A meeting with our MP
Shruti Parmar understands a politician’s perspective of India at Milind Deora’s interaction with the students of Sophia College for Women, Mumbai.
A wise professor Chris Krug once told me that Politics is about spreading your view of the world. If news coverage, journalism – political science classes and family discussions are anything to go by; politics is a disappointing dirty game. Milind Deora, Member of Parliament for South Mumbai and a Government of India Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology makes no qualms about being a politician. His job he says is about “fighting elections, winning votes and coming to power”.
But that doesn’t disregard the fact that nobody knows our country like a politician does. An interaction with Mr. Deora therefore, raised the level of debate and deliberation for students at Sophia College for Women this Tuesday.
Urban Unemployment & the Lokpal
Discussion began with the issue of urban unemployment. Mr. Deora said that this was a pertinent issue that India is unable to keep its people in the villages and the resultant migrations do put pressure on city utilities. While schemes like the MHNREGA have been put in place to tackle this issue, India does need to move towards Social Security. India therefore, according to Mr. Deora, needs a Social Security scheme like the UID so that direct cash transfers are possible to those who should benefit from various schemes and leakages within the system are prevented.
This also brought us to a highlight of Mr. Deora’s view- that India needs to become less dependent on the Government; that we need to reduce interface with the Government rather than increase agencies and the scope for corruption within them for instance as the Lokpal suggests.
The Guwahati incident & Inspector Dhoble
Two current questions drew condemnation from Mr. Deora but in a completely different perspective. He pointed out that opinions related to the Guwahati incident were mostly extremes in our country; a set of people saying that the molesters should be immediately hanged and the other saying that women must not indulge in certain activities, etc. Quick justice is in fact required, to set examples that will prove as a deterrent in such cases and ensure safety for women in every part of India.
Even in the case of Inspector Dhoble, who says that he’s just implementing the law, Mr. Deora employed that focus must be placed on changing such draconian laws that put fear in the minds of people for harmless activities.
Media & Moral Sustainability
The discussion on law and the judiciary also brought Mr. Deora to highlight another issue that we need to change the course of debate in India. He said that little attention is paid to the core issues and their future impact in our public deliberation. This is why we do not focus on long term solutions. As a conclusion to a question he posed before us, Mr. Deora said that such quality control cannot be enforced by the Government on the Media, but can only be ensured by proactive civil forums.
He explained how one needn’t only consider electoral politics as joining politics since the scope for that is difficult and limited. All Indians he said seem to love Politics (more than Cricket and Bollywood) in the passion with which we discuss it. We need to take this to the next level by shedding our serious cynicism and living with moral sustainability through voting, questioning our representatives et al.
Often called the ‘MP from Manhattan’ by his colleagues for representing what is perceived as one of the most elite areas in India, Mr. Deora spoke about the National Solar Mission, the National Skills Development Council and also constantly made references to world policies. He also spoke candidly about his feeling of awe towards the Parliament for it being the ultimate embodiment of a country as diverse as India with no less than 545 Constituencies represented in that Hall.
Mr. Deora is no doubt a most convincing politician; and as a most critical audience it was a view of the world we needed to know – that ultimately the onus for a better country is on us.