Parliament disruptions a ‘regular drama’?

July 30th, 2010 - 6:48 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) The continuous disruption of parliament has not gone down well with the common man, with some dismissively terming the pandemonium as a “regular drama”, while a National Advisory Council member said the commotion was defeating the purpose of having an opposition.
The entire first week of the monsoon session, which began July 26, was wasted without transaction of any business in both houses of parliament, as a united opposition raised a persistent din over the issue of rising prices.

“One week and no business transacted, is it a joke?” asked Shweta Arya, who is working with the consultancy wing of leading private bank.

“I can not go to my office and not do work, then how can they do so? There should be some rules for them,” said Arya.

The monsoon session so far has not seen a single debate or bill being taken up except a discussion on an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha. The situation was similar in the Rajya Sabha with no business being transacted.

Opposition parties are demanding a discussion on price rise under rules which have provision for voting.

Leading social activist and National Advisory Council member Harsh Mander feels the present situation is the reverse of what parliamentary democracy stands for.

“The opposition is an integral part of the process and it should engage in a dialogue with the ruling parties instead of blocking the proceedings. What we have seen recently, defeats the very purpose of having an opposition,” Mander said.

“Parliament is a place where policy and laws are made in favour of common people of India. The business has to be transacted. This (disruptions) will only result in legislation being passed without discussion and important debates being missed,” he added.

For the common man reeling under the increasing pressure of inflation, the commotion in parliament has become a joke.

“This is what happens every time, they shout and the house is adjourned. It is not good for the country,” said Ram Babu, who runs a cloth shop in Sarojini Nagar market, and keeps track of parliament proceedings on a small TV set in his shop.

“We see the news, it is a habit. The commotion looks like a regular drama now,” he added.

Radhagovind Pandey, 70, a retired government official, said the noisy scenes were detrimental to the image of parliament.

“The children see this and think parliament is a place to fight. Where will they learn to respect the institutions of democracy if our leaders themselves don’t maintain the dignity,” he said.

A nostalgic Pandey said: “Twenty years back, parliament was the platform where national issues were discussed. Now these discussions are taking place on news channels and the parliament is a war ground for politicians.”

But for those at the bottom of the economic and social ladder and are still unaware of the significance of parliament, their hopes and expectations are alive.

“I don’t know what happens in the parliament but I know it is a big place. If it does something to bring down the prices it will be a big help,” says Munna, a 13-year-old boy employed at a tea stall in central Delhi.

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