vp’s caution

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Mar 2018 11:23:21


Nakshatra Uttarashadha 12H 27M
Moon Makar (Rajandekar Panchang)
Paksha Falgun Krishna Tithi Ekadashi 13H 38M
Muslim Jamadilakhar 24th Hijree 1439

IF THE Parliament is to develop into a forum for fulfilling the aspirations of the people, then the wise words of caution by Vice-President Mr. Venkaiah Naidu must be taken very seriously by the law-makers all over the country. Being an accomplished parliamentarian himself and now the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, he knows from first hand what ails our Parliamentary democracy and is, therefore, in a position to speak words of caution to those who occupy responsible positions in various Legislative Houses.

Speaking at the National Legislators’ Conference in New Delhi the other day, the Vice-President was clearly agonised over deteriorating standards in the nation’s Legislative Houses and spoke of setting minimum standards for selecting and electing public representatives. He is obviously pained at the constant disruption of houses by legislators, trampling upon well laid down norms. When he denounced the display of placards and shouting of slogans within the Parliament he appeared to be echoing the feelings of the countrymen over falling standards.
Mr. Naidu not only spoke of falling standards in the conduct of Parliamentary business but also the tendency among legislators to hold sway over the executive, dispensing favours for consideration, criminal antecedents, spurt in assets after elections, defections and electoral malpractices. All these are maladies that stare into the face of the nation’s democratic system. These are ills that appear to be taking stranglehold of the system and no party can claim with certainty that it is not afflicted by them in any way. When winning elections becomes the primary goal of political parties, all these ills are conveniently swept under the carpet because it is all about the number game and thereby winning of power.

With such elements occupying coveted seats in Parliament and State Legislatures the functioning standards are bound to drop drastically. Then unruly behaviour becomes the norm. In the last more than a decade the country has been witness to unabated disruption of the functioning of both Houses of Parliament with both today’s Opposition and ruling class taking recourse to this weapon, which is being sought to be given legitimacy in the day to-day functioning of the august Houses. Session after session have been drowned in the din and dust and unruly disruption by those in the Opposition.

During the second tenure of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government the Opposition led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) resorted to protests against the Government and brought the functioning of the Parliament to a stand still. But then they were serious issues that deserved to be brought to the notice of the citizens of the country and needed to be discussed on the floor of the two Houses of Parliament as they involved mindboggling levels of corruption. But the Congress and other Opposition parties are now trying to rake up matters that are being properly dealt with and investigated at appropriate levels. Hence there is hardly any justification for bringing to a halt the functioning of the two Houses of Parliament for days on end.

It is this obstinacy by those who are on the opposite side to somehow make their presence felt is not going down well with the people of the country. They want to see the Parliamentarians to discharge their duty as law-makers because that is the responsibility that has been cast on them and not for scoring browny points against the treasury benches. While exercising their right to criticise the Government on policy issues they should not forget that they are also an integral part of the decision-making process as elected law-makers. As Mr. Naidu says, it is the spirit of accommodation between the two sides that is important.