Debate on “Parliament Debate”: The diminishing dignity and diminishing usefulness of the Parliament session is a matter of concern

discussion in parliament: On July 25, four Lok Sabha MPs from the main opposition Congress, after the suspension of the entire monsoon session for a week and the next day, 19 Rajya Sabha MPs, again eagerly await the Parliament monsoon season like last year. The session could turn into a ruckus.

These MPs are accused of protesting in the House, protesting in front of the Speaker/Chairman with inflation banners etc. and they have done the work of injuring the dignity of the Chamber.

Amidst all this, the battle of allegation and counter-allegation continues. The opposition says that the government is avoiding talking about important issues like inflation, unemployment, falling rupee, GST etc. At the same time, the government ministers are making similar allegations to the opposition that the opposition does not want to let the chamber function and creates ruckus, so discussion is not possible.

Parliament procedures and financial losses

Suspension of 4 members of Congress for breaching the decorum of Parliament (Image credit: Amar Ujala)

Among these allegations and claims of the opposition and the opposition, the biggest loss due to disruption of the proceedings of the House is the common man i.e. ‘Janata-Janaardan’. It is certainly disappointing that there is no meaningful discussion on the common man’s issues like inflation, unemployment etc. or national security issue like China’s alleged infiltration in India or democratic institutions like ED etc.

At the same time, washing the house in vain is also harmful in the economic field. We tell you that about 1.5 million rupees are spent per hour on one minute of proceedings in Parliament. On an average, there is a 7-hour program per day during the session which costs Rs 10.5 crore.

A total of 6 days were lost in this session and if you multiply it by the average spend of 1 day, about 65 million rupees were lost. In this, salary, allowance, railway/ship fare etc. have not been included. paid to these deputies.

The country is struggling with issues like inflation and unemployment on the one hand and on the other hand those “honorable” people who should have come together to solve these problems are keeping the Parliament as the younger class of the game school.

Question about the dignity and usefulness of the Chamber

When India became an independent country, it chose a democratic system of government and the heroes of freedom and the then leaders laid the foundations of a system that would give wings to the dream of nation building.

For nation building it was necessary that the voice and sentiments of every person in the country should be heard by the elected representatives of the largest panchayat of the country i.e. Parliament, there should be a structural debate, debate and then it should be concluded that What rules can be made in the interest of the nation?

This simply means that the more elite, serious and structural debates take place in the chamber, the stronger the wings of nation-building dreams will be. For this, the constitution of Parliament (Article 79-80), and the necessary session or meeting (Article 85) was mentioned in the Constitution so that the voice of the people reached the legislators of the country.

It is the effect of these debates in Parliament and the laws and plans that came out of them that India’s democracy is considered the strongest and most successful of all the “Third World” countries.

But as democracy matured over time, party politics and electoral gimmicks began to dominate the debates and activities of the House. As a result, both the usefulness and the dignity of the House have begun to decline.

When the House debates became election speeches is not known. When political debates and protests turned into jeering election speeches and uproar, neither the citizens nor the leaders who had the responsibility of maintaining the dignity of the House were on their shoulders.

Parliament with a clear majority

Although the political parties claim every day that they do not despise the action of the Chamber, whether majority or minority. But the history of Indian democracy and central governments shows that whenever an absolute majority government is formed at the centre, governments have been working to stifle opposition pressure in a heartbeat.

If we leave aside Prime Minister Pandit Nehru’s government as an exception, then all the majority governments have had the same attitude towards the opposition that the Bharatiya Janata Party is accused of today…whether it is Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi or Modi in the current government…

In Indira Gandhi’s absolute majority government, so many constitutional amendments were made, so many amendments would not have passed in NCERT books. Rajiv Gandhi’s government was still somewhat tolerant of the opposition. The Modi government has a majority in both the houses of parliament – ​​Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

The government ‘probably’ does not consider the discussion of the opposition to pass bills and laws important for this reason. There are many examples in the past that, taking advantage of the commotion in the House, many important bills have been passed by voice vote. Now only 10-20% of bills are sent to the Central Committee of Parliament, which is a cause for concern.

The reason for concern is because we have to understand that all the 100-150 MPs that the opposition has, are also the popular representatives of the people in every corner of this country.

If the bill will not be debated, these bills or laws will not be sent to the Parliamentary Committee for review, then in a bill that is being made for the public, there is no idea of ​​the representatives from a large part of the population. It will certainly not be good for parliamentary traditions and dignity.

On paper, the productivity of the House in the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th Lok Sabha was approximately 86%, 85%, 95% and 106%. But the reality is that this house also passed 34 bills in just 19 minutes.

Now it is a matter of simple understanding that how long it would have been discussed in a bill… This condition is not about the house of a small state but a country so big that it is the biggest democracy of the world and the second most populous country, its central parliament building has a solution.

Who is responsible for the non-discussion in the Houses of Parliament?

It is not that only one party or one leader is responsible for this. Every party, every leader, every member participates. The only difference is that today someone else is in power, yesterday someone else was there and tomorrow someone else will be…

Today the BJP blames the opposition, but perhaps it has forgotten the expression of its former leaders on the floor of the same house when they were in the opposition.

On 30 January 2011, as Leader of the Opposition, BJP leader Arun Jaitley told the House that “Parliament’s job is to ensure discussion. But sometimes the government tries to avoid problems, then the deadlock also it’s pro-democracy. Parliamentary deadlock is not anti-democratic at all.”

On August 26, 2012 he again came out of the house and said that we will not stop the deadlock as this will give an escape route to the government. At the same time, on 7 September 2012, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj had also told the House that not allowing Parliament to function is also a form of democracy.

If you look at these statements and the attitude of the BJP when it was in opposition and the allegations leveled against the present BJP opposition which is in power, it is clear that it is only a period of accusations and counter-accusations, the House. has failed in its aim.

All deputies are responsible for the acts of the Houses of Parliament. But the truth is also that the great responsibility rests with the party in government because the issue of the opposition is the government’s; the speaker of the Lok Sabha is from the same party and controls the proceedings of the entire house.

Speaking above politics, the responsibility for the discussion lies with both sides and the opposition. The Business Advisory Committee of the Parliament decides the questions for the discussion of the day at 9-10 am every day of the House and once the questions are decided, the discussion starts at 11 am. In this situation, the question is, why is the government and the president postponing issues like inflation, GST, etc.?

The opposition will also have to assume the responsibility that if at the beginning of the day it is decided which issue will be discussed in the day, then where is it justified to allege that the government runs away from the discussion and puts itself in front. of the speaker with a playing card.

It is clear that neither the parties nor the opposition want to create an atmosphere of discussion within Parliament. In this situation, serious questions must be raised about the functioning of Parliament. The situation in state legislatures is even worse.

India’s leaders should learn from the same British House from which we have designed our parliamentary system. This is because a cabinet minister had recently announced his resignation simply because he was late to the house to answer questions from the opposition.

If that’s the case, then it’s not just a session or a government being removed. Rather, it is a question mark on the parliamentary system that leaders like Ambedkar, Nehru, Patel, Lohia, Bajpai have irrigated with their thoughts and strengthened the foundations of India for 75 years. Otherwise, the day is not far when it will have to be discussed within the House whether the House is in discussion or not.

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