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A ‘perfect’ India No.1 on Preity Zinta’s list

‘We must think and behave like Indians’
Preity Zinta

Calcutta: Preity Zinta, charming and ebullient, is an idealist.

Hoping for India to be a “perfect” nation, looking for a perfect cricket team (Preity’s a co-owner of Kings XI Punjab) and, possibly, hoping for a perfect husband.

A “perfect” India is, of course, No.1 for Preity, an Army officer’s daughter.

“Look, even if it takes 100 years, I hope India becomes a perfect nation. We’ll move towards that if one party gets an absolute majority in the forthcoming general elections...

“Perhaps, it’s easy to sit in a hotel suite and hope for things to be perfect, but that’s the way I feel...

“We always need to put India first and think of the nation, not our caste, certainly not ourselves. I’m waiting for a brand of politicians which will look ahead, not keep looking back (and, therefore, weighed down by the baggage of history),” Preity told The Telegraph.

Asked if she was a Rightist or a Leftist at heart, Preity laughed: “I don’t have leanings. I’m for one India, I’m for good governance and I’m all for ending corruption...

“Besides, I hate politics which is driven by religion, for it goes against my belief that India is one and has to remain so. One of my best friends, Salman Khan, happens to be a Muslim...

“Often, I’ve heard people say that the politicians are bad. Well, if that’s the case, why elect them? We must exercise our right to vote judiciously.”

When it was pointed out that her tone suggested a distinct leaning towards the Aam Aadmi Party, Preity replied: “I’m not for one or the other. But I’d definitely like our politics to be clean. It should be driven by development, nothing else, which will help take India into a Golden Age...

“As much as 65 per cent of India’s population is below the age of 35. It’s an awesome figure and we need to take advantage of that 65 per cent...

“Across the globe, Indians are leaders in different fields. That Microsoft’s new CEO (Satya Narayana Nadella) has his roots in Hyderabad is a matter of pride for us.”

Known to talk straight, Preity had a pointed message for every Indian. “We need to be aware of our responsibilities, we have to be conscious of our obligations towards society and the country. We need to be alert, too...

“Just look at the US. The Americans suffered a 9/11, but have been alert ever since, ensuring there hasn’t been a second 9/11. We need to be as conscious...

“Sadly, if someone is dying on the road, our first reaction is to look the other way. Shockingly, people don’t react even when a woman is being molested in their vicinity...

“Why don’t people stand up for what is right? That’s the least...

“I don’t wish to lecture, but there has to be a change in attitude, there has to be a change in the way we think and the way we react. We must think and behave like Indians...

“Once, I’d jokingly said that I’d enter politics. The people around me immediately asked my caste! It confirmed that, for many, India doesn’t always come first. That we simply don’t put India ahead of everything else...

“We need to, surely.”

Preity, incidentally, is a Rajput from Himachal.