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'I trust the aam-aadmi and aam-aurat'

Last updated on: March 27, 2009 14:11 IST
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She is the daughter of danseuse Mrinalini Sarabhai and India's pioneering space scientist Vikram Sarabhai. Captain Lakshmi Sehgal, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's trusted aide in the Indian National Army, is her aunt, and Marxist politician Subhasini Ali is her cousin. With such lineage, it is hardly surprising that Mallika Sarabhai's has been a consistent voice against criminalisation of politics and the communalisation of society.

Even given her lineage, it came as a surprise when she announced her candidature in the Lok Sabha elections against no less than the Bharatiya Janata Party's L K Advani from Gandhinagar in Gujarat. In an emailed interview with, Mallika Sarabhai outlined what motivated her to take the plunge, finally.

What do you intend to achieve by contesting the Lok Sabha polls as an independent?

So many of us for so long have urged clean people to go into politics. I got fed up of urging others. So many people and groups had been telling me. So here I am.

How do you rate your chances of winning against the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani? Is your fight merely symbolic?

No, it is not symbolic but yes it is. This is going to be a fight to win, but a fight that is transparent where I will try innovative means of reaching people through people and by sticking to rules and my integrity. I invite all others in the constituency to fight it as transparently. Every rupee I raise and spend will be there for all to check. I shall not resort to personal slander or to threats and bribes. The process is as important as the goal.

Winning? Let's see.

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