Skip to main content

Locked House:

The Indian Express
18.06.2013



Locked House
Inder Malhotra : Tue Jun 18 2013,



<>Both the BJP and Congress are responsible for a dysfunctional Parliament 
For whichever other statement Prime Minister Manmohan Singh might be faulted, he is absolutely right in regretting that the "animosity" between the principal opposition party, the BJP, and the Congress, the core of the ruling United Progressive Alliance, has rendered the Indian Parliament — a role model for the third world during the Nehru era — overwhelmingly dysfunctional. He has, of course, put the entire blame on the saffron party's determination to be "obstructionist" all the way. This calls for a caveat because the ruling party is also to blame, which will be explained presently. 

It is surely arguable that at a time when every other institution has been eroded dangerously, why should only Parliament be expected to be a paragon of democratic virtue? But this is a dangerous school of thought because the inability of the country's apex legislature to discharge its responsibilities is wreaking havoc. Indian democracy has been virtually limited to reasonably free, fair and timely elections alone, for which the credit goes to the Election Commission, an unelected body. 

This has enabled almost the entire political class — with some honourable exceptions, no doubt — to concentrate on the sole objective of getting elected, by hook or by crook, and thereafter pursuing partisan and crass personal interests. Moreover, since a fair proportion of parliamentary and assembly seats have become family inheritance, and money power combined, among other things, with paid news prevails, the two have jointly muddied the waters even more. 

When Parliament and state assemblies ought to be ensuring that their members observe political ethics, they just do not function because they are disrupted almost daily. Strangely, even those with a small presence in the House have converted into a fine art the routine obstruction of its proceedings by barracking, shouting, rushing into the well of the House (which is, alas, not deep enough) and snatching documents from ministers and even the presiding officers. 

A brief word now on how there has been such staggering deterioration: even after 1959, when Jawaharlal Nehru's China policy deservedly came under fire and opposition parties said the harshest things, nobody ever refused to listen to the contrary point of view. Never was there any need to adjourn the House. 

The rot began during Indira Gandhi's watch for more reasons than one. During her shaky start, the recalcitrant sections of the opposition treated her churlishly and shabbily. There was no corrective action because the Congress party itself was ridden by differences until as late as 1969, when it split. Consequently, when she established her supremacy after the 1971 general elections, she treated Parliament with the same disdain that it had shown her for so long. 

Secondly, and this is of critical importance, corruption became a source of increasing clashes between the opposition and the treasury benches, and this soon became a cause for disruption of the two Houses. Corruption has always been a part of India's life. It was there during Nehru's reign also. However, by and large, he tried to counter it. For instance, as soon as the Mundhra scandal erupted he ordered a judicial inquiry that led to the then finance minister and several top officials losing their jobs. 

In Indira Gandhi's heyday, her corrupt cohorts convinced her that the attack on them was really an attack "on Madam". The government therefore started stonewalling every protest against corruption. Came the day when, for the first time, an entire session of Parliament was wasted. Currently, this happens often. 

Today, corruption has taken a quantum jump. Since the government is trying to brazen it out, all such scams and scandals, from the Commonwealth Games and 2G to "Coalgate", which took place when the prime minister was also coal minister, the BJP easily gets allies to obstruct all parliamentary work that it surely enjoys. 

The Congress's case that it is always willing to explain everything and discuss any issue in Parliament if only the BJP allows it is not without substance, but it is also flawed. For one thing, the Congress always objects to a discussion that can end in voting. It insists on every debate being under the rule that disallows voting. This rule needs to be discarded because it runs counter to the basic norms of democratic governance. Also, just look at what a sycophantic Congressman who headed the joint parliamentary committee on 2G has done to manipulate its report. 

However, all things considered, the undermining of parliamentary democracy in this country has already gone too far, and it is time to first stem and then reverse the trend. This requires candid and private talks between the rival sides, for which mutual trust is lacking. In any case, any such effort is inconceivable until after the next election. 


The write is a Delhi-based political commentator express@expressindia.com 

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Future of Tamil Nadu Politics and Governance :-Rajinikanth not Fit for Politics says Subramanian Swamy?

Opinion

21/05/2017.

 1040.

Sub : Future of Tamil Nadu Politics and Governance :

Ref : Rajinikanth not Fit for Politics says Subramanian Swamy


1.

The most expected celebrity to come into politics for the past 20 years is Rajinikanth. Sometimes his speech against certain political leaders gives us a hint of his political venture. But he constantly denies the fact.

2.

Recently BJP party member Subramanian Swamy made a controversial statement about Rajinikanth.

3.

'Rajini is not a stable person, so he is not fit to come in to politics' is the statement given by him. This made Rajini fans to go pissed off.


Note :
1. In the past many persons from cinema industry( in Bharatham as whole ) mainly actors joined politics and miserably failed to perform.
2. In the case Tamil Nadu, where people are mad about Cinema and actors, do not use their intellect to analyse a person.
3. Majority in Tamil Nadu are blind followers  of anything and anybody, without using their sense of knowledge.
4. I…

LORD SRI RAMA THE APOTHEOSIS OF HUMAN PERFECTION-2.

LORD SRI RAMA THE APOTHEOSIS OF HUMAN PERFECTION-2.
22/02/2018
2.
The whole of the Ramayana is an Epic of humanity. Humanity does not mean mankind but that which particularly characterises human nature.

It is in this sense, Sri Rama is oftentimes called the paragon of humanity, an example of the perfection of human nature.

This perfection of human nature is not inclusive of the foibles of man in his lower endowments.

In the majestic words of Valmiki with which the Epic commences, we are given a description of what this perfection of humanity is, as an answer given by sage Narada to a question put by sage Valmiki as to who is the ideal of human nature.


"Whom do you think, O sage, is the perfect embodiment of humanity in this world and can you give me an example of such a perfection?" was the question put by Valmiki to Narada.

And then, Narada commences a dignified description of a personality whom today we know and adore as Sri Rama.

That majestic feature of bodily personali…

PM’s Mann Ki Baat Programme on All India Radio :- 25/02/2018

25 Feb, 2018

My dear countrymen, Namaskar.

Let us begin today’s Mann Ki Baat with a phone call.


Phone Call…

Thank you very much for your phone call. My young friends have asked me many questions related to Science; they keep writing on quite a few points. All of us have seen that the sea appears blue, but we know from routine life experiences that water has no colour at all. Have we ever thought why water acquires colour in rivers and seas? The same thought occurred to a young man in the 1920s. The same question gave rise to a great scientist of modern India. When we talk about Science, the first name that strikes us is that of Bharat Ratna Sir C.V.Raman. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his outstanding work on light scattering. One of his discoveries is famous as the Raman Effect.

We celebrate the 28th of February as National Science Day since on this very day, he is said to have discovered the phenomenon of light scattering, for which the Nobel Prize was conferred upon him. This …