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Trivializing Emergency
by Rajinder Puri Bookmark and Share
 

Seven MPs were forcibly expelled from the Rajya Sabha by Marshals of the House. This was done after the MPs refused to vacate the well of the House, continued to shout slogans, disallowed the House to proceed with business and forced three adjournments. Eventually the Chairman called the Marshals to evict them. The event evoked strange reactions.

One of the evicted MPs, Ejaz Ali said: “This is dictatorship. What happened to us is dangerous for democracy. It is for the first time in Indian history that MPs have been marshaled like animals.”

It is truly shameful that this happened for the first time in the history of parliament. This should have happened much earlier. Because it was not for the first time that MPs behaved like hooligans. Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari deserves praise for exercising his prerogative to enforce discipline that ought to have been done years ago.

The MPs are enraged for being administered discipline. Until now they often behaved as if they were above the law. It now seems that they believe they are even above Rules of the House. They seem to believe that they are even above the norms of decent, civilized conduct. RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav said that the event heralded another Emergency. He was echoing the sentiments of many fellow members.

Sadly enough the arrogance of status seems to have afflicted all MPs. In an otherwise masterful speech Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley likened the incident to the manner in which MPs opposed to the 42nd Amendment had been jailed by Indira Gandhi. Later, this undemocratic amendment was rolled back by Parliament.

Does Jaitley seriously believe that dealing with rowdy hooliganism in the House under the rules of conduct is comparable to the imposition of the Emergency in which thousands were jailed in order to preserve in office a corrupt and unlawful prime minister? Perhaps Jaitley was trying to bond with potential allies.

But surely there should be some limits to politicking!

It is a sad reflection of the lack of real self esteem that MPs have about their importance. Millions of children watched their deplorable antics on television. For millions of children these MPs could be the role models they would like to emulate. What kind of image of themselves and of parliament are these honorable members sending to the children and indeed to the whole world?

10-Mar-2010
More by :  Rajinder Puri
 
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