At Janta Ka Conclave, CPI-M’s Rajya Sabha MP Md Salim, Congress MP Sushmita Dev and Chandrima Bhattacharya, minister in Mamata Banerjee government discuss the role of lawmakers in delivering social justice in India
Md Salim, CPI-M MP
Making Aadhaar compulsory is fundamentally opposed to our constitution. What happens to the data you are collecting for mobile companies? What happened in demonetisation? You were expected to submit the photo copy of your Aadhaar card. So all these black money holders, they employed several people, to use those photo copies of Aadhaar to deposit money because the banks had earlier said that people could use photo copies to deposit certain amount of money. That’s why demonetisation became a scam in itself. Okay, every body is not Jay Shah, but many people made tons of money during demonetisation. On Aadhaar, this government is converting the rights into entitlement. You are creating a society that are divided between ‘have lots’ and ‘have not.’
Sushmita Dev, Congress MP
What’s important to understand about Gujarat elections is that the Gujarat Model was a fairytale of 2014, sold to rest of India outside Gujarat and people believed it. There are two aspects to it. Gujarat has always had the history of being seen as a more developed state than any other and more enterprising because it has a port and it’s a trade hub. But I think this Gujarat elections, I’ve just spent seven days there doing work for my organisation. And I can tell you that when you ask people of Gujarat ‘vikaas ko kya hua hai?‘ they say ‘vikaas paagal ho gaya hai.’ I don’t know what will happen in the elections, but it’s something worth seeing and one has to recall how Prime Minister Modi, that time he was the prime minister in waiting, sold that sotry. How can the same people within three years of becoming the prime minister with a historical mandate in Gujarat say ‘vikaas paagal ho gaya hai.’ In between they tried to change the slogan to pragati (Hindi for growth), so then the slogan started that pragati bhaag gayi.
Chandrima Bhattacharya, Minister of State (Health, E-governance), Bengal govt
All laws in the constitution aim at rendering and delivering social justice. But the question whether this social justice is reaching and achieving its goal for which the laws are framed. It is for the lawmakers to also see that whatever laws are being made to render social justice, they are actually being implemented. It’s equally true not only the affirmative laws but there should also be action. As Md Salim said, if the government wants they can always pass the bills in the parliament. It’s all about our intention. Our chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, the first thing she did was to pass the 50% reservation for women at the Panchayat level. If your intention is right, you can always overcome disruptions.
Watch full debate in the above video. For the entire coverage of Janta Ka Conclave here