Mock Parliament is just what it’s called. But mind you, this Delhi University practice touches upon grave social and national issues. So much so, its participants say “our Parliamentarians can learn” a bit or two from it. From Uri attacks and Indus Water Treaty to freedom of speech and expression, and criminalisation of politics — the agendas will be discussed this January in the upcoming fourth edition of Delhi University Mock Indian Parliament (DUMIP), an annual feature in the varsity since 2012. “These issues are topical, and passionate debates around them are often seen on campus,” says Vijay Tyagi, founder and second year LLB student at Campus Law Centre.
So, what goes on in DUMIP? “The core team has 18 members, all DU students. With the help of seniors, they shortlist 4-5 relevant topics after much deliberation. And the sessions that follow see it all — views, accusations, debates minus the ‘hulla’ (mayhem) you see in Indian Parliament,” says Tyagi, who came up with DUMIP after witnessing Hindu College’s mock parliament. “Unlike other such platforms that take up international issues, our focus is strictly national as that’s what matters most,” he adds.
What started with 90 odd members, has now bloomed into a 400-delegate body, with members from over 22 universities and 12 schools, as seen in previous editions. “The response was alright for the first two years, but after last year’s phenomenal participation, we needed more agendas to divide groups. Now, we can’t even fit into our previous venues anymore,” says core member Harsh Trivedi, a B.Tech student at Hans Raj College, recalling how they started out with just one agenda.
Do they reach a consensus after three days of heavy-duty discussions? “Oh yes! If an actual parliamentarian were to see our session, they would be ashamed of themselves,” Tyagi signs off.