“We are at a stage where cyber warfare is an imminent threat.” With this grave warning, delegate Ashokkumar kicked off day two at the Lok Sabha. Cyberwarfare and general cyber-security was on the agenda, and today was a day to finally draft resolutions. The candidates had made a lot of effort to represent their real-life counterparts (although, for reasons unknown, Smt. Sonia Gandhi was constantly referred to as Mr. Smt. Sonia Gandhi), and this accuracy was apparent straight away as the Lok Sabha began proceedings in a half-empty room, with delegates choosing to enter session later rather than on time. But if that was as typical of the Lok Sabha, what followed next was equally atypical. Delegates conducted their business in a calm, rational fashion; points of contention came up and were then dispatched without the slightest increase in the decibel level. Short, gentile periods of moderated caucuses were followed by longer, quieter unmoderated caucuses, as the voice of the Chair, Grace Kim occasionally ripped through the tranquil murmur that ran through the room. The atmosphere belonged more to a quaint village, than the Lok Sabha that we know. What had happened? Or rather, what had not happened? This mystery was solved as after lunch things got significantly spicier (although ironically, one delegate was heard praising the sweet jalebis) as the delegates came back to enthusiastically point out the missing elements of the opposition team’s working papers.
The murmur slowly turned up to full-blown yelling (or enthusiastic debating as another delegate put it) and delegates finally began to revert to the Lok Sabha-type that we all know makes for good news. Political affiliations were thrown up in the air as the TMC joined hands with the BJP to present their working paper. Delegate Khalsa of AAP was absolutely aghast by all of this. The debate surrounding the introduction of an Indian Cyber Service (a department like the IAS) suddenly switched course to a discourse on modern day education as delegates rattled off personal experiences and news articles to debate the advantages and disadvantages of theoretical and practical learning. Lastly, the creation of agencies to control agencies was a matter of much confusion in the committee. Both working papers demonstrated a clear desire to better India’s cyber network, but this was muddied by the constant introduction of agencies to police the acts of other agencies which had been put in place to police the first agency that we began with.
All of this confusion and energy perhaps got the better of Delegate Kataria, who ended up voting against his own motion. This and more made up an interesting day in the Lok Sabha. With resolutions yet to be drafted and debated, the action continues. Watch this space for more!
– Shubhayan Sengupta