Bengaluru, Aug 15: On the occasion of 72nd Independence Day OneIndia spoke to centenarian freedom fighter HS Doreswamy. Doreswamy who served 14 months in Bengaluru Central Jail during the freedom movement. He spoke about movement, globalisation, present political scenario and state of media.
OneIndia: What is your take on increasing number of movements in the country? Does it show a failure of democracy or a healthy state of affairs?
Doreswamy: Movements aiming for employment and welfare of poverty are welcome. We should judge the pros and cons of movements galvanizing support in the name of religion and other parochial intentions, we should kill such movements. I believe changes cannot be brought without movements. This is the way to bring the government on its knee.
OneIndia: People are on street to get what they want or don't want from the government. Is there a disconnect between the elected and those who elect?
Doreswamy: This is the result of candidates we elect to form the government. I keep telling people that you inquire a lot about each others family before the wedding of children. But you take it very lightly while electing a leader. People fall prey to caste, money and or liquor. Everybody knows BJP, Congress or Deve Gowda's party. But, still, people vote for such candidates.
Everyone knows candidates corrupt and criminal background. But still they vote for such people. People are happy changing governments in every election. In today's scenario, there is no alternative even if an honest man contests independently.
OneIndia: What is the solution to the problem?
Doreswamy: We should abolish the party system because political parties are busy in pulling down each others government. That is their top priority. Self-interest is secondary and people welfare is their last concern. We have BJP, Congress and JDS candidates. I ask where are people's candidates.
Of course, people are voting for them. But we elect candidates selected from Delhi or Bangalore. Instead of that, we should have voters' council from Panchayat to Parliament. Also, experts should how to implement. People should be empowered to directly elect their representatives.
Let people decide the candidates at different levels. If political parties work with integrity we have no problem.
OneIndia: Is globalisation of forces weakening democracy?
Doreswamy: Foreign companies want our market. Private entities always want profits. They have Intellectual Property Rights over indigenous resources. The saddest part is we have accepted the MNCs. Big retail shops push the street corner stores to the brink. We are destroying ourselves.
Hence, Mahatma Gandhi had called for the Swadeshi Movement. One East India company ruled India for 150 years. In Independent India, we are offering red carpet welcome for hundreds of companies. These companies don't work for our welfare. The government gives land, water resources and tax exemption. They are not understanding the concept of nationalism.
OneIndia: Why did you stay away from power politics?
Doreswamy: First of all, I am not interested in politics, elections. Also, I don't have money power and backing caste. When I was President of Journalist Association then chief minister K. Hanumanthiah offered to nominate me to Legislative Council, but on one condition.
He told me, I should not raise your voice against the government. I told him I may not speak in the assembly, but at least can I whisper in his ears the mistakes of the government. He didn't agree. I did not beg for any position. I was in Congress till Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister. Then, I realized Congress has no future.
OneIndia: What is your observation about media?
Doreswamy: During freedom movement, poor people ran newspapers with the aim to gain Independence. TT Sharma sold his wife jewellery to start 'Vishwa Karnataka' paper. People used to send money to run the paper.
Today, the media has failed to recognise real problems. TV debates are disgusting. Nobody understands who is saying what? Debates are not educative. Programmes are filled with crime stories. The media industry is in the clutches of rich people. I can't differentiate between news and advertisements. News has become ads, ads have become news.
Media has become so lenient towards political parties we can easily identify which channel is airing which political parties stand.