Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, Thiruvananthapuram recently spoke to the students of the Indian School of Public Policy on the theme of ‘Parliament and Constituency: Re-thinking the functions of the Member of Parliament’. The interaction was organised as part of the institute’s flagship Guest Lecture series wherein public policy thought leaders are invited to share their insights with the students.
In an hour-long interaction moderated by Dr. Parth J. Shah, Director, Indian School of Public Policy. Dr. Tharoor spoke about his motivation behind moving from a career in diplomacy to a career in politics sharing that he felt that “an opportunity to make a difference to my own people “should be the next stage of his career, though he acknowledged that it was not an easy journey as he did not belong to a political family.
He also shared his views about how to make a Parliamentary instrument like the ‘Private Members Bill’ more effective, recommending “a system where two days are devoted to discussion, say for two hours each, of something like 8 different bills, and in those 2 days by law no whip should be issued, people are free to discuss according to their conscience.” Responding to a question about the role of technology in facilitating direct democracy, Dr. Tharoor expressed the opinion that if direct democracy were to be introduced into a Parliamentary system, then the entire Parliamentary system should be done away with “because the two are theoretically incompatible with each other”.
During a robust Q&A with students, Dr. Tharoor spoke about the relevance of modern-day policy making and some of the bills being currently debated in Parliament. He also shared his opinion that there is not much consensus around the anti-defection law and that “party leaderships want to keep and strengthen the defection law and they want to keep their MPs very much in line.”
Please also find enclosed some quotes from the students about the interaction.
“During Dr. Tharoor’s session, he spoke about the anti-defection law which we learned in our Business and Government course. The insights from a practitioner added a new perspective to my understanding of the issue.”
– Piyush Anand, ISPP – Class of 2020
“Dr. Tharoor spoke about the phenomenon of the Magic of market which only works for those who can enter, therefore, the govt should give a leg-up to those who cannot. In one line, he clearly highlighted his economic and political policy which was closely related to our Markets for Development and Regulations course.”
– Himanshu Burad, ISPP – Class of 2020
About Indian School of Public Policy
The Indian School of Public Policy is the first design thinking focused school of public policy in India, founded with a vision to develop policy professionals with the knowledge, skills, wisdom and ethics to understand, design and implement local solutions to India’s enduring policy and governance challenges.