The political class of the country is not feeling cold as the general elections are approaching fast and things are heated up. This time the winds of change can be felt easily. But politics is not as simple as it looks on the surface, a case in point is the 2004 general election when India was about to shine and the aspirations of BJP were high to reclaim power and then they lost the general elections. If we look at the results again, the difference between the seats of Congress and the BJP was just of 7 seats and after that loss, even in the times of coalition politics, BJP failed to make a government and Congress has been ruling since then.
If we understand this in simple terms, it just means that even in the coming elections, regional parties will play an important role and will be the king makers. Along with the regional parties, there are some who decide to fly solo and win. The support of those independent members will also matter in the coming elections. In anticipation of the new members, let us look at the independent members present in the parliament now:
1. Shri A.V. Swamy: Mr. Swamy represents Odisha in the upper house of parliament. He was born in Nawarnagpur, Odisha. He has two B.Sc. degrees with him along with a LL.B. degree from Utkal University, Bhubneshwar. He also holds a certificate in aid administration. Mr. Swamy was the first ever Chemical Technologist in Odisha in 1955 from Bombay University, but he opted to join the Sarvodaya Movement under the leadership of Saint Vinoba Bhave’s Gramdan Movement. He also participated in the freedom struggle as a member of “vanar sena”.
2. Shri Hassan Khan: Agriculturist and a social worker by profession, Mr. Hassan represents Ladakh (Jammu & Kashmir) in Loksabha. He has earned a B.A. from J & K University. He was first elected in 1999 in Loksabha and was then reelected for his second term in the 15th Loksabha. Mr. Khan writes extensively on national and local politics in local papers of Jammu & Kashmir in both the English and Urdu languages. He has also served in the Police Department for 35 years in all the three regions of J & K State in different capacities, and most militancy affected districts in Kashmir as JK State Police, then Indian Police-IPS, 1962-92; Deputy SP, 1962-72; SP, 1972-82; and DIG, 1992-95 (retired). He was awarded the President’s Police Medal for meritorious service.
3. Dr. Tarun Mandal: Dr. Mandal is a member of parliament from the Jayanagar constituency in West Bengal and he is also a member of the standing committee on Health and Family Welfare. He has seven books to his credit written in the Bengali language. He is interested in the study of literature by Shibdas Ghosh the founder of SUCI and Marxian Classics. He voluntarily retired from the post of Chief Medical Officer (Selection Grade), ISPH, Nashik in July 2007 and then participated in disaster management works such as rendering free medical services as member and leader of Medical Service Centre, a socio-medical voluntary organization functioning at different places for the last 32 years.
4. Shri Parimal Nathwani: Shri Nathwani represents Jharkhand in the upper house and holds a doctorate in management from National Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. He is the Founder Chairman and Trustee of Reliance Rural Development Trust (an NGO), which has carried out approximately 6246 works in 5558 villages across 25 districts of Gujarat for rural development. Mr. Nathwani is also the chairman of National Safety Council, Gujarat Chapter.
5. Shri Sadashiv Rao Dadoba Mandlik: Shri Mandlik represents the Kolahpur constituency in Loksabha and is a graduate, B.A. (Hons.) from the Pune University. This is his 4th term in the parliament and he has earlier been a member of the house representing the ideology of National Congress Party. He is currently the member of Committee on Information Technology. Mr. Mandlik participated in Goa Liberation Movement He is also the founder Chairman of many organizations some of which are (i) Krishi Udyog Sangh, Distt. Kolhapur; (ii) Sadashivrao Mandlik Kagal Taluka Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd., Hamidwada Kaulage, Tal. Kagal District Kolhapur, 1996; Chairman & Kagal Taluka Supervising Union. He was also the member of Good Will Mission sent to Iraq in 2001.
6. Shri Rajeev Chandrasekar: A Master in Computer Science from Illionois University, USA and an alumni of Harvard, Mr. Chandrasekar represents Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha. He is the founder and Managing Trustee of RC Foundation which is mainly focused on programs aimed at primary education for poor children. He has been at the forefront of raising finances and resources for important causes like support for Tsunami affected people, Kargil war and defense personnel. Mr. Rajeev is interested in technology and in public-private partnerships for development of the country’s infrastructure, government finances, governance and national security.
7. Smt. Putul Kumari: Smt. Kumari won the bye elections in 2010 from Banka constituency in Bihar and has been a member of the house since then. She has been promoting primary education of children and organizing health camps/’swasthyaya melas’ and mass marriages of girls belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. She is also associated with (i) establishment/functioning of charitable hospitals; and (ii) Gidhaur Foundation and Gidhaur Mohotsava.
8. Shri Pyarimohan Mohpatra: Mr. Mohpatra holds a masters degree in Political Science and also a diploma in developmental administration from London School of Economics. He currently represents Odisha in the Rajya Sabha. Shri Pyarimohan has edited three books on Sustainable Development and tribal development. He has been involved with voluntary sector for the last 37 years.He founded an orphanage, schools for blind, deaf and dumb and tribal health centres in Odisha.He also established and manages a tribal research center which has implemented integrated village development programmes on Gandhian model in four districts. He also runs a news daily in Odia language based on ethical values.
9. Shri Inder Singh Namdhari: Mr. Namdhari holds a long political record and has been a member of Bihar legislative assembly for six terms. He currently represents Chatra constituency in the Lok Sabha. He has authored five books on topics dealing with ethics and Adhyatam. He has established three colleges in Palamu and Gadhwa Districts. Mr. Namdhar was the member of Indo-Hungarian Parliamentary Friendship Group
These are some of the members who were elected independently to the parliament because of their good work and dedication to serve the public. If we look into the work they have done over the couple of years, it can be assumed that leaders also do good work and it might be right to question our leaders but we must continue to put our faith in them. We must continue to have faith in this democratic set up, and every time we criticize our democratic setup or leaders elected by us, we must also appreciate the steps they take for our betterment.