‘Par­sis Need Not Seek Reser­va­tion’

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Meera.Mohanty @times­group.com

Bhubaneswar: For­mer chair­per­son of Ther­max In­dus­tries and par­lia­men­tar­ian Anu Aga says it would be un­fair for her Parsi com­mu­nity to seek reser­va­tion.

“We have not faced gen­er­a­tions of dis­crim­i­na­tion and are a pros­per­ous com­mu­nity,” Aga told ET in an in­ter­view. “Some peo­ple in my com­mu­nity would like some seats re­served at univer­sity level, but I am not for it.” Her com­ment came in the back­drop of in­creas­ing de­mand for reser­va­tion from var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties and Finance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley’s re­cent state­ment laud­ing Par­sis for not re­gard­ing them­selves as a mi­nor­ity. Jait­ley had said this mind­set of the Par­sis al­lowed the com­mu­nity to emerge as a “role model” for oth­ers. She has been a nom­i­nated mem­ber of the up­per house of Par­lia­ment since 2013. “As much as we need eco­nomic devel­op­ment, we also need to pre­serve our cul­ture of sec­u­lar­ism, plu­ral­ism and di­ver­sity,” she said. She be­lieves that is In­dia’s strength and her com­mu­nity is a great ex­am­ple of that. “Look at my com­mu­nity. We ar­rived here more than a 1,000 years ago and flour­ished in this coun- try be­cause we were en­cour­aged and not dis­crim­i­nated against.”

The onus, of hold­ing on to this In­dian ethos, does lie with the ma­jor­ity, she be­lieves. “When a daugh­ter-in-law comes into your house, it is the mother-in-law that must make her feel at home. Sim­i­larly, it is the ma­jor­ity that must make the mi­nor­ity feel wel­come and com­fort­able,” she said. Ev­ery gov­ern­ment, she said, has ex­ploited re­li­gious, caste and other dif­fer­ences to suit their pur­pose.

Aga was the sole dis­sent­ing mem­ber of a par­lia­men­tary stand­ing com­mit­tee that rec­om­mended po­lit­i­cal par­ties be kept out of the am­bit of the Right to In­for­ma­tion Act. “If any gov­ern­ment is se­ri­ous about deal­ing with black money, they have to be will­ing to come un­der RTI and have their own books open,” she said.

In her dis­sent note, Aga had ar­gued that as ben­e­fi­cia­ries of sub­sidised land and hous­ing al­lot­ments and many other perks, po­lit­i­cal par­ties qual­i­fied as pub­lic au­thor­i­ties. “But all par­ties, in­clud­ing the Com­mu­nists, BJP, Congress, ev­ery­one joined hands to throw it out,” she said. Aga was in Bhubaneswar as chief guest at an event orga- nised by met­als firm IMFA’s cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity wing, the Ban­sid­har and Ila Panda Foun­da­tion.

Anu Aga


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