‘Gurgaon Lok Sabha needs a leader who can hold agencies accountable’: Raj Babbar

- May 24, 2024
| By : Idrees Bukhtiyar |

Veteran actor talks about balancing politics with cinema; says lack of schools and scarcity of safe drinking water key concerns in Gurgaon

DOUBLE WORK: Raj Babbar has spent 35 years in politics and also balanced it with his duties as a professional actor

Actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar has said that Gurgaon is grappling with multiple problems that require immediate attention for the convenience of residents.

“There are numerous issues that demand proper redressal here. Whether it is work of colleges, universities, roads and railways, everything is stalled. Moreover, the place also lacks civic facilities like sewage and waste management,” Babbar, who is contesting from Gurgaon on a Congress ticket, told Patriot on the sidelines of his campaign.

He highlighted that absence of schools in some areas has impacted the education of children. 

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“Children, especially girls are facing difficulties due to non-availability of schools in Mewat and Rewari. There is a scarcity of safe drinking water. Industries have caused a lot of pollution affecting health of locals and deteriorating agriculture land. It is a crucial need to elect a representative who can hold authorities accountable,” emphasised Babbar. 

He said balancing political career with films requires management. 

“I don’t take many films now until I find a good film to do. Whatever I do — whether politics or films, I do it with full involvement and dedication. Hence, there is less film work these days as I am more active in social engagement,” Babbar said.

The 71-year-old politician who has been into politics for the last 35 years credits his fans and voters for helping him sustain in this field all these years. 

“Their unwavering support has kept me alive in politics. Otherwise, I would have died a silent death like other common people. They are the people who made me what I am today, and now it is time to give back,” he acknowledged. 

Responding to allegations of being ‘outsider’ by the BJP, Babbar dismissed them as typical of opposition tactics. 

“Ask the people of Agra and Firozabad how diligently I served them in the past. Two people were killed while 25 others injured in a boiler blast at a factory in Haryana’s Sonipat. May I ask the opposition people if they visited the victims or sent any condolences. What is the point of being an insider then,” said Babbar, who has been a two-time Lok Sabha and three-time Rajya Sabha member. 

LACKING IN FACILITIES: Babbar says Gurgaon lacks civic facilities like sewage and waste management

Babbar’s son-in-law Anup Soni and daughter Juhi Babbar are also busy campaigning for him these days. 

“They are my family and want to see me win this election to ensure change,” he said.

The film actor reminisced about the time spent in Delhi. 

“I learnt acting from the National School of Drama (NSD). The institute has taught me a lot and what we are today is all because of the institute,” said Babbar who studied in the institute from 1972 to 1975.

He calls films like Nikaah and Aaj Ki Aawaz gamechangers in his life. 

“They have given me a lot of respect and made me a star in the public,” he said.

Known for portraying villainous characters in the films, he said, “But I have never seen my roles as villainous as I believe in doing good roles. There is nothing like positive and negative roles. Whatever I get to do, I ensure I do justice to it,” said Babbar who has played key roles in films like Ghayal, Haqeeqat, Aitbaar, Aankhen, Dalaal, LoC Kargil, Sheen among others.

“Same style of acting was followed by Shah Rukh Khan and nobody raised a finger on us. Vinod Khanna, Shatrughan Sinha and Amitabh Bachchan have also played villainous roles in films but have been loved by the audience,” he added.

While talking about the Punjabi film Industry, Babbar recalled his debut in Pollywood in 1980. 

“I did my first Punjabi film Chann Pardesi which got a national award. Then I pledged that every year I will be doing a Punjabi film free of cost and I am doing so,” said Babbar who has acted in the Punjabi films like Aasra Pyar Da, Long Da Lishkara, Qurbani Jatt Di, Uncha Pind among others.

Appreciating the growth of theatre culture in Delhi, he said that young people are joining it. 

“They are being trained to become good actors and get work in films too. We have such good actors in the industry these days who are from theatre background,” added Babbar.