At the three-day National Student Parliament 2018 organised by Raisoni Group of Institutions at GH Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur, eminent personalities from varied fields came under one roof to share their opinions on different subjects.
Present at the inaugural session were former actress and politician Nagma Morarji, Sunil Raisoni, author and entrepreneur Yogesh Chabria, writer and actor Dr Sanjay Upadhye, Manish Awasthi (National Political Editor, India News) and Syed Maulana Kalbe Rushaid (Shia Scholar and Politician). Each of these chief guests expressed their views on different subjects. While Nagma, speaking to a jam-packed auditorium, stressed upon the need of having good leaders, Dr Upadhye urged youngsters not to be driven away by movies which are shown in today’s age. At the inaugural session, Nagpur law student Sahil Dewani was also felicitated by the chief guests for winning 20 medals at Nagpur University’s 104th convocation ceremony.
Former journalist and BJP spokesperson Shazia Ilmi, transgender rights activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi and Simeran Bhasin (CMO, Wildcraft India Private Limited) in the next session spoke about gender equality in India. Tripathi, who has championed the cause of transgender rights in the country, gave a fierce speech on the subject, which got a standing ovation from the students present. Ilmi stressed upon the need of changing mental attitudes in the country to make gender equality a reality. Bhasin, who’s often credited for the success of the brand Fasttrack, got nostalgic as she remembered the initial days of her career wherein she spent a year in Nagpur.
After the session on gender equality, the discussion moved towards another interesting topic – Caste Vs Kabiliyat. The speakers at this session were Rajya Sabha MP Dr Vikas Mahatme, former chairperson of National Commission for Minorities Wajahat Habibullah, Advocate Swati Nakhate of the Maratha Muk Morcha, Jiten Jain from the ‘Youth For Equality’ movement and transgender activist Gauri Sawant. While Jain rued that reservation should be on the basis of financial status, he and Dr Mahatme presented a slide by slide presentation discussing criteria on basis of which the most deserving person can get reservation. Nakhate, who helms the Maratha Muk Morcha, gave an aggressive speech about the want of reservation for Marathas. Sawant, on the other hand got emotional during her speech, which she ended saying, “I’m somebody who’s not defined by caste but by my sex!”
On the second day and the third day, topics which were discussed by other eminent speakers were: Personal Liberty under Article 21 and Right to Privacy, Media – Truth or TRP and Redefining freedom @ 70.
Pictures by: Amar Ashok Jajoo and Himanshu Pal