Parliament – Is it a voice of a Nation or noise of a Nation?

Preamble, as the cornerstone of the Indian constitution clearly envisages the form of government, by adopting “Socialist”, “Secular”, “Democratic”, and “Republic” notions of people’s democracy. By Democratic Republic we mean that, government is run by the elected representatives of the people who receive mandate through periodic elections on the basis of universal adult franchise. By showing their mandate through their representatives, people of India entrust the responsibility of governing the nation to the Parliament.

Parliament, originated from the French word ‘Parlor’ which means ‘a talk’. John Ruskin once equated Parliament as “a talking shop”. It is literally true as much as parliament meant for talking. We in our Parliament used the word “First Reading”, Second Reading” and “Third Reading” of the bills. The whole idea is that in Parliament we talk, discuss, try to persuade each other and take constructive decisions through regular principle of persuasion and discussion.

However, over the years, credibility and accountability of the Parliament in general and of debates and discussion in particular has reduced significantly. Debates and Discussions, which are hallmark of democracy, have been overshadowed by frequent disruptions, unseemly parliamentary behavior have created a mockery of whole democratic institutions. Moreover, the vacuum created due to frequent disruptions not only shorten the life of actual sitting of Parliament for legislation but also forced them to passed the bills of far reaching importance without having any serious discussions.

It is evident in the following fact that from 1952 to 1967, each of the three Loksabha sat for an average of 600 days and for more than 3700 hours as compared to 15 Loksabha (2009-13) which has met for just 345 days and around 1331 hours. Besides, only 13% of time originally scheduled for sitting spent on legislative work. Thus one should not astonished or feel belittle, if some or other Bills became highlight of daily newspaper more or less because of wrong means, whether we talk about contentious provisions of Section 66 of IT Act or of LokPal Bill.

At the same time, during the tenure of 15th Loksabha we saw many important bills making their way amid high voltage drama and several instances of personal attacks(like Pepper spray, tearing of papers, mikes etc). Notably, a few among them are Right to Education Bill, the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, the Food Security Bill, the Land Acquisition Bill, the Prohibition of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Bill, the Companies Bill, the Pension Bill etc. which securely upheld our trust and respect towards sanctity of Parliament.

The forthcoming 16th LokSabha election is unprecedentedly going to see the highest young age voters comprising 2.3 crore of 18-19 years old of total electorate of 81.5. Therefore, it is our moral duty and utmost responsibility to use our voting right judiciously entrusted on us by the constitution. Moreover, it is high time, that we should stand shoulder to shoulder to give way to a stronger, stable and reliable government, which not only embodies and epitomizes “Sovereign will & raises voice of the people” but also nurture our supreme temple of India that is “Parliament”.

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