From banning adult content on television to introducing B R Ambedkar’s image on 1000-rupee notes, BJP’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind addressed a wide range of subjects as a Member of Parliament. Kovind, who is set to be the next president, frequently raised questions about reservations for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) as well as atrocities on backward communities during his two terms in Rajya Sabha from 1994 to 2006.
On one occasion, he wanted to know since when some announcers on All India Radio and Doordarshan had started welcoming listeners with a “Ram Ram” – a form of greeting popular in the north — and whether this had been stopped. If so, why, he asked. Kovind also wanted the government to make public the General Henderson Brooks Report on the India China war of 1962.
According to the Rajya Sabha archives, in July 1996 the former Bihar governor posed a question about banning the telecast of adult movies and uncensored programmes. In the same question, he also asked the government how it planned to stop the “cultural invasion” of foreign channels.
In one of his questions in 1998, he mentioned demonetisation while asking about the reintroduction of 1000-rupee notes.
That very year, Kovind, who had led the BJP’s Dalit Morcha, asked the then NDA government if it proposed to print 1000-rupee notes with an image of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar to “honour him”. Kovind also questioned a change in the formatting of Chitrahaar — a popular television show on Hindi film songs -by Doordarshan, and asked if it was true that audiences had not taken to it.