Rupinder Kaur ‘Ruby’, born on 5th April, 1988 (age 29 years) is the Aam Aadmi Party’s youngest MLA in the Punjab Assembly. Elected from the Bathinda Rural constituency, she has already made waves in Punjab for her impressive debut speech in the first Assembly session after the 2017 state Assembly elections that concluded earlier this year. Her speech questioning the legitimacy of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s ‘Captain Smart Connect’ scheme that promises to gift smart phones to every youth who registered for it before the election has been widely appreciated both by the regional as well as national news media recently.
Ruby, who has completed her Bachelors and Masters degree in Law, is one of the most highly educated MLAs in the Assembly. She is also enrolled in a PhD program, and is successfully juggling a life in active politics with writing a thesis for her PhD. As an educated and accomplished young woman from a constituency that has low literacy rates, her focus has been on improving access to education for her constituents. In the few months that she has been an MLA, she has already pushed the administration to upgrade two government middle schools in her constituency into senior secondary schools, so that children do not drop out after Class 8 or 10, and can continue in their schools until Class 12.
Ruby joined the AAP early in 2013, and her organisational prowess was rewarded by the party by making her a zone in-charge of 9 halkas (Assembly constituencies). After having taught at the Bathinda Law College as an Assistant Professor for some time, she decided to give up her job and work full time for the party since 2015. “My father Sardar Malkit Singh, and Arvind Kejriwal are the two figures who inspire me to work for Punjab,” says Ruby. “I am committed to rid my state of corruption and injustice, and build a country that Arvind Kejriwal has dreamt of.”
Ruby believes that the benefits promised to Scheduled castes by law and by the Constitution are not reaching them, and that the disconnect is because of a lack of awareness about such schemes.
I am planning to start an awareness drive to educate disadvantaged groups in my constituency about their rights. They need to be told about the employment and education schemes specifically aimed at uplifting them. As a member of a Scheduled Caste community myself, I feel strongly about this.
The story of this young, dynamic, highly educated woman, who hails from an ordinary family from Bathinda is both impressive and inspirational. Ruby says, “I wanted to be a Judge, so I could help fight injustice. But here I am, an MLA of an honest party that gives a platform for ordinary young women like myself!”