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From the gallery

The day to day happenings in both the houses of Parliament House.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Published: December 13, 2014 1:47:47 am

5 questions: Poonam Mahajan, BJP

On raising the issue of the importance of preserving regional languages and the need to extend support for research and development of software for translation.

Why did you raise the issue of National Translation Mission?

When I raised this question, luckily I got it answered on the floor of the House. I have studied in a Marathi medium school, my schooling was done in my mother tongue till Class X. We know a lot of literary work is there in Marathi… But somehow our rich heritage in regional languages does not come into focus. Think about Arunachal Pradesh, a small state but it has 90 different languages, Assam has 55 and Maharashtra has 20-30 languages. In Marathi itself, there are 12 dialects. This is our rich heritage and we need to take it forward.

How do you think it is going to help the society?

This is not just about languages… it is linked to the education system and the concept of skill development. For many youngsters pursuing skill development language is a barrier. If we want to make a speech, why would we refer to writings of an European or a Russian? Rabindranath Tagore got a Nobel in literature 100 years ago, his literature is translated into different languages. The government should take this mission forward.

Why did you specifically mention Bhyrappa, the Kannada novelist?

His literature is widely read and respected. I mentioned him because I know about it. There are so many unknown people who write beautifully. People Linguistic Research has documented 780 language out of which 220 languages have already been lost in the last 50 years and 150 more will become extinct in the next 50 years. Languages are not created, they evolve. So, I thought it was a brilliant topic to take forward.

The Speaker has praised you and asked other MPs to study and come up with questions on different issues.

First of all, I raised this question not just as a question, but as a case study. I always prepare myself and understand the question I raise. I write a blog also and it helps me understand the whole situation.

There has been a controversy over Sanskrit being imposed on KV students. What’s your view on it?

There is no question of it being imposed. One should go through what our HRD Minister explained. There is no controversy. Raising a controversy is very easy and understanding an answer is difficult. When I sent this question, I received a beautifully written answer. The minister knew what I was talking about. I was quite impressed by it.

That’s enough. You cannot make a lecture now. You don’t have extra privilege. Nowadays, Rajas do not have extra privilege. Rajas are also equal to other citizens. You should know that.
P J Kurien, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman to CPI’s D Raja after he refused to sit down despite repeated requests. Raja wanted to speak on the Tamil fishermen issue but had not given a notice.

Tathagata Satpathy, BJD on the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill:
The coal extraction and washing for Mahaguj has been given to a not so well-known company, called Adani. So, what will happen now? You do not know Adani. We know a lot many more things… Nobody knows Adani. We know only Birla and Tata. We do not know anybody else. They are out. Because it has a coal washery now, this third thing — very surreptitiously and innocuously — has been put in such a way that washery owner becomes an end user. It means, in simpler terms, when you give your shirt or trousers to your laundry man, he washes it and then he wears it. So, when you come next time to Parliament, you will see your dhobi wearing your clothes and you cannot object because he is the rightful owner because the law says that the ‘owner of a washery’ is an end user. So, somebody who washes the coal becomes the end user.

Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress leader in Lok Sabha

The Coal Minister has said Modi sahab has a 36-inch chest. The chest may be of 36 inches, but his heart is small.
Taking a jibe at Coal Minister Piyush Goyal’s remark that the ambitious target of producing one billion tonnes of coal domestically was inspired by the PM’s “56-inch chest”. Many MPs from the treasury benches could be heard trying to tell Kharge that it’s “56 inches” and not “36 inches”.


Present in Rajya Sabha: Entered during Zero Hour and sat quietly when DMK members demanded he make a statement on the plight of Tamil fishermen. Walked out minutes later when DMK and AIADMK members got into a verbal duel.
Present: Arrived at 11.45 am, well after the Sakshi Maharaj issue had died down. Sat down in the second row next to Jyotiraditya Scindia. Was seen leaning forward and chatting with Sonia Gandhi at least thrice. Wrote something on a paper, folded and passed it on to her. Sonia read it, folded it back and pushed it in the side pocket of her jacket.
Present: Occupied her seat before Lok Sabha met at 11 am.
Present: Sat through Question Hour

The Rajya Sabha functioned without disruptions after many days barring a minor altercation between members from DMK and AIADMK. Later in the day, during the introduction of private members’ bills, one of them was a bill seeking to further amend the Indian Penal Code to recover from “relatives and associations” public money amassed by fraudulent firms. It was introduced by CPM’s K N Balagopal.

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