Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Ashams Joe, has termed the Financial Integrity bill proposed by Finance Minister Aparna Gopan a “weak bill” merely paying lip service to controlling the rampant corruption in the country.
Step aside please, Dr Singh, Mr Advani, Ms Swaraj and Mr Mukherjee, to make way for these young parliamentarians of Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) Pangode, regional winners this year in the Youth Parliament competitions conducted by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs for KVs.
“They had to present an entire parliamentary sitting, from oath-taking to question hour to the passing of a bill within the time limit of one hour,” said teacher-in-charge K Jaya. “Each school sends a team of 55 students.”
The students had been selected for their oratorial prowess, their quality of voice over the microphone and their confidence, as becoming young politicians. They do not hesitate even a bit from voicing their opinions.
“We were a ‘model’ parliament, not a ‘mock’ parliament,” said Devi R Krishnan of class XI, who played the Speaker. “We were much more disciplined than real politicians anyday, a point which the judges noted.”
Speaking more in detail about their session, Aparna said, “The highlight of our session was our bill which called for bringing back black money stashed overseas. Social insurance for every transaction, progressive taxation on sales over a particular amount and single account transactions to reduce the number of ‘benami’ accounts were some of its key features.”
Apart from the bill, they also had discussions on Right to Education Act, railway accidents and possible threats to national security arising out of army exercises conducted by China on the Sino-Indian border during the question hour, added Greeshma Narendran, member of the ruling party.
So what did they learn most during their foray into parliamentary affairs? Mostly the fact that they could now relate to whatever they saw on the news or read in the papers, all of them agreed.
“After this, I think all Indian citizens should sit up and take note of what is happening in Parliament and not ignore it thinking it is the job of politicians alone,” said A Sachin, who was the Deputy Speaker.
The team, with Benedict Isaac of Class X playing Prime Minister, will compete for the national-level title with other zonal-level winners.