As part of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s mission to understand issues pertaining to governance, trade, poverty reduction and gender in India, a delegation of British MPs visited the headquarters of The Hindu newspaper in Chennai on Friday.

The MPs spent about an hour with the journalists of The Hindu and Business Line discussing the functioning of political systems in India and the UK, the role of the media, the meaning of democracy in today’s context and how corruption gets in the way of progress.

The delegation was curious to know about the participation of the private and public sector in investments in Tamil Nadu, the relations between the Centre and the States, and the presence of women in Indian media. They were also briefed about the activities of The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, whose aim is to revive ebbing public confidence in parliamentary democracy.

The delegation also met with students of a women’s college in the city to understand their views on gender issues.

The MPs had previously visited New Delhi and Patna and met with a cross section of people from civil society, politics, government and education to understand the complexities of the Indian economy, trade, law and parliamentary functions.

Through the year, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association sends teams to Commonwealth countries. The India visit is also part of that mission.

(This article was published on April 5, 2013)
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