Rajiv Pratap Rudy is the only parliamentarian globally to be actually flying an Airbus A320, working as honorary senior first officer in the Indigo Airlines and credited with clocking over 1000 flying hours. He was also a teacher of political science at AN College, Patna. A BJP candidate for Saran, he does not believe in running down political opponents but is concentrating on the right fight, as he puts it. Excerpts from the interview with Rajesh Kumar Thakur.
You have a brilliant academic record and flying is your passion. How did you join politics?
I felt much could be achieved through right politics. To me, intellectually, emotionally and actively, politics means human service that brings joy, smile and happiness to people through mutual trust and care within the constitutional and legislative framework and through ethical practices
There is the BJP talk about a NaMo wave. Is that helping you?
Frankly speaking, Narendra Modi represents the idea of renaissance of patriotism, principled politics and the promise of power and prosperity and dignity of people through rapid development. I define him as a man with vision of a mission to make India the world's most powerful nation, where people are happy. His India will be a peace loving country, 50 times more prosperous than the US or China. As for the talk of a wave in Saran, you can see it for yourself. The idea is not misplaced.
Do you find yourself in sync with modern day politics in India?
Truly and individually speaking, I am pained and peeved by the crumbling ideologies in present day politics. Merit, personality, principles have no takers when it comes to electing MP's or MLA's. Most politicians are not upset with the situation, despite the fact, that people are upset with most of them. Politics sans principles harms the polity. It's people's frustration with them regionally and nationally that is firing the Narendra Modi idea. There is the belief that things can change. Even otherwise, politicians should be confined to legislative processes, not interfere with the executive and other wings of governance. Legislative overreach can destroy structures. I feel present system of politics is totally outdated and incapable of producing right results. It needs to be practically reshaped, redefined, re-oriented with a view to producing holistic, healthy and positive impact on the nation.
You travel with a Z category security ring. What do you attribute to the spread of Maoism?
Poverty is the mother of all ills. In Saran in particular and wherever there is Red influence poverty and non-development coupled with acute illiteracy, has been found to have provided the platform for its spread. I have recorded the heart-wrenching stories in rural areas of Saran, which have fallen prey to Maoists. People are more dead than alive due to acute poverty. It shames us all. The Maoist menace can only be tackled through development under special packages with proper legal steps and efficient execution of development projects. There should be psychological and economic rehabilitation packages for the poor and Maoists who wish to join the mainstream.
And what about the electoral opposition like Rabri Devi?
She is a very nice housewife, very decent woman for whom I have immense regard and respect. It is not she who is in contest with me, but her hubby, who despite his conviction and debarment is the shadow player. I believe, people will reward merit, sincerity and principled politics this time. I have no fear.
Your surname - Rudy baffles all and sundry. How did you come to acquire it and what does it mean?
(Laughs) When I started out on politics, I found 12 other politicians with the same initials of RP Singh. It was confusing. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh's initials too boiled down to RP Singh, so did many others'. The 'identity crisis' forced me to adopt the pet name given by friends. Rudy is basically a German name that denotes-hosiyari , a person with right decision making ability. That name stuck thereafter.