Kiran Bedi says it is important for us to strike a balance between voting for the national picture and the right candidate

India is at tipping point, believes Kiran Bedi former IPS officer and social activist. “We are borrowing money only to spend it, it’s time we go in for a government which stabilizes the country,” she said at a media interaction post her session at the International Women’s Conference held recently the Art of Living International Centre.

“At the moment the key is to ensure that we register ourselves to vote, check the rolls and then make sure we vote and vote for stability. I am not talking about which party to vote for. All I am saying is, vote now for stability, for a mature government, not an immature one. Please ensure that this time is not wasted on amateurs. We want experienced people who can run governments. We all have a role to play in this, especially the youth, in talking about how to vote, for whom and whether we vote at all. This is important.”

And it’s also important, she said, to strike a balance between voting for the right candidate in the constituency and the national picture.

“It’s a mixture of both and in the end, when you want something passed in the Parliament, every seat counts. The onus is on the parties to ensure that they field good candidate and on us, in the current situation, to strike the balance. If we don’t vote for a majority then we will have a hung parliament which will not be able to take decisions. Then we will not have any implementation of new policies or laws. If there is a bad candidate, the party is responsible for it. But then you have the Supreme Court ruling about candidates with criminal backgrounds contesting in the elections.”

Talking about the issue of women safety in the country, especially when it comes to unsupportive authorities, she said such authorities are also products of families.

“Why are we creating such men who disrespect women? What kind of education are we giving people? We are only looking at what is wrong and we are not looking at why it is wrong. Every home, school and institution plays a role in this. There is no yoga in schools, no value education. Just because one doesn’t have to pass an exam in yoga doesn’t mean it can’t be taught,” she said.

“Sports grounds are not being used. Why don’t we create an environment we find the time for sports? Education doesn’t have to be only for wealth. The nation’s wealth is in its people and people’s wealth comes from good health and character. Health is the totality of mind, body and soul; it’s not just about eating. And character development happens at home.”

We should look at prevention at every level, at home, in educational institutions and in a good criminal justice system, she said.

Bedi maintained that she did not have any plans to enter politics.

“I have never once said yes and it remains that way. I am a strong people-oriented person, I am not a politics-oriented person. That’s my nature and knowing my nature I don’t want to deviate. I want to stay on the path of public service, which is people-oriented and not seeking-oriented.”