Back home, they rarely visit their constituencies, shout and squabble like fisherwomen, skip Parliament and waste valuable time, take money for asking questions, smuggle housewives to foreign countries for a fee, find holes in everything and agree on nothing, and generally travel in a time machine which after sailing in the 12th century AD, has just entered 4th century BC.
But, boy, have our parliamentarians learnt their lessons from Lalu Prasad Yadav or what. A group of eight MPs have attended a workshop at Yale University. These are the reactions they have drawn from their hosts and teachers:
# “Indian politicians are extraordinarily intelligent, extraordinarily passionate about India’s advancement and extraordinarily committed to helping the nation and its people. The students were exceptional,” said Yale vice-president Linda Koch Lorimer.
# “This is an exceptional group of individuals. They are alert, engaged, smart, and passionate. I was amazed by their quick grasping power,” said Jefferey Sonnenfield, who has also taught politicians from China. ”We wish, we had them for one more week.
# “They are alert, engaged, smart and passionate,” said Prof Barry Nalebuff who gave practical lessons on negotiations.
Sonnenfeld said the most striking part of these MPs were their tolerance level, intellectual tenacity and their commitment. “US lawmakers would constantly come and go. Nobody here left. Not a single person, during the four days even for a minute picked up a BlackBerry or a cell phone. This is never the case with US legislators and politicians that are always doing some hit and run engagement they really do not see,” Sonnenfeld said.
The programme was organized by the Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the India-US Forum of Parliamentarians.
The parliamentarians’ team was led by B.J. Panda, Janata Dal MP from Rajya Sabha. Other members of the group were Deepender Singh Hooda, Dharmendra Pradhan and Dushyant Singh (Lok Sabha), Robert Kharshiing, R.C.S. Reddy, Chandan Mitra, Shahid Siddiqui (Rajya Sabha).
The topics covered program include economic and social development in India, democracy and the secular state, India-China economic relations, affirmative action, climate change and sustainable development, foreign direct investment in India, strategy, negotiation and game theory for the politician, strategic thinking for the politician, and energy security.
Read the full story here: Indian politicians extraordinary: Yale