When three girls from Jai Hind College took the stage at the university of Mumbai convocation hall on Saturday afternoon, they had a room full of civil society supporters. Their task was to argue against the motion: “Can the civil society pressurise the government to draft laws?”
Kartavya, the debate, was jointly organised by India Against Corruption and Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Contemporary Studies with HT. “The room was full of people from IAC who believe in civil society’s might. We had low hopes of winning,” said Mrinmoyee Chatterjee, 18.
But they defeated a team from the National Institute of Industrial Engineering. Before the debate, a poll showed 75% of the crowd supporting the motion. A post-debate poll showed 55% support.
The chief guests were adman Bharat Dabholkar and newspaper editor Carol Andrade. “After 63 years, we have run out of patience,” said Mayank Gandhi from IAC. “Youngsters, if you don’t participate now, you’ll regret not taking part in the second independence movement.”