Allow Parliament to function | Business Line

India needs WTO support | Business Line

The Hindu Business Line, December 16, 2015


Allow Parliament to function
This refers to ‘Washout threat hangs over Winter Session: Jaitley’ (December 15). During the two decades preceding and succeeding Independence, the legislatures functioned smoothly and gave shape to several statutes including the Constitution and the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934. There were informed and intelligent debates before finalising every clause of the documents that later became statutes. The credit goes to the then political leadership, which did not have an opposition that thought its only role was to ‘oppose’, and the Indian National Congress which respected and allowed ‘informed dissent’ from within, and took into confidence an opposition boasting great leaders, but was not very strong, going by numbers.
The recent session of Parliament which debated the relevance of observing November 26 as Constitution Day has proved that reasonably informed debates in Parliament are still possible. I am referring to speeches like the long one made by Sitaram Yechury in the Rajya Sabha. With the emergence of coalition politics, legislative procedures from panchayats to Parliament have suffered a setback, mainly on account of divergent interests among political parties. This transitional phase is unavoidable but the taxpayer has every right to expect elected representatives to allow Parliament to function smoothly when it is in session.
MG Warrier


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