[AI] Is it time for persons with disability to enter politics?

namdeo2000 jadhav.namdeo at gmail.com
Wed Jun 30 12:36:05 EDT 2010

Besides Advocate Sadhanchandra Guptaa there was 1 more MP whose name was 
Jamnaprasad Shastri from Mp again that is Madhya pradesh. I don't remember 
his exact constituency. Secondly, I don't think disability has anything to 
do with ability of entering in to politics. If 1 thinks that he/she has an 
attitude, aptitude calibre and strong willpower to do so, I think 1 should 
definitly take 1 plunge.Naturally, if such people would go to this field 
they would certainly be able to cater to the needs and problems faced by 
these so far neglected communities.

Regards Namdev
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Subramani L" <lsubramani at deccanherald.co.in>
To: <accessindia at accessindia.org.in>
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 8:23 PM
Subject: [AI] Is it time for persons with disability to enter politics?

> Folks:
> This is in reference to the story below. This raises  the curious but
> difficult question: should persons with disability enter politics in
> order to influence policy (both the ones that affect them and those that
> doesn't). I am doing an analytical article on this question and would
> welcome responses from those in this list and from those with other
> disabilities outside this list. Kindly pass this around and encourage
> folks to respond. I have a few questions which I am putting below the
> story and so pl read the mail fully.
> ***
>    Britain's first MP with Cerebral Palsy encourages persons with
> disability to enter politics
> June 28: The first elected representative to the British Parliament with
> Cerebral Palsy, possibly the first in the world with that disability,
> has urged more persons with disability to enter politics.
> Paul Maynard, elected to the House of Commons last month as a
> Conservative Party candidate, has said that his presence in the House
> should provide encouragement for other persons with disability to
> contest elections and enter Parliament.
> "I just hope that simply my being here, in the House of Commons, people
> who may be nervous about getting into politics are not put off by any
> fear of what might happen during the (election) campaign," Maynard, MP
> from Blackpool North and Cleveleys, told Britain's The Independent
> newspaper in an interview published on Monday.
> He  also said that he had faced ignorance about his condition from a
> young age, but had been determined to rise above the taunts. "There will
> always be people who will use it (the disability) against you and you
> will have to learn to deal with that," Maynard, 34, told the newspaper.
> Maynard studied in a special school until he was five years old. He was
> then transferred to mainstream school and went on to obtain a
> first-class degree from Oxford. He mentioned in his interview that his
> life was transformed by the early experience he had in the special
> school.
> "Because my problem was with the thighs, and their muscle development,
> they would strap you into tight iron callipers for several hours a day.
> You had nothing to do. So I was doing all my numbering and all my
> reading    far earlier than most children and very quickly learnt to
> read and write, which was an unexpected bonus later on," he said.
> Maynard, who worked as a management consultant before   getting a job at
> the central office of the Conservative Party, had decided to enter
> politics just weeks before the elections this year.
> He faced derogatory comments in his constituency after a television
> interview, in which his slurred speech (due to his disability) was
> mistaken for drunkenness. He explained about his disability and insisted
> that it didn't affect his intellectual abilities.
> He eventually achieved a 7 per cent swing and won by a majority of 2150
> votes in his constituency, which was one of the seats the Conservatives
> rested back from Labour.
> He had already delivered his maiden speech in the Parliament and has
> made interventions at the Prime Minister's Question Time, considered an
> important business t the British Parliament.
> Britain had David Blunket as the first person with disability as a
> cabinet minister under Labour, when Tony Blair appointed the visually
> challenged MP from Sheffield as Home Secretary.
> *** *** ***
> (PL mention your full name, designation/office, age , name of the
> organisation you represent and the city you hail from)
> 1. Do you think having a politician with disability would make a
> difference in terms of passing legislations and implementing them?
> 2. This is more a personal question -Given a chance, would you enter
> politics? Pl substantiate your answer as to why you would and why you
> wouldn't make that choice?
> 3. What do you think r the advantages and disadvantages of being a
> politician with disability? Are these (advantages and disadvantages) the
> reason that influence your choice to enter or not to enter politics?
> 4. Are 'politicians with disability' the need of the hour? Do you have
> personal choices amongst the present crop of activists who would make
> good politicians (ignore it if you are not comfortable answering this
> part of the question).
> 5. What are the challenges do you think for activists to become
> politicians?
> 6. Do you think politicians with disability, such as Paul Maynard spread
> awareness and positive impressions about persons with disability?
> 7. Do you think it would be difficult in circumstances in India for a
> person with disability to become a politician? If you say yes, why?
> 8.  What are the risks of being a politician? Are you worried about
> compromises you may have to make by being a politician? Or do you think
> being an educated person is actually an obstacle to be a good and honest
> political leader?
> Voice your thoughts in the blog to discuss the Rights of persons with 
> disability bill at:
> http://www.accessindia.org.in/harish/blog.htm
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