As kids, we often wrote imaginative pieces on what would we do if we became the prime minister, in order to encourage debates and explore innovative ideas. Taking a cue from that practice and in the wake of the Lok Sabha elections, HT asks Ayushmann Khurrana to list out his plans and priorities if he was a member of Parliament.
Who is your favourite politician, and why?
The Lok Sabha elections are quite interesting. It won’t be wise to choose one favourite politician. The right mixture of Narendra Modi's dynamism, Rahul Gandhi's subtle attitude and Arvind Kejriwal's straightforwardness attract me.
Which politician is most well-dressed?
In the history of our country, the most stylish politician has been Muhammad Ali Jinnah whose westerns always stood out. And of course, the Nehru jackets worn by Jawaharlal Nehru. They have been style icons. In today’s era, Shashi Tharoor is well-dressed.
What would your work timings be, as an MP?
My work timings would be from 9am to 5pm. Meetings with the common man would take place only during lunch hours or after work as I would not like to disturb the common man’s office schedule to meet them.
What would be your USP as an MP?
I would know my city and its issues and then connect with the people to work for them. The right kind of communication with a clear conscience would be my USP.
Would you want personal security?
Personal security is not a luxury, it is a necessity. There are certain hooligans in society who need to be checked. There was a recent shameful incident of Arvind Kejriwal being slapped. I would be approachable as an MP but would strike the right balance.
Which Bollywood actor would you rope in to campaign for you?
Amitabh Bachchan and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. But I would also abolish this celebrity campaign culture as a voter shouldn’t vote by seeing a celebrity but on other agendas. And why waste so much money in roping in a celebrity; rather, this money can be used elsewhere.
Which car would you like to travel in as MP?
I can drive a BMW or an Audi as an MP. However, that won’t restrict me from travelling in an auto-rickshaw or on a bike in case I have to avoid traffic jams.
What would you wear if you became an MP?
As an MP, one should always underplay and not overdo with the look. I would dress up according to the place and occasion, like if I am meeting joggers at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh, I would prefer track pants.
I have been among the young brigade of actors and have been an anchor that helped me in being a youth icon, so I have a natural connect with them. Despite that I would increase public speaking and organise workshops and seminars to create awareness among the youth as they are the leaders of tomorrow.
How would you inspire the youth to go out and vote?
I would regularly have a dialogue with the youth. I would meet them informally and play and compose music for them through my personal music band and would increase street plays through my theatre group, so that they can be aware of various issues. All that the youth want is a change for the better and that would come with the educated politicians.
What would be your symbol and slogan?
I would choose either the mike, which denotes freedom of expression, voice of the common man, and the power to connect with people, or the mirror as it would give a reality check to the people. My slogan would be — ‘Nation love, Ayushman bhav.’
Three issues you would like to raise in Parliament.
I would make strict laws to ensure women’s safety. Good education would be imparted so that it would ensure employment. I would also make it sure that the soldiers and teachers are well paid as the future of the youth depends on teachers.