On Friday, October 18, KCL Indian Political Society held their first event of the year: “India: A Hindu Nation?”. The parliamentary simulation was due to be two days long, but had to be rescheduled “due to underrepresentation”.
“Speaking up back in India, you can be shot in front of your door. Everyone has a right, and that is the right to be heard. Doing things that matter, that are relevant enough, that’s what we should all be aiming for,” said Madhav Setia, the President of KCL Political Economy Society, after KCL Indian Political Society’s President Rhea Kher opened the event.
Supported by KCL Political Economy Society, the event had a promising number of around 40 attendants on the first day, including both participants and audience. With its purpose being the recreation of India’s Parliament, speakers represented different parties, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress, All India Trinamool Congress and Aam Aadmi Party. Speakers had approximately two minutes each to give out their opening statements based on the question whether India should be considered and developed as a Hindu nation. Questions from other parties and the audience were encouraged, as the “general public” also served the role of a separate party.
Although the more in-depth cross-fires were planned for the second day of the event, passionate comments followed each speech. Striking points and clever questions occasionally managed to undermine the speaker’s argument, although students’ well-structured replies showed exceptional knowledge and passion. Loud hands’ taps and laughter accompanied the strongest and most likeable points that were made.
Some of the most predominant topics discussed were the real meaning of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) and the ideas of the doctrine. Those were used in later discussions on the delicate topic of Kashmir. However, as this first day served the purpose of “opening the Parliament”, putting the focus on opening statements, no longer discussions occurred. More insightful questions were left for the “Question Hour” on the next day, as the actual question-and-answer discussions were scheduled October 19. The House was then meant to pass resolutions. Once those were discussed, a vote was to be issued. Those in favor vote with “Aye”, while those against say “No”. Unfortunately, this second day had to be rescheduled “due to underrepresentation”, as KCL Indian Political Society posted on their Instagram Page hours after the closing of the first day.
According to a statement released on social media, the Indian Political Society said: “We do not have a quorum for one specific party which represents a good percentage of the population. We find it unfair to go ahead with this debate without appropriate representation and therefore we would like to reschedule for a further date.”