On 3 March, Upper Sixth student Aditya Ranjan attended the Warwick India Forum’s inaugural event, ‘Unravelling India’. The forum is hosted for university students by the University of Warwick.
I have a keen interest in Indian politics, governance and society. At the event I learned about the development of the Indian political structure from 1947 (when India received freedom from British rule) to present times, and received insight into economic development from prominent members of the Indian government and society such as Montek Singh Ahluwalia (Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India) and Prof Sumantra Bose (Professor of International and Comparative Politics at LSE).
I also interacted with another key speaker, Rajiv Pratap Rudy (MP, National Spokesperson of the BJP political party, and former Minister of Civil Aviation). I was particularly thrilled to debate Indian politics and governance with him and offer my opinions as well as learn about the challenges of the Indian political system and the work of an MP and a Cabinet Minister.
This was followed by a day of ‘Mock Parliament’ in which I represented the President of the Nationalist Congress Party. This was a Model UN-style simulation of the Indian parliament in which we discussed the advantages and limitations of the Lokpal Bill that targets corruption. We also discussed the ethical, economic, political and social aspects of the reservation of ‘seats’ in educational institutions and jobs in public offices for SCs, STs and OBCs (disadvantaged castes and tribes).
Being the only school student among undergraduates and postgraduates, I was initially overwhelmed. However, the extremely stimulating debate enabled me not only to fit in but also to win the award for Outstanding Delegate. As well as the honour of winning this over experienced university level debaters, this means a lot to me as it was for discussing an issue which is personally relevant.
Thursday 8 March 2012
by Charlotte Hails