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Shabana Azmi: 'There is no magic wand for change'

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Mumbai, March 30 -- Veteran actor Shabana Azmi, who was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha (RS) in 1997, is steering clear of the general elections that are set to commence next month, in spite of getting offers from many political parties.

Here, she talks about the polls, her work in the Rajya Sabha and addressing the cause of women empowerment through an initiative by her NGO, Mijwan. Including this year, I have been offered tickets by political parties for almost 20 years now. I took my work as a Parliamentarian very seriously and the time that I spent in the Rajya Sabha was truly a learning experience for me. People see the brawls but they don't see how a bill is passed or how a law It really depends on the individuals. There have been individuals from the industry who were extremely sincere and they have done extremely well. Javed Akhtar is one such nominated member who could help legislation pass in the Parliament (the Copyright (Amendment) Act, passed in 2012). Normally, you need to have a party backing you to transform something into legislation but he managed to do that. It depends on how serious you are. There have been some people whose attendance was five per cent. That was not right. It's not a medal that's given to you, it's a responsibility. It's very important that people from other sections of the society also join the political process. How else are you going to bring about a mindset transformation? There is no magic wand that can make change happen overnight, but a beginning has been made. What I find very heartening about the political scenario is that women's issues are talked about and getting centre stage. Otherwise that wasn't a matter in anyone's political manifesto.