Infosys guy Nandan Nilekani found himself put ‘on the bench’ right on his first day in Parliament. It was his fault, in a way – Nilekani’s. He came to the House with a laptop without any reserve power. Besides a power socket he needed a screen and projector to make a presentation on his national plan to give every Indian a degital identity.
What folllowed is best described in Nilekani’s own words: “The next couple of minutes were a complete jolt for me. I was completely in a tizzy… A Joint Cabinet Secretary Committee was set up to judge the feasibility of my request. The Under Secretaries for the Ministries of Power, IT and Broadcasting will prepare a Viability Report after scrutinizing National Security threats to my request. This was because the power socket comes under Power, laptop comes under IT and projector comes under Broadcasting”.
I had this account on Nilekani’s ministerial avatar forwarded by a blogger friend. The honourable minister for our digital identity has been given a presentation slot three months from now. Which, presumably, should also give him time enough to acquire a wardrobe with kurtha by an Itallian designer. The Milan-based kurtha designer has been recommended to Mr Nilekani by fellow MP Mohd. Azharuddin. The new minister in the Manmohan cabinet was reminded, by a fellow minister rising on a point of order, that Mr Nilekani was not at Infosys and the corporate dress code he had followed there, flashy dark suit,’ did not go well with the image of a minister who should live to serve the common man and should be less ostentatious in his habits’.
The next time he shows up at Lok Sabha, Mr Nilekani better be in kutha. About his Day One in the House Nandanji reportedly text-messaged Murthy, “You won’t believe it but these guys work just like us. I am on a National Bench for the next three months!’