As we celebrated India’s 74th Republic Day this week, the ConstitutionofIndia.net team took a trip to Kozhikode, for the Constitution Day Campaign activities organised by the District Administration and Government Law College, Kozhikode. Team members helped in conducting a Mock Parliament and quiz for college students and a Mock Parliament training session for senior secondary school students.
The events promoted an understanding of how our parliamentary democracy functions, thereby advancing our larger aim of building a popular constitutional culture. In line with this, all sessions were conducted bilingually in English and Malayalam.
Student Parliamentarians debate Anti-Fake news bill
On 23 January, a Mock Parliament session was held at St. Xavier’s Arts and Science College, Kozhikode. Over 25 students participated in the session, in front of an audience of around 80 students. The event was inaugurated by the District Development Commissioner, Ms. Madhavikutty M. S. She encouraged the students to go beyond a textbook understanding of parliamentary democracy, and to engage with it in a deeper and more meaningful way.
Participants came from a number of colleges, including the hosts St. Xavier’s Arts and Science College, Government Law College, AWH Special College, St. Joseph’s College and Government College, Perambra. The students acted out the various legislative and non-legislative functions conducted in Lok Sabha. These included procedures and devices like Question Hour, Zero Hour and Obituary Reference. The centrepiece was the discussion on the ‘Anti-Fake News Bill’, presented by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting. Opposition members grilled the government for its poor performance and insincerity, but the bill was passed easily with a strong majority.
Next morning, the team headed to Government Ganapath Vocational Higher Secondary School, Feroke, to interact with a vibrant group of high school students from 8th and 9th grades. The students were familiarised with the basics of parliamentary functioning and the purpose of the Mock Parliament.
Students enthusiastically volunteered to get assigned the most important roles such as Speaker, Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition. Their teachers will now train the students further and conduct practice sessions with the translated Mock Parliament transcript, for a final performance towards the end of February.
ConQuest: Kozhikode Edition
The concluding event was a quiz competition for college students, held at Government Arts and Science College, Calicut. A preliminary round had already been conducted online, and six teams from St. Joseph’s College Devagiri, Zamorin’s Guruvayurappan College, SN College Quilandy, Government Arts College Kozhikode, and Government Law College Kozhikode had qualified for the finals.
Principal of Government Arts and Science College, Dr. Edakkotte Shaji inaugurated the event, appreciating the efforts of the organisers. The structure and questions of the quiz were designed by the ConstitutionofIndia.net team along the lines of our ConQuest quiz, testing the participant’s knowledge of Indian constitutional history and politics. The questions also engaged with contemporary events of importance.
One question required students to recognise the country whose people have recently rejected a progressive, new draft constitution, based on some hints about the document and the young President of the country. Another question talked about the repeal of a regressive law in Singapore, which shared its origins with a similar provision in the Indian penal code.
The team from St. Joseph’s College, Devagiri crushed the competition to come out on top, while the two teams from Government Law College, Kozhikode finished second and third.
Thanks to the organising team at CLIJEO, Government Law College, Kozhikode and the Kozhikode District Administration for inviting us to their Constitution Day Campaign. We look forward to further collaboration with them. We also hope to continue engaging with universities, student groups, district administrations and state governments across India in our various civic education endeavours.