Recently, the UPA announced it had been in office for nine years and presented some sort of report they called it a report card of what they did during those nine years. It is all right. It is a routine exercise which every party or Government does. But in these nine years, the first five years were a period when most of the items they have mentioned had been done. For instance, the RTI Act or the MGNREGA scheme or the Nuclear Liability Bill or whatever. In the last four years, not much is there to show. On the contrary, what happened in UPA-1 has been unravelling in UPA-2 and most of the so called scams are pertaining to the period of UPA-1. All in all, the purpose of the report card and the purpose of the celebration is hardly understood by anybody. Even a social institution like an institute, old age home or an orphanage can keep on running for nine years under the same management. But the longevity under the same management does not matter. What matters is what they have been able to achieve in that period. For that, they have little to show. The other aspect is they have harped on the issue that Parliament is not allowed to function. What is the purpose of Parliament ? One is to pass legislation, that is the literal meaning of the word ‘legislature’. But there is a very important function of Parliament. In western countries when democracy was introduced, the main purpose was to debate issues agitating the public mind so that social unrest is prevented. If there is no Parliament, if there is no place to vent the people’s anger, then the anger will be vent on the streets which is not good for the country. So the purpose of Parliament is to let out steam from all sections of the people, prevent social unrest. Now, if the Government of the day prevents Parliament from doing that and avoids debating and issues by deliberately creating a situation where Parliament cannot function, what is the use of blaming the Opposition. The Opposition’s job is to raise relevant issues. That is what the Opposition is meant for. If a moment has opened itself, give suitable answers, find suitable solutions. If the Government is not able to face the Opposition, replace the Government. It is the Government’s job to ensure Parliament runs smoothly, not the Opposition’s. The Opposition has to be responsible and the Government has to be responsive. If the Government is not responsive the Opposition cannot be responsible because then they will not be articulating their constituents views in Parliament for which they have been elected. Even the press will join this debate. Whoever skips their responsibilities in Parliament should not be paid their allowance. Parliament is not a religious entity. Are MPs supposed to be doing ‘aarti’ of the Government of the day, especially if it is mired in its own doings ? Certainly not. They are sent by the people to articulate their views, to vent the concerns of the people. There is inflation. There is corruption. There is law and order problem. The Opposition should raise these issues vociferously. It is for the Government to calm them down explain what action they are taking and to take action, to dismiss Ministers, officials, the guilty people. Then Parliament will run properly. If even after finding out who are guilty you avoid dismissing them, the Opposition will object to that and will not allow Bills to be passed. What is wrong with that? The moment Parliament is adjourned, remove the Ministers. You are insulting Parliament. Why didn’t you remove them one week earlier, then all the Bills would have been passed. Even now there is nothing to prevent the Government from calling a special session of Parliament to pass those Bills. What is the Government waiting for? They should call for a special session urgently and get those Bills passed. There is no dispute over the Food Security Bill as it concerns the people. It is high time the Prime Minister himself looked in these things because in rhetoric politics you are losing the main theme. Governance will not come by merely debating points and scoring and that too outside Parliament. It is high time the Prime Minister applies his mind, calls Parliament and gets the Bills passed.
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