Interview with the ace player of Indian politics, and a product of his times, Amar Singh for Teekhi Baat on IBN 7
PC: These days you ‘play’ has stopped
PC: Political play
AS: (Chance, convention, policy,) Politics happens when a lot of factors come into play.
PC: The other day talking about the times of yore, about people without whom you and that person (Amitabh Bachchan and other friends of Amar Singh), both were incomplete, you recited a saying, “ aisi yeh pyar ki arzoo…”
AS: I could not go, he could not invite me, the distance of love between us could not be erased. (Indicating to him being not invited for Amitabh Bachchan’s 70th birthday celebrations)
PC: You said, distance of love, which means love exists?
AS: The feeling of relation becomes less, but deep relations don’t die. When I was undergoing a kidney transplant, the times he spent with me till 3 am in the morning. There are some sweet, and some bitter thoughts.
PC: He used to sit with his laptop there (in the hospital)
AS: You are talking about Amitabh Bachchanji. I congratulate him on his past birthdays. The whole country is worried about why he did not invite me.
PC: People are not talking about the other 1000 people who came for the party, only thing that is being talked about is why Amar Singh did not come
AS: I have said, I could not go, he could not call me, the distance of love between us could not be erased. But It does not mean that love has finished. He never says that I am not his friend, neither do I say anything like that.
PC: He has always praised you, he agreed that you stood with him during bad times.
AS: There is no bigger lie than this, because I believed Shri. Amitabh Bachchan was my elder brother.
PC: He said that you did not leave him during his bad times
AS: There is no bigger lie than this, because he and me were not different. Hence, he never asked for help from me, neither did I help him. His problem was mine, the tears of his eyes were mine. Hence, I have not eased his pain, but mine, and hence got happiness, Hence to say that I helped him.
PC: You stood with him
AS: I stood with myself. Who cries for anybody else, everybody cries for what he himself does. Sometimes one cries thinking about oneself or the condition one is in. When instances are recollected, one feels like crying at every instance.
PC: If you feel like crying at every instance, then so many instances can be recollected about your friendship, history, politics, how many times would you cry, there should be no instance where a man like Amar Singh should cry
AS: A man does not cry only when he sheds tears, the one who can cry with tears in eyes is blessed. The one’s whose heart cries, the crying of the heart, is the real one.
PC: Many time you must be feeling, “Dost Dost Na raha, pyar pyar na raha, zindagi hume tera, aitbaar na raha”
AS: Not at all, I have reverence for Kali Mata mandir of Dakshineshwar, there Swami Parmahansa used to meditate. At the same place where he meditated under the sunlight, scorpions used to come, he used to pick the scorpions and keep them under the tree, in shade, so that they do not have to bear the hot sun. But till that time that he used to pick and keep them, the scorpions used to sting him. One day Vivekanandji asked, Guruvar, why do you do this when you know that the scorpions will sting, he said, Vivekanand, their job is to sting, my job is to save them from the scorching sunlight. Hence, people do their own works. Amitabh Bachahanji in his tweet has written, that he difference between a man and a dog is that if a dog is fed, he wags his tail, and loves, and a man, stabs the one from whom he gets prosperity and love.
PC: Hence, you have this experience too
AS: No, I am not saying anything
PC: But in the context that you are saying.
AS: I am telling in no context. I am just telling what Bachchan saab has written in his tweet.
PC: You talked about humanity, not about a specific person
AS: Why don’t you mind in the world where all wrong things are going on, talk of being faithful should not be done. These qualities are made for a different world.
PC: There is nothing such as faithfulness today in India, politics, it use is only in name
AS: It is not today’s thing, our forefathers have said thousands of years ago, “ Neki kar aur dariya mein daal”. We just read these sayings in books and keep in mind, and till we don’t face reality we don’t realize it, which is our fault.
PC: Amar Singh was an is a brand in politics, and a rare species. In don’t think there is any other person who has a say in the corporate world, politics, film stars and glamour world, a place in the fashion parade, which means, wherever something happens, Amar Singh has a presence. Be it mentally, ideologically, but now when you are not there, what do you when you have no say in the politics which is happening?
AS: See, from 1996 November, till the time in 2009 when went for my kidney treatment, for 14 years, I did not realize when sun rose in the morning and set in the night, when my daughters Dristi and Disha were born, when did they put forward their first step to walk, when for the first time they spoke. And with shame, let me till you, till 2009, I did not know in what class and how they were studying. Now I know that Disha is a topper her class in Vasant Valley school, she studies in 5th B, Dristi is not as bright as Disha, but she is doing better than before. A gardener should see and observe how a plant turns into a tree; I have been deprived of that. And that satisfaction is inexplicable. Because life has taught, in good and bad time, your supposed friends, and supposed family’s brother and people, will be with you very superficially. And, in the end, your own family, your own blood, your own kin would be with you. Hence, what I saw in the work and ups and downs of life, that even though young, my 11.5 year old daughters were with me, my wife Pankaja, who I ignored so much that I celebrated Holi and Diwali with friends, not with family. And those with whom I celebrated Holi and Diwali, they merely were doing formality. They just paid lip service. Like in our country, saying sorry, or thank you, or welcome are mere formal words. And one must be very fortunate, which I think I am, to have a person who is with you with total devotion and trust. Through your show, I would specially like to thank Jaya Pradaji. That in addition to my wife and two daughters, Jaya Pradaji, T.N Chaturvedi, who is taking treatment for cancer, and I would have done good work for too many people, and it is most surprising that Anil Ambani, who was with me through the morning, evening and night, did not even call me. Mukesh Ambani called my wife, and his people kept on coming and meeting my wife many times, that too when in the fight between Anil and Mukesh, I open opposed Mukesh Ambani.
PC: You are speaking of the times when you went to Jail
AS: Yes, I am speaking of that time.
PC: Anil had come one time
AS: Not even one time
PC: Amitji had come one time
AS: Amitji came to hospital when, when I had secured interim bail, and there was a function of Sangeet Kala Academy in Delhi, he had come to participate in that programme, and he left me indebted by putting his lotus feet in my hospital room. But he is a very correct man, does not wrong, that time I was not in jail, I had secured bail.
PC: You said that you neglected family, neglected your daughters, did not know when they grew up, you would feel regret that you spent time with people who left you standard when the days turned cloudy
AS: Who will Regret, Siddharth Shankar Ray, based on whose advice Indiraji imposed emergency, Indira Gandhi used to call her saying Nanu and he used to call her saying Indu, I have read the letters. During Sanjay and Maneka’s love affair, she wrote a letter in her capacity as the Prime Minister. She extended the parliaments time from five to six years. That same Siddharth Shankar Ray went to record her statement in the Shah commission.
PC: You have saved and made many governments, revived film stars, do you have any regret, you are human being, you would get angry
AS: I am angry with one person, Mulayam Singhji. And I did not contest elections to win, but to erase the poison of anger within me. Now I don’t have any anger towards Mulayam Singhji. I feel sorrow, because I did not do politics with Mulayam Singhji in Samajwadi Party, I did not work from the brain but from the heart. That I why know why I got angry. Because, politics is not done from the heart anytime, if I remember I can tell in my 14 years with Mulayam Singhji gave me the stage, I had capacity and he did the job of identifying that capacity, and today am a member of parliament, it is because of him.
PC: For whatever you are in politics today, Mulayam Singh had a big contribution towards that.
AS: I agree, he gave me a stage. If Prakash Mehra would not have existed, then one would not have known Amitabh Bachchan, Dev Anand was to be a part of Zanjeer, hence Prakash Mehra should not be forgotten. In the same manner Akshay Kumar, was with Pramod Chakravarthy, till the time of his death. Like even today, Dharmendra stands by Arjun Hongorani for Dil Bhee Tera, Hum Bhee tere. And hence If I forget the contribution of Mulayam Singhij, then there is no bad person like me. But It does not me that am appealing to be part of Samajwadi party.
PC: You say Mulayam Singhji gave you a platform, I don’t know the your impression with other members of his family, because I have not had a word with them. But many times it seems, that blood is thicker than water. Was there any fight due to the impression that you would prevail on the Mulayam due to your work and the family would split
AS: No no, nothing like this happens. Somewhere, my attitude is at fault too. As a Kshatriya, I am also rigid. There was no “ jee hujur” in my attitude, otherwise I was not at fault. If I would have prayed before Ram Gopal Yadav, like OM Jai Jagdish, and more than that if I would have been visiting the Rajendra Prasad road bungalow of late Gnyaneshwar Mishra and touch his feet. Then while I was ill, a view that was formed at his residence would not have been formed.
PC: Akhilesh came
AS: All of them came, In the parliamentary board meeting, I supported computer and English, while late Gnyaneshwarjee opposed it.
PC: They said you made Samajwadi corporate
AS: Now I am not in Samajwadi party, and for what I was blamed, both Anil Ambani and Amitabh Bachchan are with Samajwadi Party. Anil Ambani is seen with Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav. And even Bachchan is seen with them. But the question is when they are seen with Amar Singh, the Mohan Singh will say that he has destroyed the culture, remove him. If Shahid Siddiqui, takes interview of Narendra Modi as a journalist, he is removed. But Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav will have food together with Uddhav Thackeray, and Jaya Bachchan will say that my husband of Narendra Modi, and Uddhav Thackeray is a member of our family, and Bal Thackeray is our father, but nobody would have the guts to remove her because she has Bachchan tag and Shahid Siddiqui is a poor journalist.
PC: You don’t have the Bachchan tag, but what you did for the party and others, that even Bal Thackeray can’t do. You were the one to source the files when Chandrashekhar was Prime Minister. You got Bhure Lal transferred.
AS: At Anil Ambani’s house, my friendship with Amitabh Bachchan broke on his initiation. When he said over meals, I am capable, you too are capable, let us both live our own lives. The next day, I wrote to him in a letter that on principle, I would not be weak would not seem weak. That is why as a matter of principle, I would not answer your questions.
PC: Which means you don’t want to speak the truth
AS: Sometimes silence is heavier than truth
PC: You have been in corporate world, you have seen the corporate- political nexus, many times have been a part of it, what do you feel, with so many cases of corruption coming to the fore these days, till you were there, such issues never came forward. Do you think these things used to happen
AS: Let me tell you one thing, Prabhuji, when Morarji Desai was old and missing from politics for a long time, who used to look after him, Kanti Desai was the one, then nobody said why Kanti Desai is with Morarji, but when he became Prime Minister, everybody said “ Gali Gali mein shor hain, Kanti Desai chor hain”. My friend Ranjan Bhattacharya is looking after Atalji these days, nobody goes, not even people from the Bharatiya Janta Party. And big BJP people were targeting him one time. Yeshwant Sinha’s was the country’s finance minister and a daughter in law in her family, worked in her financial institution, it was said that she was the beneficiary of India- Mauritious Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty. I stood up and supported her daughter in law, and I want to thank Yeshwantbhai Sinha that he was mentioned me in his autobiography.
Now, you are behind Kanti Desai. I remember, the idea to make a small car did not come from Tata, Ratan Tata’s Nano, it was Sanjay Gandhi who thought that a small car Maruti should be made, who takes Sanjay Gandhi’s name? You take Bhargav’s name, Suzuki’s name, but the Sanjay Gandhi who dreamt about it, then prominent people including politicians said, “ Maa bekar banati hain, beta car banata hain” When she lost elections, they said, “ Yeh Maruti nahee hain, Sanjay Gandhi ne maa ko roti kar diya” But today Maruti is running really well, Sanjay Gandhi’s dream has come true. But who pays their respects to Sanjay Gandhi. Sanjay Gandhi’s friends, Sanjay Gandhi was Indira Gandhi’s son, FriendS of Kanti Desai, he was son of Morarji Desai, Who is Ranjan Bhattacahrya’s friend, he is son in law of Atalji, Robert Vadhera’s friends, he is son in law of Sonia Gandhi. DLF, is it an organisation that was formed today, it has made full Delhi, I know both KP Singh and Singh, I know both father – son, it is a private company. The ‘kajri’ that Arvind Kejriwal is singing with ‘gajra’ in hand, Arvind Kejriwal, are you a shareholder of DLF ? Let the board of directors of the company raise objection or the shareholders, if there is an opposition in the AGM it is understandable, “ Mian Biwi razi to kya karega Qazi”
I am telling clearly as I am a businessman, inter corporate deposits, corporate loans with or without security, let it be any entrepreneur let it be Sonia Gandhi’s son in law or Atal Behari Vajyapee’s son in law, or Yeshwant Sinha’s daughter in law, let it be anybody, you son or my daughters, if any big person gives loan to anybody, and it is his personal company. Today I have got inputs that when DLF did big business, at that time NDA and Chautalaji were running the centre and the state governments. Does that mean Chautalaji is a theif? Even Chautalaji is my friend. Who will work in the field of housing except for HDFC and DLF? These are big housing sector companies.
PC: You feel there is no corporate-political corruption, whatever is being printed in the newspapers, the questions raised by Kejriwal, Anna Hazare. Even you have been a part of this, it was said that you too helped corporate people.
AS: I will do it again, if I want to set up sugar mill in Uttar Pradesh, I will catch hold of Sugar producer, Balrampur chini, Bajaj Hindustan, if I want to set up refinery, I will catch hold of Mukesh Ambani,
PC: You mean to say that there is no corporate corruption, what all is being said these days
AS: Arvind Kejriwal, who is dreaming of becoming the chief minister of Delhi, he will do tokenism by wearing torn clothes and travelling in a tempo. But ask Kejriwal, you talk of corruption, India Against Corruption, then at Civil Lines in Allahabad, how did Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan get property worth crores for Rs. 2 lakh. My tape, which Sabaharwal saab banned, he asked to open that tape, and when his tape started, I don’t know what is cut paste in that, but Shanti Bhushan says in the tape, “ Prashant Bhushan, my son, manages well in Rs. two crore,” is a PIL specialist. What do you think gentleman, “ Aap kare to Raas Leela, dusra kare to character dheela”
PC: But he has credibility, today when he says, people believe him more,
AS: Not at all, credibility is of the person who abuses big people.
PC: Do you think they are doing this to abuse big people
AS: When I was in Samajwadi Party, as a spokesperson, that time my leadership use to guide me to attack Congress leadership. Today, why does not any member of the Samajwadi party attack them, let them do it and show? Everyone is quiet. In the morning they give support to Mamta Banerjee, in an hour, then support to Soniaji, everyone dhoti is loose, “ We will decide in BSP’s rally what to do, after one hour says, I have got rights but support to UPA will continue” (Indicating Mayawati)
PC: What would you have done in today’s condition? You would have saved the government again
AS: The reason for saving the government would have been that today if elections are held, the immediate benefit would be to the BJP, our core voter is Muslim, why should be made our core voter unhappy. That is why in Benares, after pooja of Baba Vishwanath, I said, that Mulayam Singh has set an example of doing good politics by not letting the government fall at this juncture, then people said that Amar Singh is doing “ Chamchagiri”. I am speaking the truth.
Some people said that as Defence minister, Amar Singh did a lot of bungling, I want to tell you, all the committee meeting related to defence, in that Mulayam Singh was not there, and in the end he wrote that the quality and price of the equipment should be verified by our defence advisor Kalam, otherwise nothing should happen.
PC: Mulayam Singh did not take the charge seriously
AS: What are you saying, he went to Siachen and got shoes for jawaans. He made jawaans talk to their family via his phone. And he fought to increase the remuneration of the lowest cadre of employee in the forces. And when the Pakistan problem came to the fore, he woke up Gujaral in the night and spoke to him
PC: This seems like an application that you want to join Samajwadi Party, people will say this once they see
AS: No application has come. There is only one fault, Mulayam Singh does not know English, his articulation is not right, and till about three four years back, there was no difference between what Mulayam Singh said and what he did. Now he is not static on what he says.
PC: Will you go if he calls you again
AS: I have engaged not my brain, but my heart with Mulayam Singhji. But now after going there, I would not be able to engage my heart, hence I will not go.
PC: Even if you are called, you will not go, permanent kutty, if the
AS: There is no permanent kutty. Let god not do it, but if he has health problems, or has any problems, then let me tell, “ Koi jab taumhara hriday tod de, tadap ta hua tumhe chod de, tab tum mere paas aana priye, mera dark hula hain, khula hee rahega, tumhare liye”. Today is Mulayam Singhji time of fun, 227 MLA are there, I am not with him in time of fun, when he was struggling, I was with him for 14 years,
PC: You will not go even if the whole family calls,
AS: How can I go, while going to Singapore I had said, in Kannauj by elections, their party’s Balram Yadav, and Ram Vishwakarma said that Amar Singh helicopter should meet with an accident and he should die, it would be good then. He suspended them for one day, he said Amar Singhji do you feel pained, I told him you don’t give ticket to somebody even if I say, don’t do any work if I request, but there is a request that you and your family don’t insult me and play with my self respect, which Ram Gopalji did, he called me dust bin, shame less, and other names, said that 98 per cent party workers are against me, said that cinema glamour and capitalism is prevailing over me. But now Bachchan’s glamour and Ambani’s capitalism, is around the father – son.
PC: What will be your future politics, you cannot go with BJP, would you go with Congress
AS: In the 20 years of my political career I have seen many ups and downs, that I why I am content. I am saying on record, I am Rajya Sabha MP for the third time, Jaya Bachchanji wanted to become and hence became RS MP, she did not went to Gorakhpur national executive, did not campaign, did not give her blood for party, said Bal Thackeray is her father, having food with Uddhav Thackeray. The second time she become RS MP, so that I feel pained. But let me tell you one thing, ask Mulayam Singhji, I had opposed me being nominated to the Rajya Sabha for the third time.
PC: What is your politics
AS: My politics is not to make it public, If I get a chance, then I will not leave it. And to get the chance, I will not run behind anybody unnecessarily.
PC: You are waiting for chance
AS: Certainly, I am waiting for chance. I don’t have a character that I would like.
PC: You are living one hope
AS: I am not living on hope. On the achievements of my past, the contentment of today, and in future something good will happen, am living on these thoughts.
PC: Let’s see what your future would be, we will do Teekhi Baat with you again, when your future is better than the present. Thank you for speaking to us
AS: Thank you, Prabhuji !