Anarchy in Parliament is a sign of strong democracy in India. India Information – Examples of India

New Delhi: In a vast and diverse nation like India, the contemporary cacophony of voices in avenues or in parliament should not be alarming. It would not be an exaggeration to say that disruptions form the contours of the Indian Parliament. This number is up again. The amount of time lost due to disruptions in Parliament had steadily increased from 5% of working time in the Eleventh Lok Sabha (1996–97) to 39% in the Fifteenth Lok Sabha (2009–14). The year 2011 was very bad when 30% of the time gained was lost due to disruptions. A year ago, the entire winter session was ruined due to the uproar over the 2G scam.

Although the disruptions have subsided after the BJP’s major victories in the 2014 and 2019 general elections, the ghost of procrastination always lurks. Disruption often occurs when a government coverage or a nationwide problem has united the opposition. The month-long winter session of 2016 was the least productive in the Sixteenth Lok Sabha (2014–19), when the opposition united against the Modi government’s abrupt and wrongful decision to demonetise high-denomination foreign currency notes, which was called off for a few days. was introduced earlier. than the start of the session. About 92 hours i.e. 73 per cent of the sessions were wasted due to disruptions. In fact, despite a one-party majority, the Sixteenth Lok Sabha served for 20% more than the Fifteenth Lok Sabha, but 40% less than all full-term Lok Sabhas.

Nevertheless, there has been an extensive history of disruptions in Parliament. When India’s first Lok Sabha met in 1952, there was high quality debate on problems of vital importance to a fair India. Yet it was not the case that only quiet and reasoned debates were seen in the Parliament courtyard. Soon after the first Lok Sabha was called in 1952, an amendment to the controversial preventive detention challan caused, in the words of veteran journalist BG Varghese, “an unprecedented uproar”. During the debate on preventive detention, a marshal also approached Communist Party member KA Nambiar, to oust him, although he responded by shouting, “I cannot go. You have to take me from power.” The task of pacifying the speaker was left to Hiren Mukherjee, India’s greatest parliamentarian and fellow communist. The Communists then staged a walkout only to return later in the day.

A decade later, during the Third Lok Sabha in 1963, when the Rajbhasha Challan was issued, there was strong protest by some opposition members, which this newspaper described as the first to see such a “disordered scene”. . inside the house. Two members, including Swami Rameshwaranand of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, had to forcibly evict the employees of the Watch and Ward. Another member grabbed the microphone and abused the speaker and the prime minister. Nehru, a strict disciplinarian at all times, strongly opposed this behaviour, saying: “I do not know that gentleman what Parliament is, what democracy is, and little of the way in which to behave or ought to behave.” Less concept.

Certainly, as one foreign journalist observed, it was Nehru rather than the Speaker who “took the reins of the house” and when the Speaker’s requests were ignored, it could be “Nehru’s shriveled voice who put an end to the clamor and restored the opposite decorum”. A repentant Rameshwarananda would later light a “holy fire” in the Central Corridor of Parliament and set a replica of the challan on fire. When the Speaker told him that it was “prohibited” to light a fire inside the Parliament House, Rameshwarananda went outside the gate for the guests and burned a replica of the challan.

Earlier that year, some members tried to disrupt the President’s address to both houses, delivered every year and thought to be one of the most important and sacred occasions of the parliamentary program. A committee was constituted to analyze the incident and in its report laid down certain norms for the conduct of the members during the President’s address. It noted that it was “a constitutional obligation on behalf of the members to be heard with respect and dignity to the President” and reiterated that the House can punish a member if in its opinion a member has “acted in an unbecoming manner”. or has acted in an unqualified manner of a member.”