A Resounding Yes for Democracy
Jaipur, Jan. 22 -- The last session of the Jaipur Literature Festival was a debate on whether democracy is the only good option. With Hindutva champion Murli Manohar Joshi and Aam Aadmi Party leader Shazia Ilmi among the debaters, and sitting next to each other, anticipation of a noisy political battle loomed large. It ended peacefully, however, with festival organiser Sanjoy Roy extracting a loud 'yes' for the premise of the debate from the audience.
Ilmi made a political statement by wearing an AAP cap, even though on Monday the organisers had asked the party's members not to express their leanings. She also reiterated her party's manifesto, while the audience clapped.
"When a third of the parliamentarians have criminal cases against them, when people are in Parliament because of feudal laws of succession, there is always going to be a conflict of interest vis-a-vis what people want and what legislators think," she said.
"We have been called anarchists. But if a law is used to promote lawlessness, should we follow that law," she asked. Alluding to the ongoing protest by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, she said protests "against an unjust system" were part of a democracy. …