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Are Indian MPs 'anpadh'? Not at all show parliament records

Sunday August 28, 2011 03:16:39 PM, Sarwar Kashani, IANS

New Delhi: Are most Indian MPs "anpadh" (uneducated) and "ganwar" (illiterate) as Om Puri alleged at the Ramlila Maidan? While the actor faces a privilege motion in the Rajya Sabha for his remark, an insight into the background of Indian parliamentarians reveals that he is completely off the mark.

Over 80 percent of Indian MPs are graduates, and some have studied further, according to parliament records.

Anna Hazare's aide Kiran Bedi also faces a privilege motion in the Rajya Sabha along with Om Puri for her remarks taunting MPs. The motion would be taken up for discussion Monday.

Om Puri launched a blistering attack last week on politicians from the stage at Ramlila Maidan where Anna Hazare was sitting on hunger strike. He told the thousands gathered that he feels "ashamed when an IAS or IPS officer salutes a ganwar (illiterate) who is a neta (political leader).

"Yeh anpadh hain, inka kya background hai? Aadhe se zyaada MP ganwaar hain...," Puri, otherwise known for his character roles, told the cheering crowd.

According to parliament records, of the 545 Lok Sabha MPs, 260 are graduates and 142 are post-graduates. Twenty-four, including two women MPs, have doctorate degrees.

Of those rest, 20 MPs are under matric (high school), 32 are matric and 47 have completed their inter or higher secondary classes.

Eight parliamentarians have done diploma courses and nine are undergraduates.

As far as the legislative experience of the 545 is concerned, there are 254 MPs who have been elected to either house of parliament more than once. There are 291 parliamentarians who are first time elected members, according to the parliament data.

(Sarwar Kashani can be contacted at



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