No more disruption | Business Standard Editorials

No more disruption | Business Standard Editorials


22, 2015

proceedings in legislatures
This refers to BS
editorial “No more disruption” (July 22). One hopes the political leadership
takes this sane suggestion in right spirit. The report on disruption of Rajya Sabha
proceedings is all the more agonising, since by name itself that is the “Upper
House” and the conduct of members there should be exemplary so that legislators
down the line could learn lessons from them. In the present episode, Prime
Minister Modi and his government have gone more than half way in appealing to
the opposition to cooperate.
parliamentary democracy in India started off with practically no opposition in
position. Dissenting voices within the Indian National Congress (INC), some
individual leaders whom even the INC could not accommodate or were branded
socialists or communists performed the role of opposition in parliament and
political arena. Later on the evolution of opposition in the states and at
national level was not on very healthy soil, as the formulation was dependent
on the ego of leaders or certain economic or geographical or linguistic
interests in regions.
The weak opposition which
made governments not much answerable in legislatures made political leadership
lazy and unconcerned about the ground realities. Even in states like Kerala
which claims near 100 per cent literacy, performance of legislators has become
a laughing matter and input for comic entertainment.
Whether as insignificant
as 3 :67 in Delhi or as strong as 68:72 as in Kerala or with a decisive
majority in Lok Sabha and in a minority in the upper house, time is running out
for the political leadership to re-invent the role of opposition. Opposition
need to do the same amount of studies and deliberations on issues concerning
governance within, as is expected of the treasury benches. The present strategy
of being selective on issues and effort to make noises and be dramatic ending
every episode with disruption of legislative process can do irreparable damage
to the system, put in place thanks to the sacrifice made by generations.
Perhaps, Prime Minister Modi
who changed his own designation as ‘Pradhaan Sevak” may have to invent some new
name for ‘Opposition”, as common man gets a feeling that though all members of
legislatures are elected to govern, those who do not find a place on the
Treasury Benches, or in the coalition which forms government call themselves “Opposition”
and start opposing every move of the government from day one. The word
opposition has something to do with this.

G Warrier
, Mumbai


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