Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sansad Ratna awards 2013 at IITM

I attended an event at IIT Madras yesterday- named Sansad Ratna. The event was about honoring top performing Members of Parliament, organized by Prime Point Foundation and IITM

I reached the venue few minutes before 9 AM. There was no baggage screening, no metal detector. I took a seat. As the governor was attending the event, few rounds of security checks were done- few people checked the chair to ensure it is strong enough, few checks the steps to be sure that aged governor can use them comfortably. Police dogs did their rounds. Eventually the event began at 9.30 AM with a presentation by Chakshu Roy about parliament of India and the stats of MPs. Apparently his PRS Legislative research provides monitors MP's performance and provides all the stats. More about some of the key facts presented by him in this post.

After the tea break all waited for the governor to arrive. Once he was in, the Sansad Ratna awards were handed over to select MPs (Member of Parliament)

Below is the list of people who got the award:

  • Sri Anandrao Adsul, Shiv Sena MP from Maharastra (3rd from left in the photo)
  • Shri S S Ramasubbu, Cong MP rom TN (4th from left)
  • Shri Arjun Ram Ram Meghwal, BJP MP from Bikaner, Rajastan- right most in the pic with turban- he has the maximum- 99% attendance and has introduced 20 private member bills, has asked the maximum questions- 386 in parliament
  • Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, BJP MP from Maharastra- 2nd from left- he has introduced maximum no of private member bills- 31- among all MPs. He's also whistle blower of Coal Gate scam.
  • Smt Rama Devi (BJP MP from Sheohar, Bihar- 2nd from right)
  • Dr Jhansi Botcha Lakshmi, Cong MP from AP, first from left
There were few other winners- Supria Sule, Dharmendra Yadav etc, who couldn't make it to the event.

Subsequently there were few speeches, by Srinivasan of Prime Point Foundation, former CEC, T S Krishna Moorthy (spoke about election reforms) and by Prof K Ramamurthy of IIT (gave detailed listing of how IIT is helping in research and innovations).

After the prize ceremony all stood up for National anthem. Then it was announced that Governor will be leaving and audience should remain standing while he leaves. Suddenly organizers remembered to take a photo of MPs with Governor, some confusion prevailed during this.

Below: Awardees with Governor K Rosaiah
After the event, supporters of MPs went to stage to greet them, take photo with them and so on, much to the frustration of organizers. Chelas of local congress MP thronged in large numbers to perform additional felicitations to him and get them-self photographed. One such image below
Above: Local Congress MP's sidekicks competing among themselves to put a shawl around their leader and get themselves photographed. At least a dozen of them used this opportunity to show their faith to their leader, disrupting the event. Organizers had to repeatedly request the supporters to take their seat.

Eventually organizers managed to get the people in control and a panel discussion started. The MC asked a question each to the MPs and asked them to answer in brief, but most of the MPs took their sweet time to deliver a full fledged speech.  Subsequently the audience got a chance to ask questions, but many questions were related to policy matters (interlinking rivers in particular) and few generic requests (front half of the bus should be reserved for ladies and not left half- read my earlier post on this). Some time was spent to translate the speech/question from one language to another. Below are some key points from the debate:

Disruption of parliament was a hot topic- while some audience demanded "No work-No Pay", BJP MP Hansraj Ahir defended the disruptions. His point was that MPs are not contract labors  because they disrupted the house, Govt agreed to form JPC,  set up inquiries on various scams- 2G, CWG, Coal gate and so on. If the opposition had kept quiet, Govt would have suppressed these scams and they would never get the attention they deserved. So the MP defended saying disruption is also required sometimes, to get things done.

MPs also said that they should focus 49% on their constituency issues and 51% on issues of national interest

Interlinking of Rivers/National rivers was another topic that came up and ended in heated arguments. Cong MP tried to take credit for the proposal. BJP MPs claimed that Atalji govt had taken the initiative on this which the next UPA govt ignored. How this national river/interlinking river should be materialized was argued upon a bit.

When asked if a MP should honor its party's whip or should go by what's best for his constituency, Anandrao Adsul said MPs should go with the later, but Hansraj contested, saying that MPs should go by party guideline.

Below: A tree planting gesture

Post lunch, I decided to skip the session and return home. another debate was scheduled.

We have lots of hatred about politics these days. Among all these, there're few who are performing their duties rather well. Good to know that there're few such MPs and we have a system to track their performances.

Note: Ministers were not considered for these prizes.


Anonymous said...

Hey seems like you attended the function because you had some free time! Get your facts correct smt. Ramadevi is from BJP...kindly read the newspaper or browse through her profile! Honestly I feel I'm wasting my time on writing this because you seem very negative person to me. People like you are making india horrible day by day! Alway be the change you want to see others with!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks for pointing out- I've corrected the mistake.

Pls be specific on other generic statements

Anonymous said...

why is everyone interested in pointing out mistakes? why cant one look at the brighter side of our country... most people dont understand how difficult it is to manage hugely populated country like india. why cant one appreciate the fact that india is one of the best democracies in the world. the biggest corrupts are our media channels because they are brainwashing every sector/class in our society.