be very good if people elect him. One day, if people support him he can even become the PM. I am sure it will be good for society at large.
Q: Who according to you should get into active politics?
Anybody who is highly educated, has a passion for people's welfare and wants to contribute to society.
Q: It's rumoured that you are contesting from Bangalore South.
This is not true. I am not going be a part of politics and I don't plan to contest from anywhere.
Q: You have been very active in B.PAC. What are its plans for the Loka Sabha elections?
B.PAC is a committee which endorses the right candidate. So far, we have not shortlisted our candidate and will only support who we think is right for society.
Q: What is your reading of AAP and Bangalore?
AAP is the reflection of people’s anger. People who were frustrated with the political system expressed their anger by voting for AAP. It remains to be seen what it does to help