‘Corruption and lack of development have ensured that Mainpuri remains a big village’

Photo: Pramod Adhikari
Baba Hardev Singh | 66
Former IAS officer | Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh. Photo: Pramod Adhikari

The use of muscle and money power in politics have become commonplace. Rather than being a tool to help people, politics has become a profession. And we are to blame because we stood by the sidelines watching. But all that changed with Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement. It became clear that we have to come forward from our professions, stand up and fight against the filth of politics.

I am fighting against Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav for the support of the people in Mainpuri. They say this is supposed to be a town, but corruption and lack of development have ensured that Mainpuri remains a big village, as described by the local press.

There is a large paucity of infrastructure — there no private management colleges, no good hospitals, no train connectivity. What is shocking is that for 25 years, people from the same family have been winning this seat. If they had raised these issues, something could have been done — at least an intercity train could have been started. Sadly, Mainpuri also has the largest number of cancer patients in the country due to tobacco usage. However, there is no cancer unit here. There is no one to spread awareness about these issues. This needs to change.

Even today, DMs and SPs make locals address them “ji hazoor” and “ji sarkar”, even though they are there to serve the people. That’s why people who care for the nation have left their jobs, homes and comforts and are saying enough is enough. People are coming now to serve the people, not to make politics a profession.

During my years in service, I constantly fought against the political class as well as the corruption within the system. I worked for the people and helped them. If I could do this as a government official, I am sure that I will be able to do much more if I am elected.

If you are honest, incorruptible and work for the people, the entire system will fall into place. I strongly believe that if we want change the country, we have to work from the bottom up. Only if we fix what is at the base can things work at a national level.

As told to Avalok Langer


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