Acclaimed Bharatanatyam danseuse and actor Sudha Chandran became an inspiration for many when she decided to return to stage despite losing one leg in a road accident in 1981.
What inspires you?
I take inspiration from my failures. When people tell me, ‘you can’t do this’, or ‘you’re not eligible to do this, or ‘it is not meant for you’, these things incite me to prove myself. It’s better to have tried and failed than to never try at all.
What do you think of road safety measures in India?
Though road safety measures are being taken by the government, the problem with us is that we put the blame on others for every other issue. It’s always a shift game. When we go abroad, we follow each and every rule of that particular country. But here in India, we keep cribbing. We are ready to stand in the immigration line elsewhere but crib about it in India saying ‘aisa thodi na hota hai’ (This is not done). Here, everyone is in hurry. We don’t want to leave our home half an hour before but want to reach office on time. I tell all the people who drink and drive, ‘go kill yourself’, because you have no right to take innocent people’s lives.
What keeps you busy at present?
I’ve just completed [TV serial] Naagin. I am also busy with a few dance performances and choreographing a few ballets. I have not had a holiday in a long time and now I am looking forward to be with my family.
When did you last go to a government office? How was your experience?
Movement of files in the government offices is very slow. I would prefer to go to a private institution where every minute is precious. The only reason why private institutions are thriving is because government officials know that no one will remove them from their position. They have a laid-back attitude. The recent cabinet reshuffle is a good example of how ministers who are not doing work are demoted or sacked. This is a ray of hope. Officials have to be answerable now.
Who do you think can lead the country from among the young generation of politicians?
I feel that the youngest politician is Narendra Modi. He is the youngest politician to have taught us how to live beautifully. He has made the world look at us as a prosperous nation.
What according to you are the major challenges India is facing?
There is no country without challenges and issues. Here, every party is trying to pull down the other. Even small and trivial issues are made into big ones by the media and public in general. We are only discussing the problems and not trying to find solutions. India has become a country full of issues.
Anything that you want to change in our country?
Punishment has to be severe. There are laws but loopholes are more. Criminals are aware of the laws but have no fear. There has to be a sense of fear.
(The interview appears in August 16-31, 2016 edition of Governance Now)