Parliament is being undermined even when it is not in session. There is enough evidence, from records of official debates to live telecasts and statistics, to show how this sacred institution is being subverted.
It’s amusing to see how Modi-Shah’s BJP is so obsessed with the question of leadership and power centers in political parties opposed to them. BJP diehards – often egged on by a fawning media – pontificate on the key players in the opposition. Instead of sharing plans to resolve issues like price rise or unemployment, the so-called gyan gurus from team Modi-Shah pass judgement on how the election for a new Congress president is a farce or whether KCR’s son deserves, at any point, to take over the party his father founded. Or why Stalin got a free hand-me-down to run the DMK or how Abhishek Banerjee, the national general secretary and two-term TMC MP, is still only “Mamata’s nephew”. Or why there is no internal democracy in the parties founded by the late Mulayam Singh Yadav or Lalu Prasad Yadav. Or is the Thackerays’ Shiv Sena…the list is endless.
They say sunlight is the best disinfectant. With the live streaming of constitutional cases (Challenge to Economically Weaker Section Quota, Shiv Sena Defection case and Challenge to All India Bar exam) in the Supreme Court, this will culminate into reality. This has been a long time coming. Live streaming of parliament happened as early as 2006 (Lok Sabha) and 2011 (Rajya Sabha). Critics might say that judges and lawyers will play to the gallery, but I am sure this transparency will do more good than bad.
Here’s a story that won’t make the 9 pm news. As per reports in a few regional language newspapers (yes, they still have The Spine), the Union is proposing an increase in the prices of rice, wheat and cereals sold through the National Food Security Act (NFSA) by Rs.7 per kg for Priority Households (PHH)
Parliament is not in session but there’s so much to be said. So let’s pull out the laptop and share a few thoughts on an issue that has always interested me: content creation.
By holding the Budget before the Assembly polls, the BJP government has shown scant regard for Parliament.
The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Personal Data Protection on Monday adopted its report, on which it had been deliberating since 2019. But the committee chose to retain some highly controversial clauses, which provide the government with unbridled and sweeping powers.
Young India, this is your democracy. This is your parliament. These are your farmers. This is your future.
With every session, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is brazenly rewriting the rules of Parliament. Cancel Question Hour, so the Opposition isn’t given a chance to hold the government accountable. Slash Zero Hour time by half, from 60 minutes to 30 minutes, to deprive the Opposition of raising issues of importance. Misuse a constitutional tool such as an ordinance to mock Parliament, in a way it hasn’t been done in 70 years.
Scrapping of the Question Hour in parliament for the upcoming monsoon session is not the only parliamentary convention that the BJP-led government at the centre is subverting. They have set yet another dubious record. We are 450 days into the 17th Lok Sabha and the post for the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha is still vacant. This is the longest by far ever taken by a union government to fill up the post. What makes it all the more curious is that the BJP and the NDA have a comfortable majority in the Lower House.