Of all the governors in India, Dr. Kiran Bedi is arguably the most talked-about. Her videos, which often show her taking proactive measures and working on the ground, have gone viral across the country. Recently, Dr. Kiran Bedi completed a thousand days in office. This milestone coincided with the wrapping up of a Dharna conducted by the local cabinet against the governor, right in front of the governor’s residence. For days, the cabinet remained there, and even slept there at night. Leaders such as Arvind Kejriwal and MK Stalin also joined the Dharna against Dr. Kiran Bedi, keeping it in the national limelight. The quaint little town of Puducherry was suddenly at the center of a political storm. As the Dharna comes to an end and Dr. Kiran Bedi completes a thousand days in office, she tells tfipost.com her side of the story.
You are completing one thousand days in office. Do you think you have been a successful lieutenant governor?
Internally, I feel the 1000 days as. Lt Governor have been totally worth it, because I have been able to do all that I can be personally happy with. I can recount and rejoice all the corrections I made. All the injustices I corrected. All the wastages I saved. All the bullies I tamed. All the so called vested interests I’ve broken through. It gives me a great sense of self-worth.
I have not let down myself doing my duties.
Before I am judged externally I judge myself internally. This is my habit. I do not depend on external judgement. I rely a lot on my sixth sense judgment. And my own conscience.
I have a very loud internal voice. It guides me and keeps me on the right path always. I also know the specific situations it was my perseverance and courage which changed the scenario. Others may not know. But I know what I did and why I did it. What would have happened if I had not done so. It is this which gives me a sense of internal gratitude towards my own self. While always remaining grateful to all our team and supporting departments and officers and people.
What would you consider as your single most important achievement?
I have looked at the administration as an organic whole. Every bit is important. Because every department has a reason to be there. Hence all must perform.
However one thing I can be happy about is by sheer determination and team work we saved Puducherry from falling into a debt trap. This required tough decision making earning me huge hostility from the political leadership. But the bitter pill had to be taken. I’m not here for populism but prosperity of all and larger good.
Are you completing your thousand days on a happy note, considering what just happened?
Yes, I am. It’s been worth the journey. Lots of good karmas earned.
The local government claims that you have obstructed their work. Do you think any of the objections they have raised are legitimate?
I haven’t obstructed but mentored financially, as I explained above already. It’s tough for elected representatives as votes matter to them. I understand. But then how do we mint money? It has to earned or saved.
What has been your biggest challenge as the governor? Have you ever felt that the local government has obstructed your work?
Working on the attitude of public officials. Making them conscientious and self-driven. And vigilance over government finances.
What are your views on the Dharna that they held? Are you happy that they have agreed to speak to you, or do you think that the entire controversy was an election gimmick?
We have met. They issues were old. They could have avoided sleeping in discomfort and causing dislocations. I am glad it’s over.
You were the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in Delhi. Arvind Kejriwal won that election with a huge margin. Don’t you find it funny that he still comes to your doorstep to protest?
He will do what suits him.
Do you think the people of Puducherry are actually against the helmet rule, and do you find it acceptable that safety is being politicized?
Yes it’s a very hardened habit, driving without a helmet. Everyone feels that if an accident happens it shall not be them.
Could you have achieved much more in your thousand days in office with the cooperation of the local government?
Yes I could have achieved twice more, if there was an alignment in intention and method of delivery for public service.
Having been here a thousand days, what is your biggest takeaway?
It reaffirms that all u have is one day at a time. Give it your best. It’s precious. Nothing lasts forever. Hence give it all. Time lost will not come back. Serve the higher purpose.
What makes you different from the other governors across the country?
My name is Kiran Bedi, Retd IPS.