A rejoinder to “No democracy without Parliament”

February 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm 9 comments

A rejoinder to No democracy without Parliament by Jayanthi Natarajan

Jayanthi Natarajan’s article ‘No democracy without Parliament (IE 11th Feb 2011)
has raised more questions than answers. It has exposed the bias and the prejudicial perception of the author. One must remember that Jayaanthi Natararajan was one of the most vociferous of the ‘shouting Brigade’ when the Congress was in the Opposition. Has Jayanthi Natarajan since then changed her views because today she sits in the Treasury benches? So with such change positions the perception and views of what is democracy also seem to change drastically.

There is no doubt that Parliament is the essence of democracy. But a democracy is vibrant and robust only with good governance and not only with debates and proceedings in Parliament. Again Parliament becomes meaningful only if it leads to good governance. Gone are the days when debates were meaningful and the MPs came well prepared. These days we find that the major part of the Parliament sessions do not see the presence of even the PM and most often a large number of MPs are also absent. What we have seen during the UPA regime is that there are MPs who have not even uttered a single word one such a person is Mrs Sonia Gandhi who till date has been only a silent spectator. Similarly too Rahul Gandhi has not engaged himself in any debate and discussion. When most of governance and its decisions are done from No 10 Janpath and when Rahul Gandhi can just walk into the PM’s office and get his pet schemes okayed then why Parliament? Why Parliament when Mrs Sonia Gandhi presides over a super Parliament termed as National Advisory Council to advise the PM? Most of the ministers come unprepared so what’s the great take that without Parliament there is no democracy. The major decisions that the government takes are not routed through Parliament but by bypassing it- example the nuke deal. It is from the media that one comes to know of the commissions and omissions of the government and the schemes and plans of the government.

Oh yes the women reservation bill is hanging but it has been there for years and we will end by a mere discussion. People are also fed up with these meaningless discussions.
What is strange is that Jayanthi Natarajan forgets that stalling and blocking Parliament is part of democratic functioning of an Opposition and is one of the ways to press for action from the government.
The author must remember that had not the Opposition stalled Parliament and compelled the UPA government most of the actions against the scam esters would not have taken place. Singular example is Adimuthu.Raja. It is not at though the PM was not aware of A Raja’s loot only that the PM allowed him to continue looting? Had it not been for the aggressive positioning of the Opposition ARaja would have continued as a Cabinet minister and Parliament would have functioned and Jayanthi Natarajan could smugly state that democracy is functioning because Parliament is functioning.

I think the Congress has misplaced priorities What about the others scams like Adharsh and Common Wealth Games scams to name a couple-all came not only tumbling out with some sort of an action taken only because of the Opposition’s shouting and rushing to the well of the House The author faults Advani for this justification but what had she done under the smiling gaze of Rajiv Gandhi who was mightily pleased that the shouting brigade was shouting and rushing to the well of the House. Did he not justify and did he not find satisfaction in it and in fact encouraged such behaviour?Why this double standards?. When the Congress can indulge in such actions when it was in the Opposition and justify how come the author questions the Opposition now on similar actions?
It is easy to mouth the hollow ‘zero tolerance to corruption’ but arresting it taking action against it is entirely another aspect. The Congress has the singular tag of being a government with the largest and the biggest scams under it. What does Jayanthi Natarajan expect from the Opposition?

Never in the history of parliamentary democracy have we witnessed a government encircled and embattled on all sides with scams. Is this the kind of democracy that we want? So why bother about allowing Parliament functioning; heavens will not fall if Parliament does not function. By the way the Congress appointee PJ Thomas justifies his appointment because there are 28.60 percent of MPs with criminal records or criminal cases pending against them. Allowing Parliament to function is no big deal if this is the perception of a CVC appointed by the Congress. This is one way of looking at the whole Parliament’s non- functioning.

The other is that stalling Parliament is a legitimate democratic right of the Opposition. Yes democracy has to function and whose chief responsibility is that-the UPA’s. Why is Parliament been stalled? Because the Opposition wants a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the G2 spectrum scam. This is the biggest scam since democracy started functioning in India .What is strange is that the UPA instead of yielding to this has refused the JPC.So who is at fault in not allowing Parliament functioning. If the UPA wants Parliament to function then let it yield to a JPC.Aafter all the demand for a JPC is no violation, not extra constitutionally and not setting up a precedent. The same Jayanthi Natarajan and company not merely stalled Parliament but even pulled down a government on the Jain Commission report by their sheer lung power and rushing to the well.

Now to act as a votary of democracy and pick at the Opposition to say that the Opposition is responsible for not allowing Parliament to function is a gross misrepresentation of facts. Let the Parliament function-but let there be a JPC is the demand of the Opposition. Why is the Congress adamant in rejecting this demand? Is it afraid of something that will be revealed? If the Congress really believes that democracy has to be saved and that means Parliament functioning it is within its reach-It has only to concede to the demand for the JPC.

Mere functioning of Parliament does not make wholesome democracy. Governance is, and the utility of Parliament functioning must be seen in the end results of what have been passed by Parliament after thorough discussions. It is not just the automatic passing of bills and the budget that makes good governance and meaningful democracy. The tone and tenure of debates-the content of the discussion and the final conclusions arrived-the policies evolved and proposed and passed by Parliament all these count. But under the UPA Parliament has been just a mirage-a kind of rountine which does not lead to a vibrant democracy and good governance.

Another area which Jayanti Natarajan brought out is democracy. She will be forced to agree if she assembles the facts truthfully that there is no democracy worth the name under the UPA and to be specific under Mrs Sonia Gandhi. This is no secret. What you do not have you cannot give.Evfen Rahul Gandhi has complained about the High Command making decisions. If the Congress party has no inner democracy then how can it stand up and uphold democracy for the country. A handpicked Prime Minister is no great expression of democracy. For democracy there are various variables like the PM must come from the Lok Sabha to be more credible. He must be elected and not nominated. If one has to take each and every constitutional post one will realize that democracy has been demeaned and dented by Mrs Sonia Gandhi and the Congress.

Since Jayanthi Natarajan has mentioned the Bofors JPC boycott by the Opposition one must remember that the JPC then was an eye wash because Mr ‘Clean’ had to be saved and the Italian relative of Mrs Sonia Gandhi Quottrroch had to be saved. No wonder the JPC was packed with majority Congress men when the person involved is the Congress leader what does one expect of such a JPC?And the subsequent events clearly indicate what the Congress was up to in the whole Quotrrochi affair.The line is to drawn not where the buck stops at you but when the true spirit of the probe is directed to dig out and establish the truth. This the Congress has never done in any of its governance business.So just repeating that Parliament has to function to prove that we have democracy is a big joke. This is why what Advani stated is true-“sometimes business, not proceedings yield results”-The author naturally cannot comprehend this.

Talk ,talk and talk-we Indians are good at it and that is not the litmus test for democracy. So let business be attended to and not just allowing parliament to function. If the government is keen as it makes out ,so is the Opposition also keen that Parliament functions and not just debate and allow proceedings for name sake-then let the government will it-let it concede to the JPC; it is as simple as that and as easy as that. It is within the hands of the Congress and the responsibility of the Congress to allow a JPC so that Parliament can function.Otherwise the odium is on the Congress that it does not want Parliament to function- The meetings with the Opposition leaders are a big tamasha-That the Congress is not eager to allow Parliament to function and hence is rejecting the demand for the JPC is obvious. And thereby it is failing in its primary duty and responsibility to uphold democracy.

Dr Mrs Hilda Raja
Vadodara.

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On cooking and washing utensils The Prime Minister stands exposed

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cdr Ajai Bhagra (Retd)  |  February 11, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    The entire defensive strategy of the UPA (read Congress) is to keep Sonia Gandhi away from any kind of investigation or expossure. Obviously this strategy has been dictated by Sonia Gandhi herself as the rest of the entire lot of Congressmen\women are her fawning pawns. Their political careers are dependent on Sonia Gandhi’s dispensation.
    The Congress fears that a detailed JPC probe, which would obviously include members from the opposition, would unmask and unravel the trail of the lost 2G money. The amount is so gigantic that Mr Raja would not have been allowed to ‘bash on regardless’ without giving sufficient “dkshina” to a
    higher power. A power figure with the authority to make our “honest and conscientious” Prime Minister to turrn a blind eye to this sordid play! A mere pliable incumbent, Mr Man Mohan Singh must have had no choice once the decision was made to allow Mr Raja to loot. Who could have made this decision and kept the PM quiet, is anybody’s guess! Yes the country needs a JPC to get to the bottom of this ‘mother of scams’. The non functioning of a dysfunctional parliament is a small price (if any) to pay to get to the bottom of this scam! Jai Hind!

    Reply
  • 2. Sita  |  February 13, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Ma’am Actually,they are worried about Country losing money becoz Parliament is Stalled.That is the only true statement from them;they should think about scrapping off totally,instead of this make-believe of Democracy and Governance. They don’t have intraparty Democracy,and they are giving lectures about Democracy :Talk about the Devil quoting scriptures.
    The Funny thing is these days this proverb has more meaning than at any time previously.

    Reply
  • 5. Thirumaran Sankaramani  |  February 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Sonia Congress is now forced to concede on opposition’s JPC demand. If Ms. Jayanti Natarajan has an iota of honesty in her, she should admit that her party’s arrogance(on account of being the ruling party)out of sheer stupidity(that the opposition could be stone-walled) is the main cause for the parliamentary non-functioning for the entire winter session.
    There can not be truer words than your: “The non functioning of a dysfunctional parliament is a small price (if any) to pay to get to the bottom of this scam!”
    I’m a bit late in joining you.
    Waiting for more of your musings.
    Regards.
    -Thiru

    Reply
  • 6. rakesh  |  February 16, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    yes to JPC but congress is clever, the cunning people, all foxes are there and at top one with a turban.
    SO let there be 10 MPs in JPC. 2-3 from cong. two from mulayam two from maya two from lalu and two from A/dmk and a couple from well BJP too.
    So out of 10, 8 will give a clearance to whom u know and turban and crisp saree will ramail same.
    Congress is corrupt but mulayam laloo and maya they dont even pretend to follow the moral values (what are they by the way lalloo can ask)
    So I dont hope from JPC but than to hope from where.
    Yes a sadhu is wandering with a promise to hang and shoot them all. can we support him. More importantly he does not haave wife or concubines or for that reason off springs.
    He seems to me the only albait half hope.

    Reply
  • 7. rakesh  |  February 16, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    off course for political corrects, shooting for stealing does not seem to be correct. But this kind of stealing is responsible for thousands of deaths and therefore the bullets for raja and kalmadi and above all the turban and saaree
    WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR. CANT WE FOLLOW EGYPT. SAADHU GIVE A CALL AND THERE WILL BE MILLIONS AT INDIA GATE UNAFRAID OF BULLETS . . .
    THERE IS NOT MUCH TIME LEFT

    Reply
  • 8. Vikram D  |  February 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Dear Miss Hildaraja, I really appreciate your words raised agianst this nation’s rulers.. Iam glad u r working reslessly to reach your voice to the people in the most possible way. . . I never missed ur article coz it keeps me motivated & creates a sense of awareness within me.
    Now I only wish is that ur voice & words must be reached to more number of people so that they will be in a position to understand where these leaders stand. . . . ALL THE BEST
    Eagerly waiting for youe next blog. . .
    Thanks & Regards
    Vikram

    Reply
    • 9. hilda raja  |  February 24, 2011 at 1:38 am

      thank you Vikram for your words of encouragement.A small ripple grows into larger circles and I hope like you that my words reach the maximum number of people.A trickle becomes a stream and a stream becomes a flood-lets hope-the people will be aroused and kick out the Congress alogn with Mrs Sonia Gandhi.It is a shame that India has been fleeced and the poor are unaware that their money is looted.Pl keep the spirit of hope ever burning.Spread the word and do all that you can to lift this motherland of ours from the morass that has enveloped it.Manmohan Singh must be made accountable because he is the head and betrayed the people-coalition or not he should have upheld his oath.All pretence that he is honest.Allowing the country to be looted and washing his hands of no knowledge of it is worse that the looter because MMSingh is accountable as the Prime Minister.
      All the best to you Vikram.
      HR

      Reply

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