Last week I visited my old college, Shri Ram College of Commerce where I had spent three of the best years of my life as a undergraduate student. In the early seventies when I studied there, the college was considered the principal institution for business studies. It continues to maintain the same reputation even now.
The occasion of my visit was recording of a programme called “ Political Roots”. The programme was produced and telecast by a news channel NDTV and anchored by Barkha Dutt. It was recorded in a sports gymnasium which was built by the college as a practice facility for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. An audience of a hundred students grilled me for over an hour. Needless to say, the quality of audience and students was excellent. SRCC is able to admit students who secure more than 96% aggregate marks. Obviously, the audience comprised of those who must have been toppers from various educational institutions. Most of them are aspiring financial consultants, management consultants and Chartered Accountants. They are aiming for careers on the growing financial world.
The questions which the students asked me were on political leadership, economic policy, corruption and various current affairs. They had doubts on issues which needed to be clarified. Some of them had dissected the purported fault lines in my party and wanted to question me on them. The environment for the discussion was extremely civilized and serious. If any guest is out of his depth, it would have been extremely difficult to tackle this audience. After the recording of the programme I drove back from the college with two thoughts crossing my mind. Firstly, can the depth and the seriousness which I observed during this interaction ever reflect in our legislative bodies. Secondly, if this is the quality of the younger generation, surely India would be a much better place in future.