The very great Parliament of a very great nation is leaving an exceptionally great example for future generations. Parliament does not have any thought about its dignity, neither does it condole with or sympathise with the problems that are coming in the lives of the people, nor does it take up those questions that are related to the poor of the country. Even the issue of why Mukesh Ambani has been given Z plus security is not raised in Parliament. The Home Minister was shown saying that in exchange for this security, Ambani would give money. So does the Home Minister want to say every moneyed person in this country can pay a few lakh rupees and obtain the Government of India’s Z plus security? It is a matter of regret! In Parliament not even a question was raised on this, it was not even mentioned under any rule. This means, what else, that Parliament is bowing its head before Mukesh Ambani.
There was a time when Lal Bahadur Shastri, the Minister of Railways from the Congress, took moral responsibility for a train accident and submitted his resignation from the post of the Minister of Railways. Jawaharlal Nehru did not stop him from submitting his resignation, but praised the step. Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi too, being Members of the Rajya Sabha, could have remained Prime Ministers, but Indira Gandhi followed the democratic tradition set by her father and while becoming Prime Minister certainly took oath, but gave her resignation from the Rajya Sabha as soon as possible thereafter and became a Member of the Lok Sabha. After that she never became the Prime Minister while remaining a Member of the Rajya Sabha. Rajiv Gandhi fought elections and became a Member of the Lok Sabha This is the first example in the history of Indian democracy when the Prime Minister of the country has served the full term while remaining a Member of the Rajya Sabha. Before that, whenever he contested Lok Sabha elections, he lost. A person who does not have the courage to fight Lok Sabha elections while being the Prime Minister and lays claim to being the leader of 120 crore people perhaps it is the biggest tragedy and the greatest irony for democracy in this country. No leader made this question an issue, because, if it had become an issue, then the question would have arisen whether the Prime Minister can morally say that his home address in Assam is actually his home address? Did he even stay in that house for one month? Did his wife ever stay in that house? Did his daughters or sisters ever stay there? Everybody knows that the moral traditions which Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi established, were kicked by a person sitting within the House in the form of the Prime Minister.
Whatever decision Manmohan Singh took as Prime Minister, went in favour of the rich and against the poor of the country, because the Prime Minister without any hesitation, freely and callously applied and implemented the American economic agenda to the country. But the highly surprising thing is that Parliament did not get frantic or agitated over this and not a single MP threatened to resign over this autocracy or despotism. The Prime Minister said that if even the slightest splash comes on him, he will not only tender his resignation from the post of the Prime Minister, but would also take ‘sanyas’ ( retirement) from public life. Now see, India’s biggest scam took place in the allocation of coal blocks, which was first published prominently by Chauthi Duniya and we wrote on the basis of Government documents that this scam was of 26 lakh crore rupees, but the CAG, under Government pressure called it a rupees 1 lakh, 76 thousand crores scam. The surprising and amazing thing is that the Prime Minister did not say anything. He just sat silent. Even though at the time the scam happened, at that time he was the country’s Minister of Coal. All the decisions were implemented under his signatures and the scams took place under the Prime Minister’s signature.
Why don’t all the MPs of the Bharatiya Janata Party resign collectively from the Lok Sabha? After all, why are people from the Bharatiya Janata Party sitting in a Parliament where they cannot raise any voice, nor can they discuss anything and where not even one of their demands is taken seriously? This question applies not only to the Bharatiya Janata Party, but also to the Trinamool Congress, the Janata Dal-U, the Shiv Sena and the Shiromani Akali Dal. The fact is, all these people do not take Parliament seriously themselves.
The Supreme Court observed just two months ago that the coal scam took place because of some wrongdoing by the Government or of the Ministry. The same Ministry whose Minister in those days was Manmohan Singh himself. Even after this Supreme Court observation Prime Minister Manmohan Singh kept silent, but certainly, an ‘action’ was initiated and that was to make an attempt to change the CBI report. The CBI tried and the Law Minister put pressure on it to remove the name of the Prime Minister from the report. And the CBI did accordingly. Now the CBI is going to place two reports before the Supreme Court and is saying that the Supreme Court has to decide. On the other side the Ministry of Coal too is saying again and again that the Supreme Court has to decide on this matter and issue, why should there be a debate on this in Parliament. This means that the Prime Minister does not consider the observation or comment of the Supreme Court worthy enough for him to take some step on the promise he had made. In the end, the Standing Committee of Parliament presented its report on the coal scam and said clearly in it that the wrong doing took place in the Ministry of Coal and the Ministry of Coal was under the Prime Minister in those days. These four examples show that neither does the Indian Prime Minister worry about Parliament, neither does he give any importance or regard to the Supreme Court nor does he consider the Parliament Standing Committee to be worthy of comment.
Inside Parliament, on the question and issue of the coal scam, the Bharatiya Janata Party asked for the resignation of the Prime Minister and Parliamentary proceedings were obstrcuted. But a question arises here : why don’t all the MPs of the Bharatiya Janata Party resign collectively from the Lok Sabha? After all, why are people from the Bharatiya Janata Party sitting in a Parliament where they cannot raise any voice, nor can they discuss anything and where not even one of their demands is taken seriously? This question applies not only to the Bharatiya Janata Party, but also to the Trinamool Congress, the Janata Dal-U, the Shiv Sena and the Shiromani Akali Dal. The fact is, all these people do not take Parliament seriously themselves. That is why whenever there is a debate in Parliament on questions connected with the common people, at that the time none of these people are present in the House. The entire footage of the Lok Sabha TV is witness to this.
When any subject is being discussed, to see all the Members sitting in the whole House remains just a craving of the people. Zero Hour is the only a time when MPs remain in the House, otherwise the House is seen to remain empty, especially after 12 o’clock-1 o’clock. People like us have a lot of expectations from Parliament but those expectations are left with no meaning, because the Prime Minister, leaders of the Opposition parties, the Government and the Opposition parties and political parties supporting the Opposition do not want to make this Parliament itself solemn and do not want to provide good examples on behalf of this Parliament. To now think that in this Parliament there will be a Madhu Limaye, George Fernandes, Bhupesh Gupta, Raj Narain or Kishan Patnaik, will be like a day dream. Chandra Shekhar, Vishwanath Pratap Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee are something very far and distant. All these people have now become dreams, because it was these people who maintained traditions. In the Congress itself, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Govind Ballabh Pant, Lal Bahadur Shastri and people like Indira Gandhi herself had established traditions, but now nobody in this Parliament is concerned or bothers about any of these traditions, that is why this Parliament has become irrelevant for the people of India.
The biggest example of the opportunism of Parliament could be seen in the special session in August 2011. Because of the countrywide pressure from Anna Hazare’s fast unto death Parliament held a sitting and everyone was present. The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself was there. Apart from Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Mulayam Singh, Mayawati, Advaniji, Sushma Swaraj, the leaders of the Leftist parties were also there. Everyone in one voice passed a resolution that they will bring a strong Jan Lokpal Bill and the Prime Minister sent a letter to Anna Hazare along with a copy of this resolution. It was because of this that Anna Hazare broke his fast, but two years have passed, and Parliament does not even remember that resolution. Even today Parliament is forgetting that resolution or lets say that with shamelessness it does not today want to remember that resolution. No parliamentarian, all the names I have taken of the leaders, not one of them has said in Parliament that we passed that resolution, but we are not being able to honour it. The question arises : is this not an insult to Parliament or the institution called Parliament and the Constitution of the country?
Our writing is not going to change this Parliament. The weapon, the tool for changing this Parliament and forming a responsible Parliament is in the hands of the people. If the public does not make use of its weapon or tool, it will be saddling itself with an autocratic Parliament, due to which its future will become disappointing hundred per cent. It is to be hoped that in the coming elections, the people of the country will awaken for the first time in the last 65 years and will then form and structure a Parliament which will do the work of removing its miseries, rather than increasing its miseries.