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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.




Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

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07 May, 2008

Full Timepass in Parliament

You don’t need to elect film stars to parliament to get full entertainment. CNN-IBN reports:

The much-delayed Bill providing 33 per cent reservation for women in legislatures was introduced in Rajya Sabha amid high drama and protests by Samajwadi Party (SP) members on Tuesday.

Law Minister H R Bhardwaj introduced the controversial Bill in the midst of Samajwadi Party members trying to snatch its copies from the hands of the Minister. But the Congress MPs formed a human chain around Bhardwaj as he introduced the Bill by a voice vote.

To protest against the Bill, SP members also reportedly threw papers at the Congress MPs. [...]

An agitated SP MP Abu Azmi said, “If given a chance I would have torn the Bill.”

However, Congress members intervened and Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chaudhary repulsed SP’s attempts by pushing Azmi away.

I was on NDTV’s show We the People once with Renuka Chaudhary as a fellow guest—we fought over the women’s reservation bill among other things—and I can attest to how formidable she is. Indeed, you put her and The Great Khali in a ring and she will wipe the floor with that bugger and have him curling up in a foetal position at the end of it and asking for Mummy. Still, parliament is not an akhada, and if we pay Rs 26,000 per minute for its proceedings, you figure out what this entertainment costs us, and whether it’s worth it.

(Link via email from Vinjk.)

Update: The Telegraph’s report on the subject has this priceless paragraph:

“Had I pushed him, there would have been byelections,” minister Renuka Chowdhury, more substantial than Kamal Akhtar, her adversary from the Samajwadi Party, later joked outside Parliament after she and some fellow women members had fought off a brawny bid to stop the women’s reservation bill from being tabled today.

Note to the reporter: are you sure she was joking?

(Link via email from Rahul Gaur.)

Posted by Amit Varma in India | News | Politics

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