Parliament’s Budget Session is about to begin. This session is important because it will be a very hard budget, the way America wants it. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) believe that India should stop every kind of subsidy or financial assistance. Actually, America wants to see India as an economy whose survival or non-survival should be linked to American interests. Midway a danger had arisen that perhaps the Indian economy would become so strong that it could stand on its feet to compete with China. But American economists felt that if the Indian economy got on track and became strong like China’s, it would at some time challenge America in the same way as China is challenging the American economy. Therefore, the Government of India’s economic reforms should be seen as complying with American bidding. Therefore too, it should be expected that this time there will be a harsh Budget.
If the Budget is not harsh, it should be believed that the Congress is heading towards elections, but it is a foregone conclusion, a certainty, that even if it wants to, the Congress cannot introduce a Budget that will bring relief to the people. Economists believe that the reason for this is that the Government has made decisions that do not take it on the road to an ‘easy’ Budget. Therefore, we should believe with certainty that the coming Budget will establish not only new records and milestones for price rises, but also open a door for legal protection for corruption.
The truth is that in this very Budget session of Parliament we will have the good fortune to see Parliament clapping and applauding its own shamelessness. Parliament sat to bring Anna Hazare’s fast to an end and a unanimous resolution was passed, but the amazing thing is that till today neglecting or disregarding it has not been a concern for Parliament. Actually, all the various issues on which the Prime Minister wrote a letter to Anna Hazare and promised to include them in the Lokpal Bill, now those issues too have not been included in and are not a part of the Lokpal Bill. In these circumstances and in this situation, the question arises, why have the political parties been kept out of the ambit of the Lokpal ?. It is a wild guess that the corporate sector is also out of the ambit of the Lokpal. What’s more, law enforcement agencies like the CBI are not within the ambit of the Lokpal either. Then why is this Lokpal coming?
If the Prime Minister of a country with a population of 120 crores makes promises in writing and doesn’t honour those promises, should it or should it not be considered cheating by the Prime Minister?
When the leaders of the parties are not present in Parliament, then why will their followers be there
in Parliament ? Therefore, what kind of hopes and expectations should be placed on Parliament, whether on a Budget
session or any other session, that decision is for you to take.
Another question that arises is that if the Parliament of India passes a resolution and afterwards reneges and goes back on it, then what sort of Parliament should people consider it be? If the Prime Minister of a country with a population of 120 crores makes promises in writing and doesn’t honour those promises, then should it or should it not be considered cheating by the Prime Minister ? After all, how is the credibility of a Government formed and how does it get spoilt, if an example of this has to be cited, then the example of India’s past Prime Ministers is enough. People still remember how Indira Gandhi was so concerned about what was said and discussed in Parliament and how interested she was in seeing that what was said and discussed was implemented.
Vishwanath Pratap Singh had resigned because and when Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said that if he would allow him to place five bricks in Ayodhya, he would not withdraw support to the Government. Vishwanath Pratap Singh had told him that if I cannot comply with the Supreme Court’s decision, then what am I Prime Minister for ? Another Prime Minister of India, Shri Chandrashekar resigned only because he didn’t want the Prime Minister of India to become a Prime Minister who took daily orders. Even though when the debate on the ‘no confidence motion’ was underway in Parliament, a message from Rajiv Gandhi reached Chandrashekhar that he should not resign, the Congress will support him again, Chandrashekhar tore up the piece of paper on which the message was written and threw it away. Atal Bihari Vajpayee considered Parliament to be a holy temple and therefore he always respected Parliament in the same way.
But the thing to wonder at is that neither Parliament, nor the Prime Minister, nor the members sitting in Parliament remain committed to their words. Perhaps it is after seeing this situation that the saying, ‘Everybody in this ‘hamam’ becomes naked’ has been coined. It is at this time that Anna Hazare is starting his journey for transforming the country. In the points and issues raised by him, not only is the Jan Lokpal Bill included, but also corruption. Anna Hazare has now also included changing the system in this. Now the question also arises that if large crowds begin thronging Anna Hazare’s rallies and meetings again and if the people begin to support him increasingly, will this bring Parliament and the people face to face ? What causes regret is seeing the Government’s, Parliament’s and the political parties apathy towards the problems of the people. How much the system and deteriorating governance are troubling the people makes no difference now to the Government, to Parliament and to the political parties. The Government, Parliament and political parties all have almost similar views and opinions on how to make prices rise. There is symbolic opposition and symbolic opposition comes to end. In the same way, there is no real remedy for curbing corruption with any of the political parties, because somewhere or the other, in some State or the other, the political parties are part of the Government and all of them now appear to have the same character.
No hopes, no expectations should be placed on the Budget session because now every session of Parliament is ending the hopes and expectations of the people. Not only this, if you want to get a panaromic view of Parliamentary proceedings, watch the Lok Sabha channel after 1 p.m. The attendance of members present in the House, whether in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha, will give you a measure of how much the seriousness is – when the leaders of the parties are not present in Parliament, then why will their followers be there in Parliament ? Therefore, what kind of hopes and expectations should be placed on Parliament, whether on a Budget session or any other session, that decision is for you to take.