Mahua Moitra, a first time MP of the TMC, gave an impressive speech in the Lok Sabha during the motion of thanks on the President’s address on Tuesday. It was not just an excellent presentation of what may generally be described as the leftist construct against BJP rule, it also exhibited her fluency in Hindi, English and Urdu. With Bengali, that would make her multi-lingual in a way that should be the goal of India’s leaders in every sphere of activity, instead of indulging in language chauvinism that restricts one to a region or state. She is undoubtedly going to prove a valuable addition to the Lok Sabha and national politics. And, guess what? She was earlier a member of the Congress who later shifted to the TMC. This is quite illustrative of what ails India’s Grand Old Party – the inability of merit to rise owing to the limitations imposed by dynasty. Her articulate expression of ideas serves as a fitting contrast to the jerky, repetitive and absent-minded speeches by Rahul Gandhi that inevitably end up as the butt of people’s jokes.
Moitra, who has done her professional stint as a banker, is not the only representative of the new breed of confident, capable and youthful leaders in the Lok Sabha, both, in the Treasury and Opposition benches. This gives rise to the hope that changing India is reflected in the House quite adequately and its presence will influence the way it functions. Every shade of public opinion ought to be represented in the House and harnessed to the service of the nation. This is all the more necessary because the challenges of this period in time are many, requiring a high level of intellectual sophistication in dealing with them.
Also necessary is providing the members of the House the time and occasion to contribute in the overall outcomes. The present tendency – exhibited in the somewhat extreme by the Uttarakhand Assembly – to shorten the sessions as much as possible will deny the many talents the opportunity to play their role. So many bills are passed without discussion simply because the majority is a given. During the debates, too, the senior leaders tend to hog the limelight even when some of them are barely able to speak. The younger lot should be given the chance to represent each party’s view on a subject if only because the general public watching the debate can be better informed and also be able to assess the comparative quality of their leaders. And, as a consequence, India will be able to deal with its problems better.