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Parliamentarians today do not represent the tolerant milieu of Indian culture

By NS Venkataraman* 

A massive new parliament building with several special features and facilities have recently been inaugurated with much fanfare, pomp and show. During the inaugural programme, lofty speeches were made, terming the new parliament building as the renovated temple of democracy bringing great pride to the democratic system of governance in India.
Subsequently, as the monsoon session of parliament in the old parliament building is now on, marred by shoutings and cat calls rather than speeches and healthy debates, many discerning Indians certainly feel disappointed and even disgusted. Viewing the behavior pattern of the parliamentarians, their utter lack of discipline and decorum, many people have started wondering as to whether the massive expenses incurred and efforts put forth in constructing new parliament building could have been avoided, as many people justifiably conclude that these parliamentarians need no better facilities than the old parliament building.
Fortunately, so far, the monsoon session has been taking place only in the old parliament building , that has spared the floor and walls of the new parliament building from experiencing the indisciplined behavior of the parliamentarians.
It is well realized that a number of parliamentarians today are not the best of the citizens and it is difficult to think that these parliamentarians represent or reflect the traditional wisdom and culture and tolerant attitude that India is known for historically. Are these unruly parliamentarians , the real representative gathering of the people of India?
In the ongoing monsoon session, proceedings of the both the houses of parliament have been stalled for several days, demanding speech by the Prime Minister himself on the Manipur issue. The government said that it has no objection for debate on Manipur issue and the Home Minister who is the appropriate minister handling the Manipur issue ,would participate in the debate. But, the opposition MPs want the Prime Minister to speak. 
Many feel the demand of the opposition parties is totally illogical and appears to be motivated. There is an apprehension that looking at the behavior of the opposition MPs, they want to insult and humiliate the Prime Minister by shouting his speech down in case the Prime Minister were to yield to the demand of the opposition parties and to speak on the subject himself. The opposition MPs want to get vicarious satisfaction at the Prime Minister’s cost.
All said and done, the image of the parliamentarians amongst the citizens now have taken a beating and one can hear many people saying that the standard and behaviour of the parliamentarians are no better than those of the street urchins.
As India is now forging ahead in industrial and economic growth and overseas investors are showing considerable interest in investing in India and doing business here, happenings in India are now watched with great interest all over the world. The parliamentarians exhibiting obnoxious behavior are running down the image of India in the eyes of the world. Now, it would take a very long time for India to improve its image as a healthy democracy in the eyes of the world.
Another matter of high concern is about the type of message that misbehaving parliamentarians are conveying to the youth of the country and what kind of adverse influence they will create amongst the young students in the formative age group.
One would wish that the new parliament building should start functioning only after the 2024 national election, when the new government would take over. Hopefully, people would reject the present day parliamentarians in the forthcoming election, who have conducted themselves in an unbecoming way and brought disrepute to India as a vibrant democratic country.
Let the new parliament have members who are concerned about democracy, which is uppermost for keeping high the image of the country, and behave in a dignified manner in parliament, responding to the expectations of the countrymen.
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*Trustee, Nandini Voice For The Deprived, Chennai

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