What happens when a few students from Mumbai get to rub shoulders with the who’s who of the Indian Parliament?

“Vice-President Dr. K. Hamid Ansari is such a friendly person! For a person of his stature to take the time to speak to each student individually is what set him apart from the crowd. He exudes such warmth,” says an excited Supriya Gopal, one of the students who visited the Indian Parliament as part of the Milind Deora’s Youth Development Programme.

Politics and Parliament

At a time when fashion and trends captivate the attention of youngsters, it is not every day that one gets to see youngsters brimming with excitement and anticipation over politics and the Parliament.

A progressive lot, today’s youngsters consider it a matter of pride to be associated with national politics. Naturally, it was an enthusiastic crowd of college-goers from Mumbai who flocked the Parliament.

Mubina Kapasi, a postgraduate student of Business Journalism from BSE Institute Limited, Mumbai, is yet to get over the thrill of her experience.

“Most of us criticise the system. However, only when one gets to be in such close contact with the members and catch a glimpse of how the system works, will one be able to appreciate it.”

She further spoke about how the experience gave participants a feel of how the Parliament worked.

“Hamid Ansari for instance, spoke about how the Parliament was three decades ago and how it has changed today. Conversing with Shashi Tharoor was a different experience altogether. He spoke to us in detail about his return to India after serving in a high post in the US. He also stressed on the need for vocational training in the country.”

Apart from interactive sessions with dignitaries from the Parliament, the students were taken on a tour of the Parliament Museum where they were shown an audio-visual presentation of the freedom struggle.

“We were shown a video of Jawaharlal Nehru’s ‘Tryst With Destiny’ speech. It was very impressive. I was completely blown away as I could imagine the tumult of feelings that people would have gone through more than six decades ago when Nehru made the speech. I would love to go back to the Parliament just to go through this experience once again,” she adds wistfully.

Naveedh-ur-Rehaman, a postgraduate student of Banking and Finance from BSE Institute Limited, explains how he considered himself extremely lucky to have been able to interact with MPs.

“BSE has given us a great platform and an even greater experience. Not everyone at this stage in their lives is given such an opportunity. Rubbing shoulders with people like Kapil Sibal, Hamid Ansari, Sachin Pilot, and others was a brilliant experience.”

Darshil Chalishazar, yet another postgraduate student from the same institute, concurs.

“The experience was brilliant. We had a candid talk with the dignitaries about the Indian economy, their reactions to the recent elections and more. What made the trip fruitful was that we also got to interact with students from different backgrounds.”

More In: Nxg | Metroplus | Chennai