India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, wanted me to join politics. I was introduced to him by India’s very old, senior-most parliamentarian, who had been a member of parliament from 1916 up to 1976. He was known as the father of the Indian parliament. Jawaharlal used to stay at his palace; his father was given the title of rajah, king, so his house had become the palace – and it was palatial.
Jawaharlal was a man of tremendous intelligence. He talked for just five to ten minutes with me and he said, “You’d better join politics. Don’t waste your time here and there, you have a great future, and I am with you and I will support you.”
I said, “Thank you for your generosity, but I am not going to be in any position where I am responsible for anybody.”
Politics means responsibility, and if you are not responsible you have to become a hypocrite. That’s what all the politicians have become. They talk about being responsible and nobody is responsible.
Now, millions of tons of food in Europe have been thrown in the ocean, but they will not send it to Ethiopia. One hundred thousand dollars were needed to take it to the ocean, and they dumped it there – fresh fruit, fresh food. But its presence was going to bring the prices down, and that they would not like. And who cares about Ethiopia? And why should anybody care?
In speeches, everybody will talk about Ethiopia and responsibility, but the real face is totally different. The prime minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, is one of my friends. He is Jawaharlal’s grandson. If I had accepted Jawaharlal’s offer, perhaps I would have been in his place. He is selling wheat to other countries while half of India is starving and dying.
And they go on talking about sympathy and compassion for the poor… But he needs nuclear weapons. For that he needs money, and India has only raw materials to sell. It has no technology, no high technology. The poor man works his whole life producing wheat and dies starving while the wheat will be sold to purchase uranium to make nuclear weapons.
I don’t take anybody’s responsibility. In this way I help whoever comes close to me to be responsible for himself. People who take others’ responsibility are responsible for creating retarded, dependent slaves all around the world. If nobody had taken their responsibility, they would have taken the challenge of life and struggled for themselves.
I have heard about a very super-rich woman. She had come to a holiday resort, to the best hotel. Her boy, who looked perfectly healthy and young, was carried from the car on a stretcher. Even the hotel manager and others thought that there must be something wrong. The young man looked perfectly healthy, in the best of health. They said, “What is wrong with this young man? What has happened?”
She said, “Nothing has happened, but he can afford to be carried on a stretcher. Why should he walk?”