Rahul Gandhi is not an imposed leader and there is no hesitation within the Congress Party on his leadership and future role, declared Girija Vyas. In fact, if the Minister for housing and urban poverty alleviation is to be believed, the whole nation is yearning for the Congress scion’s leadership. Vyas was speaking with Zee Media guest anchor Ashutosh Rana on Nishane Pe under the network’s Bharat Bhagya Vidhata initiative.
“I don’t think there is any hesitation within the party over Rahul Gandhi’s leadership. The Prime Minister has already spoken for him. Rahul has an innate talent to lead the nation,” she said.
The housing minister went on to compare Rahul with his father Rajiv Gandhi. Vyas thinks Rahul is as unassuming as the late prime minister. “Who could have ever thought that Rajivji would turn out to be such a good leader? Rahul too is a natural leader. He is not an imposed leader.”
Vyas, who started her career as a teacher stressed on the need to improve the existing education system. The senior Congress leader was very strident in her view that “teaching is passion and not profession”. In fact, she blamed professionalism as the reason for many of the ills plaguing Indian education system.
“There is no bigger and pious relationship than teacher-student. A teacher has to remain infructuous and not take anything from anyone. Teaching should be a choice and not seen as just another job,” stressed Vyas while sharing the fact that she herself made the choice by not joining the coveted Indian administrative service. “Professionalism has brought stagnation in teaching. But the situation can be changed.”
What should be done then, according to Vyas?
“Personally I don’t favour promoting students till the tenth standard. The emphasis should instead be on preparing them for competition through regular exams. At the level of ministry, execution is very important. But, the job can’t be treated as just another administrative task. Education is about building and crafting minds.”
On the question of empowering women and providing them with better protection against crime, Vyas candidly accepted that mincing words in front of a national audience won’t solve the problem. The real issue is that as a society we must become more sensitive towards women.
“I don’t know what to say and I feel ashamed. We have got constitutional rights, policing and other amenities etc but still tandoor case happened, nirbhaya was raped. I don’t know which emotion should be used to describe the situation of women in this country.”
But, yet something more has to be done, the minister accepted.
“We need stringent laws and their strict implementation. Simultaneously, awareness needs to be spread. I find it appalling that our policemen lack awareness about the Domestic Violence Act. Here, the media can play a role,” she said.
Most importantly, “society must stand for women in general and against their oppression everywhere,” she urged further.
Vyas also talked about her ministry’s efforts to build affordable homes for the urban poor and the need for a real estate regulator to safeguard the interests of house buyers who are duped and cheated by real estate developers and builders.
“I have introduced the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013 in the Rajya Sabha. It is very much needed to protect the interest of lakhs of home buyers as there are fraudulent practices in the sector.”
She also defended the United Progressive Alliance government’s decision to announce the setting up of seventh pay commission as part of inclusive growth for all sections of society including the middle class government employees. Last, Vyas confidently declared that UPA will again make the next government.
(Nishane Pe with Girija Vyas to be aired tonight @ 10pm.)