It was a throwback literally to the first session of Parliament, which met in 1952, when students from various schools donned the garbs of the leaders of yore and took it on themselves to recreate Parliament here on Thursday as part of the 60th anniversary of the apex house of the country.
The recreation was organised by Christ Nagar International School at the old Assembly hall of the Secretariat.
It had students from various schools coming dressed as the parliamentarians of 1952, starting from President Rajendra Prasad, Vice-President S. Radhakrishnan, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and going up to the then Speaker G.V. Mavalankar, Deputy Speaker M.A. Ayyangar, Leader of the Opposition A.K. Gopalan and so on.
Starting with the national anthem, election of the Speaker, complete with the counter resolution moved by Mr. Gopalan and the resultant chaos, and the speeches that followed, the session wound up with the national anthem.
Heera L. Bright of Lecole Chempaka School won the first prize for her portrayal of Annie Mascarene, Ebin Harris of St. Thomas Residential School won the second prize for his portrayal of M.A. Ayyangar, and Ranjitha Rajan of Saraswathi Vidyalaya won the third prize for playing Satya Narayanan Sinha.
In her speech, ‘Annie Mascrene’ pointed out to the Speaker that women were a “clear minority” in the House and that the Speaker should give the women members sufficient opportunities for expressing their opinion.
In his ‘concession speech’, Shankar Santaram, who ‘lost’ the election for the post of Speaker, accepted his defeat and pointed out that ‘Parliament’ had borrowed some conventions of the British House of Commons. “Unfortunately, some of these conventions have become a casualty even at the very first meeting of our House.”
Earlier, inaugurating the event, former Union Minister O. Rajagopal said it was time for a change in the functioning of Parliament, which was modelled on the British Parliament, which had a two-party system unlike here.
There were recommendations for modifications earlier but which were ‘unfortunately’ not implemented.
Modifications were necessary for the smooth functioning of Parliament in order to serve the cause of the people in a better way, he said. A. Sampath, MP, spoke.