MPs lack a sense of purpose, say parliament visitorsMarch 10th, 2010 - 9:32 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) “Certainly disappointing” is how a neatly dressed young man from Chandigarh responded as he came out of the parliament visitors’ gallery after witnessing noisy protests in the Lok Sabha over the Women’s Reservation Bill.
“They (MPs) lack a sense of purpose. Politics is a means to achieve certain goals, not the goal in itself. All they are doing is just politics, vote bank politics,” said a disgruntled Aakansh Singh, a probationary officer of the Indian Revenue Service.
Some 135 young officers, men and women, of the 63rd batch of the Indian Revenue Service had come to tour parliament Tuesday and watch the proceedings. The trip, which ended in disappointment, was part of their course.
Singh was referring to the behaviour of the MPs who were protesting the government’s move to provide 33 percent reservation for women in all legislatures. The bill was finally passed by the Rajya Sabha, the upper house, Tuesday - and awaits the Lok Sabha’s nod.
“Democracy is a battle of ideas, but crossing decency is certainly not democracy. It is hooliganism. This floor is for debates and countering arguments. You win, if you have a stronger view, but you ought not to flex muscles and vocal chords. It is indecency,” the young officer told IANS, as his batch mates agreed.
Ankita from Chhattisgarh couldn’t hide her disappointment.
“I am not surprised. This is only too well known - how our MPs behave in parliament. The whole nation is used to it.”
The group had permission to watch the proceedings for an hour, but noisy protests and heavy slogan shouting by members of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) against the Women’s Reservation Bill forced Speaker Meira Kumar to adjourn the Lok Sabha till 2 p.m. Monday.
“I didn’t understand why they were not allowing parliament to function. If they don’t want the bill, they can challenge it lawfully,” Ankita said.
A friend of hers jumped into the debate, saying: “This is also their democratic right.”
Another said: “A democratic right? Holding the country to hostage, wasting public money. Is this a democratic right?”
Singh then reminded them of a couplet from Urdu poet Allama Iqbal.
“Jamhooriat ik tarz-e-hakumat hai, ki jis main saron ko gina karte hain, tola nahin karte. (Democracy is a form of governance where heads are counted, never weighed) It is a numbers game. We have to respect that,” he said as the group dispersed for a lunch in the parliament canteen.
Tags: batch mates, decency, disappointment, hooliganism, indecency, janata, legislatures, Lok Sabha, meira kumar, noisy protests, probationary officer, rajya sabha, reservation bill, rjd, Samajwadi Party, sense of purpose, upper house, visitors gallery, vocal chords, vote bank