One wants to begin a talk show on the lines of Oprah Winfrey and the other advocates filtering out and selecting the best candidate, as is done in the US presidential election. Ashima Khanna (35) and Major Sangeeta Tomar (40), made it to the short-list of Youth For Equality – an organisation opposed to caste-based reservation and making its debut into politics.
Thirty-three-year-old Girish Kumar Singh was the third name announced by the YFE as probable candidates for the New Delhi constituency. “In the US, they have open debates on national issues and people judge the best candidate.
But in India, nothing is transparent. We want to set an example by letting the people decide who they want to vote for,” said Tomar.
The mother of two was encouraged by her father to join the YFE movement. “He was reading the paper and told me about the ideology of the YFE. I was attracted to the fact that they talked of equality for all,” said Tomar, who was the first batch of commissioned lady officers and did her training from Officers Training Academy, Madras.
Khanna belongs to the Professionals Party of India and is a product of Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Ramesh Nagar. “Indians need to talk and come out with solutions.
We need to bring out the best in our people,” said Khanna. “We need to give the marginalised the education and confidence to speak, not handicap them with reservation,” she said.
The YFE had called for online applications from interested candidates and received 223 resumes. “We rejected 117 applicants as they were below 25 years,” said Kaushal Mishra, president, YFE. “Out of 53 candidates, a core committee has short-listed three,” Mishra said.
The three candidates will now fight it out during an open debate to be held on Tuesday. “The debate will be open to the public and judged by a panel of experts,” said Mishra.