There was a time when the libraries of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies were buzzing with MPs and MLAs. The public representatives used to make their preparations to raise the issues of public interest. There were a large number of MPs including MPs Nilotpal Basu, Gurudas Dasgupta, Sangh Priya Gautam, who used to leave their biggest work and come to the Parliament meeting because it was the temple for them. Even today there is no dearth of such MPs who want to raise issues related to the public, but the day-to-day uproar has compelled them. Who is to blame and who is innocent for these continuous uproar is a complex question, but is it not true that the uproar in the meetings of Parliament and assemblies has been accepted as its religion?
Less action, more uproar
In 2006, when the then Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee started Lok Sabha TV, then perhaps no one could have imagined that this country would see such behavior of members inside the House, which would make people sad and embarrassed. But the country is seeing that the proceedings of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies are less and there is more uproar. Remembering an incident. The meeting of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly was adjourned after the uproar. Udal, who had been elected MLA for nine consecutive times on Communist Party ticket, and socialist leader and MLA Rabindra Nath Tiwari were sitting in a room in a worried posture. In his hand was a bundle of questions which were to be asked in the assembly meeting that day. When asked these two MLAs why you are so worried, Rabindra Nath Tiwari said that today many questions have been raised, but now there has been a ruckus. So no one will get a chance to ask any question.
A large number of people’s representatives prepare questions, but the wind changed such that the sittings of the House were dominated by those who neither have any knowledge of parliamentary traditions, nor do they care about the plight of the people. The commotion inside the House becomes the headlines of the newspapers. His feats remain in the channels too. The ground issues have been put aside, then why should you stay awake all night and chuckle on issues related to public interest!
The Monsoon session in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha turned into a ruckus, but this is not the first time. Along with changing the roles of the ruling party and the opposition, their attitude has also changed. It doesn’t seem to be the same Parliament in which opposition stalwarts like Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Inderjit Gupta, Somnath Chatterjee, Chaudhary Charan Singh, Chandrashekhar, Chaturnan Mishra, Madhu Dandawate and LK Advani would participate in lengthy debates. And on behalf of the ruling party, veterans like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Jagjivan Ram, Pranab Mukherjee, Vasant Sathe, SB Chavan used to give cheeky answers.
If anyone suffers the most due to the uproar in Parliament and Legislatures, it is the people. The sitting of the house is the biggest deadly weapon with the opposition. Issues arising in Prashna Prahar and Shoonya Prahar bring solutions to all the problems. Hriday Narayan Dixit, Speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly, says that he had come for the first time after winning the election and raised the issue of police atrocities in a village in the House. On the same day, when he was returning to his area in the evening, he saw that there was a huge gathering of police in that village. When he asked, the IG of police said that you have raised this issue in the house, so I had to come.
There are also two types of riots. If there is an increase in the debate between the two parties about a matter inside a house, then it can be considered as a part of the democratic process. But when sitting in the offices of political parties, our own MPs and MLAs are asked to write slogans, make banners and strategize how to respond to whom, then it shows what democratic values we are moving towards.
Both the government and the opposition are responsible for running the sittings of Parliament, but much more on the government. On the other hand the opposition should also not forget not to let go of its right to raise its issues in Parliament. This only benefits the ruling party. Ministers have to prepare for answering the questions that come up in the Question Hour in Parliament and the Legislative Assembly. The problem raised in the question has to be resolved, but when there is a ruckus, the minister walks out of the house smiling with his file and the members feeling cheated.
The uproar and noisy people say that the uproar is also happening because of public interest, but such people are probably forgetting that Parliament and Legislative Assemblies are meant for discussion.
don’t end the conversation
Although, in special circumstances, there is heat in the house, uproar and going to the well of the members is democratic, but it should be for a limited time and when it is very necessary. When we make this only our weapon, the discussion and dialogue will end.
Now the time has come to devise such an ideal framework, in which there is scope to show anger when there is disagreement, but not allowed to obstruct the functioning of the House and shine its politics over the interests of the people. Otherwise these temples of democracy will be known as those who create ruckus and do not allow work to be done.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author.