The working of Indian Parliament needs restoration of strict standards!
To resort to physical obstruction, by muting the mike of the Leader of Opposition and also not allowing senior leaders like L.K.Advani not to intervene is the latest extremism that is not parliamentary decorum and protocol.
It is a pity the Prime Minister showed himself in a poor light!
Democracy, parliamentary democracy, gives the ruling party and the Opposition equal importance.
This has to be understood and made widely known in our polity.
The day when the Q-I results of the economic growth fell to a four-year low of 4.4%,the Prime Minister chose to speak in the Rajya Sabha. He faced the much more articulate leader of the Opposition Mr.Arun Jaitley. So, the exchanges between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition ended up as a very low of all principles and practices of the Parliamentary Democracy.
The Publisher’s note in this issue raises some points about the future of print media industry. In particular an aspect of the business magazines. The analysts of the industry segment say that the future for magazine segment is m rather dim.
This market analysis might be right in giving the broad market trends.
But what we like to point out is that there is always a need for articulation of issues of great public significance. The public, we mean, the enlightened public, in all categories, be it the upper class or the middle class or the business class or the political class might like to know what are the great issues, basic issues about which there is a debate or a controversy.
In the instant case, namely, the debate in the Rajya Sabha where the Prime Minister in a democracy, let us remind ourselves, ours is a Westminster model democracy, where the Prime Minister is supposed to be a member of the cabinet, where he is equal and at the same time a leader, he is supposed to articulate the policies and practices of his government.
In this very instant care, our Prime Minister had failed to live up to the standards of his high office.
First, the Prime Minister made a very rare appearance. Why, even now he is not an elected Member of Parliament. Only then he would have earned his rightful legitimacy. Here is his handicap. Second, the Prime Minister is supposed to make his case based on facts and figures and arguments.
He stands before the House and speaks and when the Leader of Opposition intervenes, he has every right and, why even he is duty-bound, to intervene, the Prime Minister as leader of the house and why even as leader of the country, he must have shown extreme cool and even a sense of chivalry.
He must have taken the attack, the word is right, in a Parliamentary debate, there would be free expressions, even some unparliamentarily words and expressions, and the Prime Minister must take it in his stride. Here we saw a Prime Minister in his most pathetic condition.
The PM obviously lost his cool.
Knowing the incumbent Prime Minister is not an elected Member of Parliament, also not a natural political leader, let alone a parliamentarian of any great talent, we have to make some compromises.
Yet the PM himself chose to use some words and expressions that are now deleted and also not printed by the media.
The PM, surely, must have made a careful preparation of his speech, first, before he went on to complain about his opponents. The PM said that in no other democracy, the PM is not allowed to speak by the Opposition nor the Opposition storms into the well of the House. Of course, we know the PM, in spite his stint at Oxford, didn’t get any interest or experience in public debating (we know him at Oxford and hence this observation!).
Great Parliamentarians always leave a mark on their times and also on the times of the successors. Thus, we remember the great British parliamentarians like Robet Peel, Gladstone, Disraeli and of course, the great orator and leader, Winston Churchill.
In India, Pandit Nehru was the great, nay greatest Parliamentarian, there are still followers called Nephrites(like Peelites, Gladstonites and Disraelites. We don’t call any other names like Nehruites in India. The other Prime Ministers who came after Nehru, neither Indira Gandhi nor others can claim any such distinction.
Parliamentarians of distinction were there in India too. Some names stand out. H.V.Kamath, Nath Pai, Bhupesh Gupta and of course Piloo Modi and others. Then, Manmohan Singh is none of these. The PM made a lateral entry into politics and he knew his limitations. So, there is no point now lamenting for lack of co-operation from the Opposition.
This is very unfortunate to say the least.
The Prime Minister must have known that he was defending the indefensible. Corruption is now a big issue and it is rising by some 113% rise in corruption related complaints received by CVC. This just points to the current national mood. If the PM doesn’t care then it is his undoing that is all we can say.
How can he say that he is no custodian of the Coalgate files!
The whole country is agitated over the matter. The Coalgate his life and undoing, we all know.
The whole country is watching what the Prime Minister was going to say on that such a sensitive issue. As best he must have taken the House into confidence and must have candidly shared the information and sought even an open pardon of the House and the people.
Certainly that a heroic stand would have earned the Prime Minister a countrywide sympathy and even moral support. Or, at worst, he must have deployed some diplomacy and passed on the matter to some of his ministerial colleagues. At worst what is the remedy. The concerned minister at the time must have taken responsibility and must have to go.
Under the ManmohanSingh regime no one minister or an official was named and made to resign in good grace!
In fact, we have reached a situation when the Opposition had become so desperate that no one in the government or in the party is willing to take moral responsibility and truth and honest have become the victims!
No one is willing to take responsibility for his or her duty in the government. So, there is a sense of unbearable sense of suffocation and there is no way to resolve the issue. The matter had reached such an intolerable limit that the Supreme Court had to almost threaten the concerned persons or agencies that unless “you produce the files, we have to order a CBI enquiry!”
Is this the way you govern a country? Is this the way we run a Parliamentary government?
Whatever be the outcome of this sort of the state of affairs, the next elections might provide an answer, an alternative or a set of new players might emerge in forming the government, the basic principles are the same, would remain the same.
You have to go back to the very same principles. You become a successful Prime Minister or you fall by the wayside. History would judge you rather harshly. That is the prince you pay for non-performance.
This is as simple as that!
In an open democracy, you can’t pretend to be right all the time.
You are wrong most the time. The present time is so bad that every step you take in obduracy, you continue to fail and become sometime a laughing stock.
British Parliamentary history is so replete with such instances.
Unluckily, the Prime Minister, Oxford alumni, didn’t read a PPE! If he had, he might have been exposed to such a glorious parliamentary history and we would have gained.