By Ruma Dubey
So both the Houses of the Parliament were adjourned once again today. Starting tomorrow, they have a four day break and the Parliament meets again on 14th December. The Winter session ends on 16th December. Till date, in this entire session, nothing happened except burning of our hard earned money. The much awaited GST Bill was not even considered, forget debating about it. The LIVE telecast of the proceedings in indeed a revelation – at least we are now able to see how these so called leaders behave, rather, misbehave. This leads us to the question - is the Parliament working or is this a dysfunctional way of working?
The Indian Parliament is currently facing a crisis of confidence. Most of the days, through any session, the Parliament adjourns with no business being done, amidst shouts, sloganeering and a major ruckus. The bespectacled Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Sumitra Mahajan, after trying to control the ministers, looks like a teacher trying to bring decorum in an unruly classroom, helplessly, is left with no option but to simply adjourn. Nothing gets done in the Parliament and the common man, looking at the high cost of running the Parliament, apparently around Rs.2.5 lakh per minute, wonders today about the relevance of this institution. The largest democracy in the world - it is shameful how the very edifice of our democracy is today crumbling.
These politicians only shout and disrupt proceedings in the Parliament and as soon as they are out after adjournment, they start debating on TV news channels. If they can debate on TV channels why not where they should actually debate – in the Parliament?
The Parliament has completed 63 years and look how much we have fallen in these years! It is assuring to know that unlike neighbouring countries in Asia who go through military coups and violent upheavals, India is more stable and we remain a major democracy. Yet, looking at the current degeneration of this institution, such small consolations become irrelevant. To merely feel good that we have an instrument is futile if the instrument does not work at all.
Do you remember listening to any meaningful debates in either the Rajya Sabha or the Lok Sabha? Yes, those on Women’s reservation Bill, the Lokpal Bill, the Nuclear Bill were good. Yesterday’s debate was not a debate – it was more of mudslinging, losing all modicum of parliamentary behavior. Meaningful debates are far and few in between. But a look at all these bills which did get debated happened only because of intense pressure from the people of India, who took to demonstrations and fasting. So the impetus to debate comes from the civil society?
We as people are supposedly powerful as we elect the Govt. But that is the only power we seem to have, which we exercise every five years. After that we have to merely watch the various antics and curse ourselves for even having gone to vote! Why do we have no power but to watch helplessly as these ministers squander away our money and faith in the system? There has to be a change in the way in which Parliament function, a very fundamental change is required. Maybe a new law, maybe a supreme court ruling; something drastic needs to be done to break out from this vicious cycle. The BJP did it when the UPA was in power so now the UPA is giving is back to BJP. But amidst all this politicking, the biggest loser is the country.