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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Madam Speaker

Before being nominated as the Lok Sabha Speaker,the pleasant,polite,but reserved Meira Kumar was the Union Minister for social justice and empowerment (2004-2009).

Written by Prachi Mujumdar |
June 6, 2009 4:42:24 am

Before being nominated as the Lok Sabha Speaker,the pleasant,polite,but reserved Meira Kumar was the Union Minister for social justice and empowerment (2004-2009). Prior to that,she was a member of the Indian Foreign Service and served in UK,Spain and Mauritius in her short stint as a diplomat. Despite everything,though,she’s still best-known as the daughter of the late Babu Jagjivan Ram,the legendary Dalit leader from Sasaram,Bihar.

With Kalidasa’s immortal Sanskrit play Abhigyan Shakuntalam being her favourite,Kumar’s interests can best be described as eclectic. She admits that in her younger days,she followed the adventures of Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple. She writes poetry,loves classical music,is a collector of tribal art and handicraft. Kumar,whose husband is a Supreme Court lawyer,is also a pistol shooter and a horse rider. Her journalist son describes her as soft-spoken but a disciplinarian; the last trait will be put fully to the test when the real work of the Lok Sabha begins.

Dr Sanjyot Apte
HOD,Political Science,S P College
The appointment of Meira Kumar to the post of Speaker is a good signal as it is an important post. But,one hopes that it will not be only a symbolic appointment. It is important to go beyond gender and caste and one hopes that she will perform her duties with all fairness and true commitment to the democratic process of the country.

Dinesh Sakhare
managing director,Telestar Communications
Meira Kumar as the new Speaker of the Lok Sabha will definitely be able to add dignity to the office,as she has enough experience. Her being the first woman Speaker is a sign of more freedom and opportunities to Indians. It shows that each person has equal rights in our country. Our president is a lady and so is the chairperson of the ruling political party. Now,with the Speaker being a woman too,chances are that the Women’s Reservation Bill will surely be passed this time.

Jyoti Kanetkar
author
I did not know about Meira Kumar before her appointment as the Lok Sabha Speaker. About handling the House,I think it’s a bit difficult,seeing the rowdy history of members. But then,if she has managed a family,she can manage this as well! Amongst the earlier speakers,P A Sangma was good and all the earlier ones soon after independence too were stalwarts,as they knew first hand the importance of the responsibility entrusted to them. Well,as far as not-so well-known politicians like her holding the post is concerned,I think it’s fine since the known ones didn’t put out any fires,did they? Maybe new brooms will sweep clean.

Harishchandra Dhekane
store superintendent,Dehu Road Ammunition Depot
Yes,I do know Meira Kumar. She is Jagjivanram’s daughter and has been a cabinet minister in the past. I think she is capable of handling the House well. Now that she is the Lok Sabha speaker,the Women’s Reservation Bill should be passed easily. I think she will do a good job as the Speaker; she will be able to listen to everybody and take the process forward in an amicable manner.

Anandi Deshpande
student
I don’t think Meira Kumar will be able to conduct the proceedings of the House well,as her personality is not as dynamic as that of Sushma Swaraj or Mamata Banerjee. On the Women’s Reservation Bill issue,I think it is a strategy of the party to show people that it gives posts of importance to women. I think someone more experienced should have been chosen for the post. Among the past speakers,I think P A Sangma did a good job of handling the proceedings in the Lok Sabha.

Nishant Srivastava
software engineer
No,I did not know Meira Kumar before she got nominated to the post of Speaker. Among the past Speakers,I think PA Sangma was the best. It is a good thing that not so well-known politicians are holding important posts and younger politicians are getting opportunities to grow and learn. About her being the first woman Speaker,all I can say is that in politics,a person cannot act independently but has to work according to the party. About how she performs as India’s first woman Speaker,is something we’ll have to wait and watch.

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