Democracy — 6 .. CAB in Parliament

 The Citizen Amendment Bill (CAB) was passed in Parliament after lengthy debates in both the houses. I am not going into the merits of this legislation. The only observation I wish to make here is that prima facie the act doesn’t appear to be fair.

The process by which the bill was passed is one hundred per cent democratic. There can be no two thoughts about it.  That is on paper.

But what is the reality? Voting in the both the houses was on party lines. Party leaders issued whip. So there was no possibility of any MP violating the party whip. Consequently there was not much of suspense about the fate of the bill. In the Lok Sabha it was a cake walk for the ruling party. In the Rajya Sabha there appeared to be a little doubt. But in the end BJP sailed through comfortably.

The above being the case, what impact did the debates have on the outcome. Let us recall that the debate went on till midnight in the Lok Sabha and till about 10.00 P.M. in the upper house. Debates involved lots of shouting and personal attacks. Owaisi even went to the extent of tearing the CAB document.

Were all these necessary?

Did any of the points made by the ruling party or the opposition sway even a single member?

Did any of the political parties adhere to the rule of internal democracy before arriving at the stand to be taken?  

In my opinion the answers to all the questions is a big NO.

The point I a arriving at is that the bill could have been passed in both the houses in less than an hour. Table the motion and put it to vote. This would have resulted in lot of saving in terms of time, money and energy and ,of course, bitterness.

Before ending, let me share with you a question which has been bothering me for a long time. In nearly seventy years of parliament history has there been even a single instance wherein the collective wisdom of the members has influenced the decision?

More By  :  Dr. KS Raghavan

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