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Parliament Must Survive

By   /  April 9, 2018  /  Comments Off on Parliament Must Survive

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Every right thinking person should be worried about the future of parliamentary democracy in the country. The manner, in which the second part of the budget session was crippled, raises many questions about the intentions of our law makers. For nearly a month, when the parliament was in session, we witnessed unruly scenes inside the house. Repeated appeals from the chair went unnoticed. The members raised slogans, rushed to the well of the house and two law makers were on the verge of exchanging physical blows. Timely intervention by others saved Indian parliament from getting a permanent blot on that day.
As usual, both the ruling coalition and the opposition parties are blaming each other for the logjam. But clearly both sides are far from the truth. The fact remains that virtually no efforts were made to run the house smoothly by either side. Questions should be raised on how members of parliament can be so reckless and undermine the importance of parliament after being elected to serve the people. More pathetic were their efforts to project themselves as the saviours of parliamentary democracy by announcing protests like observing fast and other agitation programmes, when the session ended without transacting any meaningful business. The most hilarious suggestion came from a leader of party, the parliamentarian asked the government to extend the session by a couple of days to discuss the burning issues, forgetting the fact that his party was in the forefront of disrupting the proceedings of the house. To counter the opposition leader, one Union Minister then announced that ruling coalition MPs would forgo their salaries and perks as the parliament did not function.
As both the government and the opposition were not willing to run the house, the inevitable has happened. The just concluded budget session became the least productive session after 2000. Less than ten per cent work was completed during the second part of the session. But no parliamentarian is able to answer why it was stalled? Starting from nearly 20 thousand crore Punjab National Bank scam to the sharing of Cauvery water, the opposition parties raised every issue to corner the government, but the manner of their protests made it easy for the government to escape from any debate. Protests are good if it is followed by discussion. The opposition failed to understand this fact. On the other hand, the government may think that by not making any effort to end the impasse, it managed to evade many uncomfortable questions during the course of the debates, they are mistaken. The people understand that the government allowed the logjam to continue with a specific design in mind. The government simply failed to understand that by blaming the opposition, it would not achieve anything except a bad name. One can only hope that good sense will prevail soon and parliament will start functioning normally. There is no denying the fact that over the years we have lowered the dignity of parliament. Importance of parliament in Indian democracy is on the decline. It is time now for all of us to restore the lost glory of the temple of democracy. If parliament survives, democracy will survive. Otherwise, we are heading for dark days and the absence of democracy is not good news for a country like India, which is known for its diversity and plurality.

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