Long way to go—sans proxy
It created quite a buzz when the former superstar of Bollywood, Sunny Deol announced appointing a 'representative' to his Gurdaspur Parliamentary constituency. Very innocuously he expressed his intentions for doing so: keeping him updated of the day-to-day ongoings of his constituency in case of his absence owing to work or travel. The Gurdaspur MP made this announcement through an official correspondence on June 26. When the first-time Member of Parliament appointed Gurpreet Singh Palheri, a writer and a line producer to represent him at his Lok Sabha constituency, as was expected, this move immediately came under fire by the leading rival party, Congress' Cabinet Minister in Punjab dubbed this gesture as a 'betrayal' of the voters' mandate. It remains unclear if an MP can technically appoint a 'representative' to take care of his constituency but the Punjab government has reportedly provided Palheri security and official vehicle. While such a proposition seems to be in clear-cut conflict with the essence of a healthy democracy, Deol's explanation in his defence also brings an important point to light: the absence of the direct representative of the people should not stall any work, whatsoever. But, on the other hand, the elected representative of the people ought not to centralise the system and concentrate matters in his own hands or selectively. He expressed through twitter that he is genuinely committed to the cause of Gurdaspur and would do his best to ensure he serves his people to the best of his capacity. This controversy erupted following the flak from the people of the constituency Deol recently faced for posting a video of his Kaza vacation on Instagram. To be fair to Deol, this first-time MP needs some time to sync and settle in with his new profession. The flamboyant ways of a Bollywood star do not gel well with the ideally grounded conduct of a representative of the local people.